trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

What's in a Name? (7)

Even Gazelles? And culture?

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 9.36-43.
Disciples of Jesus Christ are beginning to be established everywhere – the fruit of the initial dispersion of believers from Jerusalem to parts beyond. The ongoing work of Christ is being replicated in all kinds of places, even as it’s being prepared for in others. Yet the connection of these increasingly far-flung bands to the church in Jerusalem is evident, as the believers in Joppa sought out Peter once they knew he was in the region.

For reflection
1.  Peter came at the behest of the disciples from Joppa. We’ll see him on a similar mission shortly. Luke wants us to see Peter as an unquestioning, willing servant of the Lord, who will go wherever the Lord calls him. How can we cultivate that kind of attitude in ourselves?

2.  The death of Dorcas was a great loss to her community. She was a woman of many good works and good gifts, able to create and bestow delightful artifacts of culture on appreciative friends and others. For now, “the Gazelle” lay dead, her body being made ready for burial. Peter prayed, perhaps seeking the Lord concerning whether the death of this woman was His will, or if something else should transpire. Obviously, the latter. Peter’s word to “Tabitha” recalls Jesus’ word to the little girl in Mark 5.41 (“Talitha”). How does this help connect the ongoing work of Christ with the work Jesus began to do?

3.  Luke reports this incident, but not the Aramaic word Jesus spoke. Careful researcher that he was (cf. Lk. 1.1-4), he doubtless knew Mark’s report of this story, and glimpsed it obliquely here. The raising of Dorcas has predicable results: more believers added to the Lord. Peter decides to hang out in Joppa for “many days”, and thus Luke sets the stage for the next huge advance of the Gospel. Recall Peter’s work in Jerusalem and Samaria. Given that many were coming to Christ in Joppa, what do you suppose Peter was doing during those many days?

4.  Dorcas and Tabitha both mean “gazelle.” Call me crazy, but I have to wonder why Luke chose to include this story. A “gazelle” who is a maker of lovely cultural artifacts, a doer of many good works, lies dead, and the Word of the Gospel restores her to life, and awakening breaks out in Joppa. Is Luke intending to suggest that the Gospel brings restoration to creation and culture? That this is part of the ongoing work of Christ? Does the Gospel have power to restore God’s “good” (Gen. 1) to the world? Is Luke baiting us to think along such lines with his choice of stories in this chapter? I’m gonna ask him about this by-and-by. What do you think? Would such thinking, here merely pointed at, be in line with the ongoing work of Christ? Explain.

5.  In what ways has the Gospel restored your view and use of creation and culture?

The Gospel has just broken out all over the place, saving this, healing that, restoring these, sowing hope, bristling with power, making all things new, and aiming at farther horizons still. Just like in your community, right? Explain.

Closing Prayer
His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.

Psalm 72.17-19

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

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.