Resources » Matthew Henry's Commentary » Acts » Chapter 9 » Verses 32–35

Verses 32–35

Here we have, I. The visit Peter made to the churches that were newly planted by the dispersed preachers, Acts 9:32. 1. He passed through all quarters. As an apostle, he was not to be the resident pastor of any one church, but the itinerant visitor of many churches, to confirm the doctrine of inferior preachers, to confer the Holy Ghost on those that believed, and to ordain ministers. He passed dia pantonamong them all, who pertained to the churches of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, mentioned in the foregoing chapter. He was, like his Master, always upon the remove, and went about doing good; but still his head-quarters were at Jerusalem, for there we shall find him imprisoned, Acts 12:2. He came to the saints at Lydda. This seems to be the same with Lod, a city in the tribe of Benjamin, mentioned 1 Chron. 8:12; Ezra 2:33. The Christians are called saints, not only some particular eminent ones, as saint Peter and saint Paul, but every sincere professor of the faith of Christ. These are the saints on the earth, Ps. 16:3.

II. The cure Peter wrought on Eneas, a man that had been bedridden eight years, Acts 9:33. 1. His case was very deplorable: He was sick of the palsy, a dumb palsy, perhaps a dead palsy. The disease was extreme, for he kept his bed; it was inveterate, for he kept his bed eight years; and we may suppose that both he himself and all about him despaired of relief for him, and concluded upon no other than that he must still keep his bed till he removed to his grave. Christ chose such patients as this, whose disease was incurable in a course of nature, to show how desperate the case of fallen mankind was when he undertook their cure. When we were without strength, as this poor man, he sent his word to heal us. 2. His cure was very admirable, Acts 9:34. (1.) Peter interested Christ in his case, and engaged him for his relief: Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole. Peter does not pretend to do it himself by any power of his own, but declares it to be Christ’s act and deed, directs him to look up to Christ for help, and assures him of an immediate cure—not, “He will make thee,” but, “He does make thee, whole;” and a perfect cure—not, “He makes thee easy,” but “He makes thee whole.” He does not express himself by way of prayer to Christ that he would make him whole, but as one having authority from Christ, and that knew his mind, he declares him made whole. (2.) He ordered him to bestir himself, to exert himself: “Arise and make thy bed, that all may see thou art thoroughly cured.” Let none say that because it is Christ that by the power of his grace works all our works in us therefore we have no work, no duty, to do; for, though Jesus Christ makes thee whole, yet thou must arise and make use of the power he gives thee: “Arise, and make thy bed, to be to thee no longer a bed of sickness, but a bed of rest.” (3.) Power went along with this word: he arose immediately, and no doubt very willingly made his own bed.

III. The good influence this had upon many (Acts 9:35): All that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord. We can scarcely think that every individual person in those countries took cognizance of the miracle, and was wrought upon by it; but many, the generality of the people in the town of Lydda and in the country of Saron, or Sharon, a fruitful plain or valley, of which it was foretold, Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, Isa. 65:10. 1. They all made enquiry into the truth of the miracle, did not overlook it, but saw him that was healed, and saw that it was a miraculous cure that was wrought upon him by the power of Christ, in his name, and with a design to confirm and ratify that doctrine of Christ which was now preached to the world. 2. They all submitted to the convincing proof and evidence there was in this of the divine origin of the Christian doctrine, and turned to the Lord, to the Lord Jesus. They turned from Judaism to Christianity; they embraced the doctrine of Christ, and submitted to his ordinances, and turned themselves over to him to be ruled and taught and saved by him.