We lovingly remember Peter from the gospels with all of his faults, but God is in the changing business with each of us as Peter will learn.
As Peter has learned to encourage, lift up and challenge believers outside of Jerusalem, it seems he is pilgrimage alone. Along the way, he will learn what men call unclean God will clean and use for his glory. In Lydda he meets a man whose body is dead due to paralysis and Peter says “Jesus Christ heals you, get up and walk.” A few miles away in Joppa another death occurs; this one is a death of the body/soul. Men come to ask Peter’s assistance. What did they think he could do now that Tabitha was dead? But God knows that a life will be restored to show the power over even death. Peter, like Jesus, in raising Jairus’ daughter, sends the mourners out. Also like Jesus, Peter says “Tabitha, get up.”
It was after this that Peter faced his most difficult of tests: a death of prejudice. God graciously gave him a taste of it when Peter elected to stay with Simon the tanner—considered unclean by the rabbi’s. But, like us, Peter is slow to get it; it takes God three tries for him to realize that men like Simon the Tanner and the Gentile Cornelius might be considered unclean by the rabbi’s, but not by God.
All three show us the power of the Holy Spirit to change us and others. Where is God in the changing business with you?