Tuesday 05 May 2015

Bible Book:

“Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity.” (v. 36)

Acts 9:36-43 Tuesday 5 May 2015

Psalm: Psalm 1


In this story we are told of a disciple calledTabitha or in the Greek Dorcas. This name in both the Aramaic andGreek form means"gazelle"which in Song of Solomon is a metaphor forthe "beloved" (Songs 2:9).The comparison is fitting for thisdisciple who devoted her life to good works and acts of charitywithin her community. Tabitha lived in the sea port of Joppasituated about 12 miles from Lydda where Peter had healed a lameman (Acts 9:32-35).

We know little of Tabitha other than what we readhere but we can see she continued the Jewish practice of caring forothers in her community. One of the good works she did for thesepeople was making clothes for them. As Peter arrives he is shownthem by the gathered mourners to illustrate what she meant to thisgroup (verse 39).

It is strange for the body of someone who haspassed away not to be buried before sunset. It may be that thisdelay shows developing belief that those who die in the Lord wouldexperience resurrection. The fact that they knew one of theApostles was close by (verse 38) may indicate that they hoped hisquick arrival would see this hope confirmed.

Peter, on arrival to the place where she lay,follows the example set by Jesus (Mark5:35-43). He puts out the gathered mourners, prays, then utterssimilar words to that of Jesus, and Tabitha sits up. Peter leadsher out to the joy of those gathered, and news of this miraclespreads around the region and many believe.

It maybe the miraculous raising of Tabitha thatgrabs our attention, but this story illustrates two vital forms ofministry. On the one hand Peter shows us the power of prayer andthe miraculous. On the other Tabitha portrays generous hospitalityand care for others.

To Ponder

  • What kind of ministry do you find most often in thechurch?
  • By leaving Tabitha in an upper room and calling for Petershowed the believers had faith she would be raised to life. Whatthings do you believe God will do? And how are you expressing thatfaith in the things you do?
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