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The Scriptorium

What's in a Name? (6)

So who's this Roman guy, and why should we care?

Acts (8)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 9 (Lesson 8) by clicking here.

Read and meditate on Acts 9.32-35.
Luke is a careful historian and a thoughtful writer. He is an accomplished narrator, keeping the story line going while, at the same time, pointing ahead and laying the foundation for the next stages, and signaling bigger things than he’ll have space to report. And he’s doing much of this, following the Lord’s lead, in the names of people, places, and things. Careful readers will take note.

For reflection
1.  Before we become too swept up in the ministry of Saul of Tarsus, Luke returns us to the Gospel’s roots – Peter. Undoubtedly Peter was doing many different things during this time, with many different people. Luke could not report them all, so he chose a couple of what, to him, must have seemed like representative and significant incidents. Remember: Luke is telling a story. How would you summarize the main thrust of Luke’s story to this point?

2.  In this particular story, I think there’s more at stake than what immediately presents itself. In Lydda Peter “found” (was he looking for him?) a man who had been paralyzed for eight years. There must have been many such people in Roman Judea at this time. Why this man, Luke? All we know is that, having found him, Peter preached the Gospel to him, and he was made well. The response in Lydda and Sharon was not unlike what we saw in Jerusalem. People were persuaded that something new and powerful and important had come into their midst, and they were right. Why do you suppose Luke chose this story rather than any number of others he might have chosen?

4.  When we ponder this man’s name, we can’t help but wonder. Aeneas was not a Jewish name. It was a Roman name. Peter ministering to a Gentile? More than that, Aeneas was the name of the refugee from Troy who supposedly founded the city of Rome! Whoa, Luke! What are you trying to say? Are you saying the Gospel is going to shake Rome to its foundations? Are you saying Rome is going to hear the Gospel? Maybe be transformed by the Gospel? Perhaps be healed of its corruption and the spiritual paralysis which was causing widespread despair among the people of the Roman world? Just askin’. What kind of vision of the ongoing work of Christ is suggested in this incident?

5.  Luke connects the progress of the Gospel with real people through their names. What are some other ways we might connect the Gospel to things familiar to people today? Think of how Jesus did it. What did He use to open doors for the Gospel?

Even as things begin to settle down, Luke energizes his narrative by these names and places suggestive of the direction the ongoing work of Christ is taking in the world: Tarsus, church, Aeneas – How is Luke teaching us to think about the ongoing work of Christ?

Closing Prayer
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts…”

Psalm 95.1-8a

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book,
The Kingdom Turn (click here).

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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