Quick Links Quick Links

Studies in Acts—“Peter’s Work in Lydda” Acts 9:32-43

by Larry Miles


     In the previous article we studied together about the life and conversion Of Saul of Tarsus. Luke now turns our attention to Peter. He relays some of the work that the apostle to the circumcision was doing for the Risen Lord. With this in mind, let us have our Bible’s open and ready to study together the Word of God.


The narrative supplied to us by the “beloved Physician” tells us that while Peter was traveling he came down to Lydda. No matter what direction one went from Jerusalem he would be said to be going down as Jerusalem is situated high in elevation and one would have to come down to go anywhere. We know, by our study of biblical geography that Lydda was about 11 miles southeast of Joppa. Luke tells us that Peter was with “the saints who lived at Lydda.” In the New Testament era all Christians ‘Were called saints. Even today all true born-again believers are saints.

     In verse 33 we read about Aeneas. Luke tells us that Aeneas had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed. In verse 34 we have healing of Aeneas. Peter told him, “Aeneas, JESUS CHRIST heals you; arise and make your bed.” The healing was instantaneous. In verse 35 we’re told that all who lived at Lydda and at Sharon saw him. They had known that he was paralyzed and now that he was walking. They knew that it was by the power of God that he was healed. Luke informs us that as a result many were added to the Lord.


We now find the apostle still ministering in Lydda. Verse 36 introduces us to the story of Tabitha, who in the Greek was called Dorcas. She is called a certain disciple. She was known as one who continually did deeds of kindness and charity. She was a perfect example of the faith that produces works. We work because we are saved not to get saved.

     Verse 37 informs us of the death of Dorcas. It says that she became sick and died. We’re told that after washing the body it was placed in an upper room. Verse 35 reads as follows, “And since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, entreating him, ‘do not delay to come to us.'” The question arises as why they did not bury Dorcas. Also why did they send for Peter? One view has it h that they believed that Peter could raise her from the dead. It is possible and most probable that there were other instances in the New Testament that the apostles raised folks from the dead. Just because Luke does not tell us does not mean it didn’t happen.

     In verse 39 Peter has arrived in Joppa. The two that had been sent to get him led him to the upper room. We’re told that all the other widows of the city were there weeping. Verse 40 tells us that Peter sent them out of the room. He then knelt down and prayed and turning to the body said, “Tabitha, arise.”  He called her by her Aramaic name Tabitha. In verse 41 he helps her up and called in the saints and widows. He brought her out to them. Luke puts it this way, “he presented her alive.” Verse 42 says that the news spread throughout the city and that many turned to the Lord Jesus Christ.

     In verse 42 we’re told that Peter spent many days living with Simon the Tanner. We’ll be studying more about Peter’s ministry in the next few articles. God was preparing him for a ministry to the Gentiles.

     Our next essay will cover Acts 10:1-22. It will be called, “God Prepares Peter to Preach the Good News to Gentiles.” May we always be looking for the return of the Lord of Glory. Until next time, MARANATHA!


Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.

Leave a Reply

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4