How are we going to be remember – Tabitha         

How are we going to be remember - Tabitha

How are we going to be remember to others after our death in this life.  We know we are going to be changed when our Lord Jesus returns to the earth.

Let’s stop for a minute, think about someone you really knew as a close friend and have died.  Waiting to see them in the future.  Remember how you were affected by them.

Let’s look at the life of one woman from the Scriptures, a disciple of our Lord Jesus and what she did.  Dorcas restored to life.  Remember, in our discussion some do not believe women are considered disciples and doing what is good.

Acts 9:36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was known for her good actions and acts of charity that she was always doing.

Tabitha lived in Joppa, {today know as Jaffa} a seaport town in Palestine, 35 miles northwest of Jerusalem, a Mediterranean coastal city. Dorcas in the Greek (meaning “gazelle”), a saintly Christian noted for her good works and acts of love for the poor and deeds of love

Solomon used this port to receive timber that was used for the building of the Temple. Joppa is where Jonah ran to catch a boat for Tarshish.  Joppa is situated in a fertile plain now celebrated for its fine oranges,

Some things to observe about Dorcas, shows Christian character

Dorcas had three names: She’s known as Tabitha, AKA Dorcas & Gazelle. Tabitha is her Aramaic (Syrian) name and Dorcas is her Grecian name. Both of these names mean gazelle or any small antelope of Africa and Asia, a creature with stunning eyes and swift feet and graceful movements.

Dorcas is called a disciple in vs 36, that it may be seen that under the gospel there is no distinction between male and female 

Dorcas is the only woman called a disciple in the Scriptures. A disciple was a learner, a follower and one who was determined to be like his or her teacher.  She was committed follower of Jesus.

Disciple: 3102; mathetria {math-ay-tree-ah} means a female pupil, a disciple. Used only here with Apostle Paul, 1 time

Acts 9:10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 

Disciple: 3101; mathetes {a learner, that is, a pupil – disciple} 268 times

Lets look at this verse and tell me what do you think, are men and women disciples.

Acts 9:2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

Galatians 3:28 Because all of you are one in the Messiah Jesus, a person is no longer a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a male or a female.

Philippians 4:3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Acts 9:37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.

Dorcas was single or a widow: Most commentators think she was a widow or single because there is no mention of any man in her life. We know we do not need a man or woman to complete us, because we can serve God as a single person.

Dorcas had fallen ill and died. She was prepared for burial and placed in the upper chamber, usually used as a guest chamber

Apparently having heard of the healing of Aeneas by Peter, some disciples from Joppa sent to Lydda to fetch Peter, hoping that he could come and perform an even greater miracle on the behalf of their beloved Tabitha

Acts 9:33-34 There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years.  (34)  “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up.

Acts 9:38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”

There is no evidence that they expected that Peter would raise her up to life or from what I can tell, no Apostle had restored any as of yet, from dead to life.

Acts 9:39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

I believe the widows wanted comfort by the Apostle Peter with his present there.  Notice, all the widows stood around him.

  • Dorcas did her deeds in secret:
  • Tabitha did not do anything heroic like Deborah or risky like Rahab.
  • She simply served her Savior by ministering to the people.
  • The needs of people moved her to action. She was not lazy.
  • She knitted those clothes for people.

The Bible says that she was “full of good works.” Wouldn’t you agree that there are more people filled with words than there are people filled with works? 

These widows were the women who, with the dead Dorcas, had been busy in the good works to which they were all devoted to the people.

What happened next is proof that our Lord Jesus is full of glorious, unrestrained power.  Following Jesus example.

Acts 9:40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

Peter just followed Lord Jesus example

Matthew 9:25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.

Acts 9:41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive.

Peter gave her his hand, and lifted her up as his Lord Jesus had done to his own mother-in-law

Mark 1:31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

The Bible says that she was “full of good works.” Wouldn’t you agree that there are more people filled with words than there are people filled with works? 

Acts 9:42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

The resurrection of Dorcas was also a major reason so many people in Joppa believed.  This miracle performed in the name of Lord Jesus led many to faith in Lord Jesus.

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Titus 3:8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Summary: It is true that deeds of believers follow them even after death. Thus when death occurs, let us be just this blunt about it, some believers leave a vacuum that just cannot be easily filled. After we become Christians, our deeds do matter here & beyond.  Count toward our rewards.

Sometimes bad things do happen to Believers.  When what we see as bad things happen to believers, as with Tabitha, some in the faith begin to conclude and wonder why that happen to a believer. 

Be careful what you wish upon others. The Bible says “the same measure you measure shall be measured unto you.”

Matthew 7:2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

We cannot help everyone, but we can help someone.  One person at a time.  Our time, financial limits cannot help many, but someone through a group to help.  Family, household of the Faith and then others.

Tabitha was always doing good and helping the poor, but not interfering in their lives, example gossiping about those she help.  She cared for her family and the believers in the church.

She is an example from Proverbs 31.  Tabitha was a seamstress

Proverbs 31:13 She seeks out wool and flax, working with eager hands.

Proverbs 31:19-20 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.  (20)  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Tabitha learn from the Apostle Peter that small things done with great love will change the world. 

1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

As we serve other believers, the Body of Christ, the church is strengthened.

Peter came at once when asked by the Church.  The widows stood around Peter and showing him the robes and other clothing that Tabitha made everything they were wearing.  Total services to others in the Church.

After we become Christians, our deeds do matter here & beyond.

Interesting question, why did God allow Tabitha to be raised and not Stephen, who was killed and died as public martyred.

Was she a huge financial contributor? Was she a miracle worker?

She was raised because God does not want compassion to die in the church! 

What did she do after being resurrected.  The Scriptures does not say.

Because of her character, she probably went right back to her quiet service to others.

This miracle glorified our Lord Jesus and the Father, they believed

Acts 9:42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

I sure Tabitha was told by Peter what Jesus said about love.

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  (35)  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

We are to show our love to other believers as Tabitha has done.

1 Peter 1:22-23 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.  (23)  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

How did Tabitha encourage each other in the church.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, (25) not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 3:12-13 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  (13)  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Dorcas is a fine example of how we are to meet the needs of those around us. Christians are to 

Galatians 2:10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

This was the type of religion Tabitha practiced.

We also see in the story of Tabitha how the Body of Christ functions as a whole. We are united in Jesus, and the believers in Joppa mourned the loss of Dorcas as a close family member.

1 Corinthians 12:26-27 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  (27)  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Tabitha was one of their own, and her absence left a huge void in their lives.

She was an Inspirational Woman to the Body of Christ, choosing to use her talents to serve others.

What are some other women examples in the New Testament:

We will look at it in the next few weeks.

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