Unstoppable! 'Beauty, Stench, and Acceptance' — Acts 9:42-43

Sunday, May 26, 2024

The news [of Tabitha's being raised from the dead] spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.

— Acts 9:42-43 NLT

Key Thought

Tabitha's resurrection was news that quickly traveled throughout the town of Joppa — a beautiful sea coast city forty miles south of the important Roman city of Caesarea. (Joppa is now called Jaffa, a modern section of Tel Aviv, Israel.) Luke's notice that Peter lived with "Simon, a tanner of hides" is a vitally essential detail* in this story and the next, the conversion of Cornelius. The hides of dead animals, along with the processes and chemicals used to tan them and make them usable leather, stank terribly and could sometimes render a Jew ritually unclean. They also made Peter's location easy to find: downwind of the city on the outskirts of town, and a place that stank! The Holy Spirit is reminding us that there was no place Jesus' disciples wouldn't go, and no people with whom they wouldn't associate, to share the Good News of Christ. All barriers were gone: Rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, male and female, proper and stinky were all welcomed into the family of the Messiah!

* See the article, "The ripple effect: Simon the tanner."

Today's Prayer

Father, please peel away the prejudice and snobbery from your people and open our hearts to welcome and go in search of all who hunger for your love, mercy, truth, and grace. In Jesus' name, and to be like our Savior, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Galatians 3:26-4:7
  • Luke 24:42-49; Acts 1:1-11

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 9:42-43 NLT — The news [of Tabitha's being raised from the dead] spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.