Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.
Every once in a while, God brings along a friend that ministers by selflessly giving to others. I had one of those friends when I lived in Kansas. She simply was a great blessing. These godly people give by meeting obvious physical needs. Usually, they don’t want or hold a title or position. They are just quietly godly and aware of others in need around them.
Tabitha (Jewish) or Dorcas (Aramaic) meant “Gazelle.” This wonderful lady used her sewing skills to show others Christ’s love. Her reputation is a beautiful example to us all as she was known for her charitable acts of love for others. In her community, she ministered a lot to widows. Widows during Bible times were not usually able to provide for themselves. It was a cultural thing.
Sweet Tabitha died, and her friends mourned so much that they sent for Peter. Now remember, this was a woman! Back then, women were not esteemed important at all. It was quite the thought, considering the culture, that two men would take the time to go get Peter in the next town about 10 miles away. Peter comes and witnesses the handiwork of this sweet godly woman and asks her body to “arise.” All of Joppa heard of her miracle and believed in Jesus because of it.
We are not saved by our works, but we are known by them. The book of James has much to say about works. Tabitha was simply a godly woman. I love that about this story! God honors her for her simple love for others in this passage. Her reputation was a reflection of her love for her Savior. What does your reputation reflect?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
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