Summary of Acts 9:31-43:
The church grew in numbers throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. As Peter traveled throughout the country (Judea, Galilee, and Samaria are all within modern-day Israel), he went to Lydda where he healed a paralytic man named Aeneas, resulting in more conversions.
In Joppa at this same time lived a sick disciple named Tabitha (Dorcas) who died. Peter was summoned. He prayed and told the dead woman to get up, which she did. More people were converted in Joppa as the news spread and Peter stayed there for a while with a tanner named Simon.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 7, Day 2: Acts 9:31-43
3) The church experienced a time of peace and growth. It was also strengthened and lived in fear of the Lord.
4) Personal Question. My answer: God can do anything. It inspires me to never give up hope in the face of hopelessness.
5) Personal Question. My answer: I can serve everyone.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 7, Day 2: Acts 9:31-43
A personal day, it seems. I would have liked to have dived into why, all of a sudden, Peter can raise people from the dead — something we’ve only see Jesus do in the New Testament. Several people were raised from the dead in the Bible. Continue reading my End Notes for actual in-depth study.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 7, Day 2: Acts 9:31-43
Acts 9 begins with Saul threatening the disciples. Now, we see the church in a time of peace. Persecution was still happening, however, but God was working.
At the end of Acts 9:31, we reach an important historical crossroads in Acts and the events of the Roman Empire. In A.D. 37, Caiaphas was replaced as high priest, first by Jonathan, then by Theophilus. In the same year, Caligula succeeded Tiberius as Roman Emperor. Caligula was bitterly hostile against the Jews and was assassinated four years later.
Note that we walk in fear and comfort at the same time — hallmarks of the Christian walk.
Two Recorded Miracles
Peter traveled 35 miles from Jerusalem to Lydda. Peter said that it was Jesus that healed the paralytic man.The words of Peter – “Arise and make your bed” – were perhaps consciously an imitation of Jesus’ healing of the paralytic man in Mark 2:10-12.
Dorcas and Tabitha both mean deer. This miracle is recorded because it is remarkable.
Peter did just as he had seen Jesus do as recorded in Mark 5:38-43 – he put them all out, in the anticipation that God would do for Tabitha what He did for the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue.
Why Raise Dorcas from the Dead and Not Stephen?
- Dorcas was not resurrected; she was resuscitated to her old life, where she would die again.
- We cannot know God’s ways. It seemed that Stephen was more important to the church than Dorcas. Yet we must always trust God’s greater wisdom and knowledge in all such things.
- Dorcas wasn’t raised for her own sake. She was raised for the sake of her ministry to others, which is the same reason we have passed from death into life (John 5:24).
Fun Fact: This is the first time Christians are called saints in Acts 9:32 and 41 . When the Bible calls Christians saints, the idea isn’t of a perfect people; the idea is of a people who are different. Saints are set apart from the world at large; they are distinctive.
Peter associating with a tanner was strictly forbidden by Jewish law since a tanner worked with dead animals. According to the laws of that time, a tanner had to live at least 75 feet outside a village because of his constant ritual uncleanness. Peter was becoming less concerned about Jewish traditions and ceremonial notions than before. This work of God in Peter’s heart laid groundwork for what God would do in Peter in the following chapter.