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Acts 9:32-42 – Peter Raises Dorcas from Death

Summary

Peter goes to Lydda where he heals Aeneas, a paralyzed man, and raises Dorcas from the dead.

Analysis

This passage marks the first time in Luke-Acts that anyone other than Jesus raises another human being from death. The passage establishes even more profoundly that God's power to save is granted to Jesus' followers by Jesus through the Spirit. It also establishes Peter as the most trustworthy leader in the community. In scenes to come, it will be Peter who makes the move to include Gentiles, not only among the baptized, but also in the community that eats and prays together. Establishing Peter as trustworthy and Spirit-filled is the necessary precursor to the passages that follow this one.

Acts 9:32-42

The Healing of Aeneas

32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers,* he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralysed. 34Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!’ And immediately he got up. 35And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Peter in Lydda and Joppa

36 Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas.* She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. 37At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, ‘Please come to us without delay.’ 39So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, ‘Tabitha, get up.’ Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

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