Jerusalem there was a little town
called Lydda, and as Peter was there one day he was told about a poor man named
Aeneas, who had been lying helpless on his bed for eight years.
Aeneas could not keep his head or his limbs still, and often he
could not even hold anything because his hands trembled so.
Had Jesus Christ ever healed anyone who was sick
Peter remembered very well how four friends had once carried such a poor man to Jesus, and
when they could not get near because of the crowd, they had broken through the roof and let the man down
on his bed or mat, right where Jesus was sitting.
Jesus had said to the poor man: "Take up thy bed and walk!"
and the man had risen up well and strong.
So now, when Peter heard that Aeneas was ill, he went at once to his house. How earnestly and anxiously
Aeneas looked at Peter, wondering if it could indeed be true that
he could heal him! Perhaps Aeneas had heard of Jesus Christ, and was sorry that he had not gone to Him while He was alive; but now it was too late, for Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified and was dead.
Aeneas did not know that the Holy Spirit of Jesus had come down to earth, to stay with men and women for ever. But Peter knew this, and he said to the sick man:
"Aeneas, Jesus Christ makes you whole; arise and make your bed!"
Then the man rose up instantly. His trembling ceased, his limbs and muscles were strong and healthy, and he was perfectly healed.
The news spread like lightning through the town and district, and the people
crowded to hear Peter; and as they listened to him they were quite sure that Jesus Christ was their true Lord
and Master, and they gave their hearts to Him and became Christians.
Now about nine miles from Lydda there was a seaside town called Joppa. There was a
harbor there, and ships came from all parts of the Mediterranean sea-coasts to
trade. Quite a number of Christians lived in Joppa, and amongst them was a woman named Tabitha, or
Everyone loved Dorcas, for though she was very rich, and might have lived for pleasure, and only for herself,
she spent her money and her time in working for the poor and making clothes, and she was especially kind
to poor widows who had no husbands to work for them.
To the great distress of her friends, Dorcas was suddenly seized with illness and died.
In that country it is the custom to bury people the day they die, but as
Dorcas's broken-hearted friends spoke together, they began to think of Peter, and to wish that
he had been there. Where was Peter? He was at Lydda, only nine miles away! Why should he not be
sent for? Might it not be possible that he could raise their beloved friend even from the dead?
We do not know whether the Christians really believed that Peter could do so great a miracle, but at least two men
offered to ride over to Lydda at full speed, to ask Peter to
When Peter was told the sorrowful news, he instantly knew within himself that the Holy Spirit of Jesus was
powerful enough even to raise the dead, so he gladly set off to Joppa with the two messengers.
They had laid Dorcas to rest in an upper room, and as Peter drew near, he must have remembered the time
when Jesus Christ raised Jairus daughter from the dead, for he heard the same sounds of wild weeping and
lamentations, and the poor widows rushed out towards him and bewailed their loss, and showed Peter the
garments and coats that Dorcas had made when she was alive.
Jesus Christ had been grieved at the sound of noise about the little girl who was dead, and had turned
everyone out of the room, except the father and mother, and Peter and James and John, and had even cried out:
Why do you make such a noise? the child is not dead, but sleeps!
So now Peter turned every single person out of the room, and remained all by himself, alone with the dead woman. Then he kneeled down and prayed to God, and knew in his heart that the power had been given him to bring back life into
At last, turning towards her, he said, in a tone of quiet command: "Tabitha, arise!" And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then Peter smiled at her, and gave her his hand, and raised her to her feet;
and calling her friends, he showed Dorcas to them, alive and perfectly well.
That day of mourning was turned into a day of great joy, and the people throughout all the country around
Joppa heard of the miracle and believed in Jesus Christ. We can imagine that even the sailors in the
harbor heard the wonderful news, and as they went off on their voyages,
they spread the story that a man named Peter, who was preaching a new religion about the Son of God, had
actually raised a woman from the dead.