Summary: Tabitha had a reputation among the believers as being "full of good works." She helped people by using the talents she had to encourage others. Her death stunned the community, where she was adored for her sweet , giving spirit.
I. The Restoration Of A Cripple (32-35)
A. A Paralyzed Man
B. A Powerful Miracle
The Raising Of A Corpse
Tabitha, whose Greek name is Dorcas lived in Joppa, which was about fifty miles northwest of Jerusalem on the Mediterranean Sea.
Joppa is the city where Jonah fled to catch a ship to Tarshish when God called him to the city of Nineveh to preach.
Tabitha had a reputation among the believers as being "full of good works." She helped people by using the talents she had to encourage others. Her death stunned the community, where she was adored for her sweet , giving spirit.
I. The Legacy of Tabitha (vs.36)
Though Tabitha neither preached nor led in the early church, she was mightily used of God. She had a good name. Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”
In the early morning hours of April 15, 1865, the well-known actor John Wilkes Booth and a companion stopped at the Maryland home of Dr. Samuel Alexander Mudd. He asked the doctor to treat his broken leg. Ever since there has been controversy as to whether or not Dr. Mudd knew that Booth had assassinated President Lincoln and failed to surrender him to military authorities. Recently a U.S. Congressman from Maryland introduced the "Samuel Mudd Relief Act" designed to exonerate the doctor. Guilty or not, even today, when we speak of someone with a bad name we say, "His name is mud."
What kind of name do you have? Is your name mud, or do you have a good name?
A. Full of good labor -works
Anyone can talk the talk; however, Tabitha walked the walk.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” - Ephesians 2:10.
Tabitha was a wonderful, wonderful woman. It says she was full of good works. The concept of fullness means totally devoted to, totally controlled by. This woman was totally devoted to good works. She was the one who did things for the poor and did things for the needy. She was, in effect, a woman who was the personification of what a Christian should be.
Her life was a spiritual example to everybody, and this is the introduction that we have to this woman. If we knew nothing else about her, we knew enough to know what a wonderful person she was.
A woman was once chatting over the fence with her neighbor, “We are going to be living in abetter community next month.”
“So are we,” answered the neighbor.
“What? Are you moving too?”
“No,” she answered. “We are staying.” Some help a community when they come, others when they leave. Some lift a community, others lower a community; some enrich while others empty.
May we with the Lord’s help make our community a little better. Dorcas did.
B. Full of gracious love - charity
She was filled with love and compassion for others. Her compassion took on a practical character (39).
She spent her life in acts of kindness and charity. Her soul was full of love to God and man; and her whole time was filled up with works of piety and mercy.
She was known for the activities and generosities of the Christian character.
II. The Loss of Tabitha (37-39)
Tabitha died. This caused much sorrow for her services were irreplaceable. Her body was tenderly washed and laid out in an upper chamber pending burial.
The disciples knew that Peter’s nearby, so they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
A. The presence of Peter
"Then Peter arose and went." You know, that is amazing to me. Peter is a busy man, and yet he goes.
They ran to him and they said, "Look, Peter, there’s a bunch of widows up there that are all broken up, ’cause Dorcas died. A bunch of little old ladies, and we just need ya." Peter takes the time for people who are hurting and in need of encouragement.
It is really strange what Peter does when he gets the message of her death. Peter doesn’t say, "Praise the Lord. She’s with the Lord. You widows just pick up the slack.” He just got up and went to Joppa. He dropped everything. You know, it’s a wonderful thing about being so involved with people that they know you’re committed to them and so uninvolved that God knows He can move you whenever He’s ready to. We need to be involved with the people to whom God has us and ready to go when He calls us.
Peter was available. There’s such a blessedness in just being available. In the work of God, you are only as valuable to God as you are available to God.