Acts, Devotional, Everyone Has a Story, New Testament, Series

Tabitha or Dorcas: The story of a Disciple (Acts 9:36-43 Devotional)

“Everyone Has a Story” 3rd character unlocked – Tabitha or Dorcas

36 Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37 In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.

ACTS 9:36-43 ESV

Whether we like it or not, our life on earth will one day come to an end. What do you want people to remember about you? What legacy do you want to leave behind? Today’s story is about a disciple who died but left a priceless gift adored and missed by many around her. Her name is Tabitha in Hebrew or Docas when translated into Greek. 

Who was Tabitha or Dorcas?

The Bible did not document many personal details about Dorcas. Her age, occupation, wealth, class, and marital status were not revealed. However, this verse provides some crucial information about Dorcas – 

Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity.”  

Acts 9:36

Luke simply called her a disciple. Dorcas was a disciple, a learner, and a follower of Christ. How did she display her identity? We do not know of her words or any preachings she delivered. But she lived out her name of “disciple” by having “full of good works and acts of charity.” We also know that she was talented in sewing, and she utilized her skills to care for the widows by hand-making their tunics and garments. So when she died, the widows grieved for their loss, and they brought Dorcas’s clothes to show Peter.  

A great painter would create a masterpiece for people to remember. A sculptor would create a sculpture. A poet would write a poem, and a musician would play a song. Then what should disciples of Christ make? These widows were presenting the fruits of Dorcas’s living faith. She was a compassionate, loving, and caring disciple who used her talents to touch and make a difference in people’s lives.  

God has equipped each of us with many gifts to bear the fruits of good deeds for Him.  As Paul wrote to the Romans: 

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your  faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:6-8

We can add to the list – if your gift is cooking, then cook; if you like baking, then bake; if you are good at planning, then be a planner. But do of all these diligently and faithfully for the Lord.  

How do you want to write your story as a disciple of Jesus?

And what fruits do you produce with your living faith? 

Humbly pray and ask the Lord to teach and show you how you can make a difference with the gifts He gave you today.  

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