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Bobby Stafford Peter Performs Two Miracles
Lesson 25    Acts 9:32-43
     

The Book of Acts

Peter Performs Two Miracles

Introduction:

For a short while, the churches in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed peace as a result of its main persecutor being converted.  (Acts 9:31 “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.  And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”  (Galatians 1:22-24 “And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ.  But they were hearing only, ‘He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.’  And they glorified God in me.” NKJV  So while Saul is preaching the gospel in Tarsus, Cilicia, and Syria, the apostle Peter is preaching in western Judea, near the Mediterranean Sea.  While in this area, he performs two miracles.

Text:  Acts 9:32-43

Body:

I.  Peter Heals A Paralytic  Acts 9:32-35  “Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda.  There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed.  And Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you.  Arise and make your bed.’  Then he arose immediately.  So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.” NKJV

·  Because all these regions were experiencing peaceful conditions, Peter visited congregations edifying them.  He was fulfilling the charge Christ had given him.  (John 21:15-17 “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more that these?’  He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’  He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’  He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’  He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’  He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’  He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’  Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’  And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’  Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.’ ” NKJV

·  Peter visits the saints in Lydda.  This city was an important commercial center at the intersection of two highways connecting Egypt to Syria and Joppa to Jerusalem.  It was formerly known in the Old Testament as Lod.

·  Peter finds a man named Aeneas whose paralysis was so severe that he had been bedridden for eight years.  We don’t know if he was a Christian or not.  Peter calls upon the power of Jesus’ name to heal him.  Note Acts 4:8-10. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:  If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.’ ” NKJV  Aeneas is healed immediately and completely.  No one could doubt a miracle had been performed!  This healing is similar to Jesus’ healing of the paralytic in Luke 5:17-26. “25 Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.” NKJV

·  This miracle confirmed that what Peter was preaching was truth.  (Mark 16:20 “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.  Amen.” NKJV  This led many to “turn to the Lord.”  They turned away from sin and turned toward Christ.  (Acts 3:26 “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” NKJV 

II.  Peter Raises the Dead  Acts 9:36-43  “At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas.  This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.  But it happened in those days that she became sick and died.  When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.  And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.  Then Peter arose and went with them.  When he had come, they brought him to the upper room.  And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.  But Peter put them all out, 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.  Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.  And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.  So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.” NKJV

·  Joppa was located on the Mediterranean coast about eleven miles northwest of Lydda.  The prophet Jonah had departed from here on his famous journey.  Today it is known as Jaffa, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

·  A disciple of Jesus is there named Tabitha [her Aramaic name] or Dorcas [her Greek name].  Both names mean “antelope or gazelle,” an  animal of beauty and grace.  She was known for her good works and acts of kindness.  She had devoted herself to doing good for others.  (Matthew 6:2-4 “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” NKJV

·  Dorcas becomes sick and dies while Peter is in Lydda.  She is so beloved that the disciples send for Peter to come without delay.  It would probably take about three hours to get there and three hours to walk back.

·  When Peter arrives, he goes to the upper room where her body is.  He is met by several crying widows who had received clothes Dorcas had made for them.  These were greater memorials than marble and bronze monuments would have been! 

·  Peter clears the room, kneels down and prays.  Up to this point, there is no record of an apostle having raised the dead, even though Peter had witnessed Christ raising three people from the dead. 

1.  The daughter of Jairus  (Mark 5:40-42 “And they ridiculed Him, But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.  Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’  Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age.  And they were overcome with great amazement.” NKJV 

2.  The son of the widow at Nain  (Luke 7:14-15 “Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still.  And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’  So he who was dead sat up and began to speak.  And He presented him to his mother.” NKJV

3.  Lazarus  (John 11:43-44 “Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’ ” NKJV  Dorcas’ life returns to her lifeless body and she sits up.

·  Peter then stays in Joppa with Simon who was a tanner.  A tanner worked with animal hides, turning them into leather.  Tanning was a smelly business so the ocean breezes would be very helpful. Working with animal carcasses would quite often leave him in an unclean state.  (Leviticus 11:35-40 “And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; for they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.  Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean.  And if a part of any such carcass falls on any planting seed which is to be sown, it remains clean.  But if water is put on the seed, and if a part of any such carcass falls on it, it becomes unclean to you.  And if any animal which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until evening.  He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.  He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.” NKJV

Conclusion:  The effect of the two miracles was that many “turned to the Lord” and many “believed in the Lord.”  This is just two ways of saying the same thing.  One places his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, turns from sin to Christ, and obeys Him fully.  (John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” NKJV 

Bobby Stafford 
November 15, 2015 
Acts: Lesson 25 
Acts 9:32-43

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