Peter Used by God in Joppa to Heal Beloved Dorcas

Max Lucado tells a story in a book called “It’s Not About Me” about a friend of his who had cancer. Some well intentioned Christians had told him ‘If you have faith, then you will be healed”. But, no healing came, only a crisis of faith in that man&r … More

Healing

The scene now shifts to Peter, who was visiting the churches in Palestine. He comes to Lydda, a predominately Gentile city about 25 miles from Jerusalem (v. 32). Possibly the church in Lydda had been founded by disciples fleeing from Jerusalem at the time of fierce persecution when Stephen was stoned. At the time of his arrival he met Aeneas, who had been bedfast for eight years with a disease that had paralyzed him (v. 33). Peter had the gift of healing, which was one of the validating gifts of the early church. He instantly healed this man in the name of Jesus (v. 34). Immediately the news flashed up and down the plains of Sharon. People came to see what had happened, and they went away saved (v. 35). Of course this was the purpose of the healing miracle. Had healing been intended to be an end in itself, Peter would have healed all the sick people in town.

Ten miles northwest of Lydda in the seaport town of Joppa, there was another group of Christians. One of the church’s members was Dorcas, a gracious woman filled with love and compassion for the poor (v.36). She had died and when the Christians heard that Peter was only 10 miles away in Lydda, they sent for him (vv. 37-38). When he arrived in the upper room where Dorcas had been prepared for burial, he found a group of weeping widows (v. 39). Having prayed, he took Dorcas’ hand and commanded her to come to life. When she saw Peter she sat up, and he presented her alive to the waiting people (vv. 40-41). When Peter healed Aeneas, he did not say, “I heal you”; he said, “Jesus Christ heals you.” Before he spoke to Dorcas (known as Tabitha in Hebrew), Peter prayed. It was not his own power on which Peter called; it was the power of Jesus Christ. This miracle became known throughout the area, and was the cause of many turning to Christ (v. 42). Peter stayed in Joppa for awhile with Simon the tanner (v. 43).

Application

What is the greatest miracle that God can do for us? Some would say the healing of the body but that is only temporary. The greatest miracle of all is the salvation of a lost sinner, because it lasts for eternity. Thank you Lord for saving me when there are so many others who do not know You!!

Acts 9:32-43 (English Standard Version)

Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed." And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, "Please come to us without delay." So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.

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