One of the books I’ve got on the go is Tom Wright’s commentary on Acts (Acts for Everyone). I’m currently still in part 1 and have just read the section on Acts 9:32-42, Peter exercising his ministry in the healing of Aeneas and Dorcas.
Neither is a famous person. Aeneas is a paralysed man living in Lydda and Dorcas (also known as Tabitha) was from the nearby, coastal town of Joppa. Dorcas had actually died, her body have been washed and laid out ready for burial, so this latter story is a full-on resurrection.
Particularly in the story of Dorcas, we see that she had significance to those around her; she made garments and I wonder if she kept her friends clothed and otherwise afloat through this labour? She was certainly known for ‘good works and generous deeds’ (v36). However, neither has been mentioned before or is named again; they are ‘ordinary’ believers rather than key leaders like Peter.
In a couple of hours, I’ll be at church with the congregation gathering for the morning service. As I look around, I’ll remember the glowing description and humble admiration that Wright gives of people such as Aeneas and Dorcas:
“… I greet them as what they are, the beating heart of the people of God”Wright, T. Acts for Everyone, Part 1. SPCK, 2008. (p.155)