But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.
¶So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
¶Now it came about that as Peter was traveling through all those parts, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; arise, and make your bed.” And immediately he arose. And all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
¶Now in Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity, which she continually did. And it came about at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an
upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, entreating him, “Do not delay to come to us.” And Peter arose and went with them. And when he had come, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him weeping, and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. But Peter sent 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. And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And it came about that he stayed many days in Joppa with a certain tanner,
To start with let’s get the bigger picture. Below we have Joppa in the setting of the Mediterranean sea and then we have a more focused picture. Peter was walking from Jerusalem through the middle of Israel towards the Mediterranean Sea. There is a road that runs from Jerusalem to Joppa. Then you go north towards Caesarea. Caesarea plays a prominent role in the next chapterMore on that next post
This section starts off with Paul being sent to Tarsus where he will stay for an extended period and grow over a period of 14 years until later Barnabas will bring them back into the local ministry of the church. At this point Peter comes back into the story. Despite the persecution the church is summarized as enjoying peace throughout Jerusalem Judea, Galilee and Samaria. Now Peter is heading towards the Mediterranean and there was a road from Jerusalem that landed in Joppa. The town Lydda was about half way there. Peter in his usual way heals a bed ridden man of 8 years ( without months of PT in rehab) and he gets up and makes his bed. This is a sign and wonder that reminds of the last words of Jesus, You shall receive power...and be My. Witnesses... Of course a revival breaks out! From there Peter moves to the Mediterranean to a city called Joppa (modern Jaffa) lay some 12 miles (19 km) from Lydda on the coast (the city Jonah gets on a boat to get away from the Lord) and finds someone named Tabitha (name means gazelle) had just died. She was very generous with her gifts. She was loved by everyone. It was a believing community. It was devastating when she died. Peter goes beyond just healing someone to raising the dead. He did it in the middle of a viewing. Can you imagine this happening in the middle of a lot of grieving Jews? This is the first recorded time of a disciple raising the dead. It is not the last. One of the things to note is that Luke records these peoples name, it is not just a generic person. The other thing to note is that the community had faith, themselves otherwise why would they call for Peter to come quickly? Do we have faith like that?