The Stark Differences Between Modern Churches and the Ministry of the Apostle Peter

Pastor Paul J Bern
7 min readSep 16, 2022

The Apostle Peter’s Healing Ministry

(Acts chapter 9, verses 32–43)

Book cover, “The Social Gospel Teaching Series: “Acts of the Apostles”

Last week as we finished part 2 of our in-depth study of Acts chapter 9, Saul had begun his ministry after having his sight restored, and after being baptized. But his conversion had been very controversial, owing to the fact that he had actively participated in the martyrdom of dozens — or possibly hundreds — of early Christians. Saul’s conversion had been so controversial and divisive that the early Church leaders had ultimately sent him home to Tarsus. This week as we conclude Acts chapter 9, we find the focus shifting away from Saul, Barnabas and Ananias and onto the apostle Peter and his powerful ministry. So let’s take up where we left off beginning at verse 32.

Part One of This Week’s Study Verses

As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. ‘Aeneas’, Peter said to him, ‘Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.’ Immediately he got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated {into Greek, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, ‘Please come at once!’” (Acts 9, verses 32–38)

There Are Stark Differences Between Peter’s Ministry and That of Modern Churches

When we look closely at Peter’s activities, we notice his ministry is radically different from most churches today. He had no mode of transportation, and so like most people back then he walked wherever he needed to go. But this is only the beginning of the differences between Peter’s ministry and the churches of today. He likely wore the same clothes everywhere he went, and when they needed washing he went to the nearest river bank to wash them — and himself — in the river just like everyone else. There were no dry cleaners or laundromats back then. The…

Pastor Paul J Bern

Rev. Paul J. Bern is a Web pastor and blogger on The Social Gospel Blog on Medium, Wordpress and others. Longtime Atlanta Ga. resident; stroke survivor, coach