32 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. 33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. 35 So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
Leaving the apostle Paul for the moment, the scene in Acts again shifted to the ministry of the apostle Peter. Acts 9:32-43 sets forth Peter’s evangelizing coastal cities of the Mediterranean Sea. His last mission was in Samaria (Acts 8:14-25). Now he healed Aeneas in Lydda (Acts 9:32-35) and Dorcas in Joppa (Acts 9:36-43).
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.
We last heard about Peter in Acts 8:25. The town Lydda was located about 10 miles inland from Joppa, where he was on a preaching tour.
There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed.
Aeneas was paralyzed for eight years and confined to his bed.
And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately.
Jesus, not Peter, healed Aeneas instantaneously. Healings by Jesus Christ and the apostles were instantaneous and complete; people did not gradually gain healing. Aeneas did not request healing; the initiative was Peter’s alone.
Note that Peter assumed that Jesus the Christ was still working years after His resurrection. He said, “Jesus the Christ heals you,” present tense; the Lord Jesus was active in the healing of Aeneas.
So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
Sharon was a fertile plain along the coast. The town Lydda was on the southeastern part of the plain. People in those geographical locations turned to the Lord for salvation. The word “turned” indicates an instantaneous change of belief from one view to another.
God expects everyone to minister to individuals.
The idea of a person ministering only to large crowds is foreign to the New Testament. Faithful servants of God care about the individual. Personal discipleship is a norm of biblical Christianity. Paul had many personal disciples. We know the more famous names, such as Timothy and Silas, but when we read Romans 16, we can see Paul’s significant lists of personal acquaintances in one location. Peter preached to large crowds but took time for personal interaction with some.