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36 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. 37 But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 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. 39 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. 40 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. 41 Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. 43 So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.

 

The second healing ministry by Peter in this chapter is the restoration of Tabitha’s life (Acts 9:36-43).

9:36

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.

Tabitha, also named Dorcas, was known for serving others. She was a “disciple” (the only occurrence of the feminine for disciple in the NT). The word “disciple” implies that Tabitha learned from another in the Christian faith. She lived in Joppa, a Roman-controlled port city, which still exists today as Jaffa.

9:37

But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.

Tabitha became very sick and died. People prepared her for burial and put her on the second floor.

9:38

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.

Two men from Joppa were sent for Peter to come to heal Tabitha. These two men could not heal; they had to ask an apostle to do so. Peter was in nearby Lydda.

9:39

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.

When Peter arrived at the house in Joppa, the widows were mourning the death of Tabitha.

9:40

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.

Peter commanded Tabitha to arise. She opened her eyes and sat up. This event was not a resurrection unto immortality but a resuscitation from death only to die again.

9:41

Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.

Peter helped Tabitha get off her bed, and then he called the saints to present her alive.

9:42

And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.

Many people in the geographical area of Joppa became believers.

9:43

So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.

Peter remained in Joppa for many days with a tanner called Simon, who worked with carcasses. Tanning was an unclean practice for the Jews.

PRINCIPLE:

Healing in the New Testament is occasional and rare.

APPLICATION:

God does not give people the power to heal whenever they wish. Jesus did not heal everyone within His purview; neither did the apostles. Peter asked the Lord to heal Dorcas, whether it was His will. The healing was at the will of Christ.

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