And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelled at Lydda.…
I. WAS TRULY SICK.
1. Had he not been really sick, the incident would have been a piece of imposture; but he was hopelessly infirm. Now, as there is no room for a great cure unless there is a great sickness, so there is no room for God's great grace unless there is great sin. Jesus Christ did not come into the world to save sham, but real sinners.
2. The man had been paralysed eight years. The length of its endurance is a terrible element in a disease. Perhaps yours is no eight years' malady, but twenty-eight, or forty-eight, or, perhaps, eighty-eight years have you been in bondage under it. Well, the number of years cannot prevent the mercy of God from making us whole. You have a very long bill to discharge, while another friend has but a short one; but it is just as easy for the creditor to write "paid" at the bottom of the large bill as the smaller one.
3. His disease was incurable, AEneas could not restore himself, and no human physician could do anything for him. Your soul's wound is incurable. There is no soul physician except at Calvary; no balm but in the Saviour's wounds.
II. KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT JESUS; because, otherwise, when Peter said, "Jesus Christ maketh thee whole," AEneas would have inquired what he meant. Now, lest there should be one here who does not know Jesus Christ, and how it is that He is able to heal sin-sick souls, let us briefly tell the old, old story over again.
III. BELIEVED ON THE LORD JESUS.
1. He did not believe in Peter as the healer. Peter does not say, "As the head of the Church, I, by power delegated to me, make thee whole." Peter preached too clear a gospel for that. That is the purest gospel which has the least of man in it, and the most of Christ.
2. Much less had he any faith in himself. He did not say to Peter, "But I do not feel strength enough to get well"; nor "I think I do feel power enough to shake off this palsy." Peter's message took him off from himself. "Jesus Christ maketh thee whole." That was what the man had to believe; and it is what you also must believe.
3. With his faith AEneas had the desires which showed that it was not mere speculation, but solid practical believing; he anxiously wished to be made whole. Oh, that sinners anxiously wished to be saved! I never heard of men reckoning a cancer to be a jewel; but there are many who look upon their sins as if they were gems, so that they will sooner lose heaven than part with their lustful pleasures.
4. And what did AEneas believe?
(1) That Jesus could heal him, AEneas. John Brown, do you believe that Jesus Christ can cure you? I do not care what your faith is about your wife's ease. Can you grip that, and reply, "Yes, He is able to save me"?
(2) That Jesus Christ was able to save him there and then, just as he was. He had not taken a course of physic, nor been under galvanism to strengthen his nerves and sinews, and prepare him to be cured, but he believed that Jesus Christ could save him without any preparation. When you think what Christ is, and what He has done, it ought not to be difficult to believe this.
IV. WAS MADE WHOLE. Just fancy, for a minute, what would have been the result if he had not been made whole.
1. What dishonour it would have been to Peter! Peter said, "AEneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole"; but there lies AEneas as palsied as before. Everybody would say, "Peter is a false witness."
2. What dishonour would have been brought upon the name of Jesus! Suppose you were to believe in Jesus, and yet were not saved. Then He has broken His word, or lost His power to save, either of which we are unwilling to tolerate for a minute. If thou believest in Jesus Christ, as surely as thou livest Jesus Christ has saved thee.
3. Then the gospel would not be true. Shut up those churches, banish those ministers, burn those Bibles; there is no truth in any of them if a soul can believe in Jesus and yet not be saved.
V. AFTER HE WAS HEALED, ACTED CONFORMABLY. "Peter said unto him...Arise, and make thy bed"; and he did so directly, Now, if any of you say tonight, "I have believed in Jesus," remember you are bound to prove it. You are to go home and show people how whole you are. This man had been lying there eight years, and could never make his bed; but he proved he was healed by making his bed for himself. You will have to prove this by —
1. A consistent, holy life.
2. An unselfish life.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.