Acts: resurrection of Dorcas

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Tirian, Oct 15, 2013.

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  1. Tirian

    Tirian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Folks,

    I was really blessed for personal reasons reading about Peter roaming the countryside encouraging the church. One thing I didn't really understand was he significance of Peter visiting the home where Dorcas was laid out after dying and he prayed over her, and her life was restored. Why was this incidence recorded? My wife said she took great comfort knowing that Jesus knew.Dorcas and her life was important for the Kingdom. Is that he heart of this account?
     
  2. jambo

    jambo Puritan Board Senior

    It is not really for us to speculate as to why one incident was recorded in scripture and another left out. Except to say that all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and the training up of righteousness and for that reason alone the account of Dorcas is given in Acts 9.

    Not that I am going to speculate but I suppose v42 explains the outcome of the restoration of Dorcas whilst chapter 10 shows what happened to Peter when he stayed at Joppa.
     
  3. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    One of the main themes early on in Acts is signs and wonders that attest to the truth of the gospel and the apostles' ministry. This account certainly fits that theme in a big way.

    Starting in chapter 8, another theme is the Holy Spirit's work through the ministry of the apostles to spread the gospel beyond Jerusalem and into all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The account of Dorcas fits this as well. It was a sign and wonder for the people in Joppa and the surrounding area, that they too would believe the gospel: "And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord" (Acts 9:42).

    This seems to be the main way it follows the trajectory of the book. Of course, that's not to say we can't also learn many other delightful truths from the account.
     
  4. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Indeed, it also sets the stage for laying plain the new order. The Dorcas and Aeneas healings established Peter's delegated authority as an ambassador of Christ. Right after this, he dwells with Simon the Tanner in Joppa. That is the setting for his vision of the unclean animals and the command to "Rise, Kill, and Eat."

    Peter, who likely saw himself blessed to be a herald of the Gospel of Christ to all the Jews, was suddenly thrust into something new: He was to confirm the Gospel promise to the Gentiles as well.
     
  5. Tirian

    Tirian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Jew first.... Women included.... Then the Gentiles?
     
  6. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    The rubric in Acts seems more geographical/national than ethnic. Acts 1:8 sets up the whole book: "...you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Of course, as gospel preaching spread beyond Jerusalem the issue of what to do about Gentiles had to be dealt with and so the Jew/Gentile side of things is addressed quite a bit. Inclusion of Gentiles is a big deal. But I think it's even more fundamentally about the gospel going to all the nations. Consider how the initial preaching of the gospel in Acts 2 is understood by everyone present and then, to underscore this idea, Luke lists all the nationalities that were represented. He doesn't just say that Gentiles (all lumped together) were there too. He takes the time to list the nations separately. The point is that gospel ministry is expanding to include absolutely every nation.
     
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