Acts 9:36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.
Acts 9:37 But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.
Acts 9:39-40 And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, 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.
If you have a friend named Tabitha, I would not recommend you introduce her in this way, “Hi, this is my friend Tabitha which translates to Dorcas.” Nevertheless, that’s what Luke does here, letting us know that her Hebrew name was Tabitha and her Greek name is Dorcas. Both Tabitha and Dorcas mean Gazelle. We know from scripture that Tabitha was a wonderful Christian woman who was charitable and benevolent, giving of her own abilities to help others who were in need.
Luke says that she was full of good works and charitable deeds, which she did. Now, why did Luke add the “which she did” to the end of the sentence? Well, because there are a lot of Christians who are full of good works and charitable deeds; they have the potential and the ability, but they never do them. Many of these Christians stand back and talk about how other people are doing it wrong, how they could do it better, or what they should do, but they don’t lift a finger themselves to help. It’s not that they can’t, it’s that they don’t. God let’s us know in this verse that He recognizes a difference in Christians who don’t and Christians who do.
Reenforcing the point, Luke tells us that the widows who were weeping over Tabitha showed Peter the tunics and garments which she had made for them. So many Christians … since we are all filled and empowered by the same Spirit, let’s say EVERY Christian, has the potential to make a difference … they WILL make a difference, if they will.
The widows who were weeping showed Peter tunics she had made for them, certainly a great skill but not one that only she possessed. Others could have done the same, but it was Tabitha who did and she made a difference in the lives of those widows. In fact, I don’t think God raised Tabitha from the dead for her own sake, she was better off with the Lord. God raised Tabitha for the benefit of those who were so blessed by her. We all need to consider this. What difference are we making in the lives of others, or are we making a difference? What impression do you leave people with? What affect do you have on the lives of others? We all have a birthdate, and should the Lord tarry, we all have an expiration date, both of which will be inscribed on a stone at our grave site. But what is most important lies between those two dates, represented by a dash, the memories and the moments, the affect we had on the world. You are living that dash now, and you have the ability to fill that dash with amazing God things that stand the test of time, or temporary worldly things that will fade away. The most important thing in that dash is a moment in time where you choose life by choosing to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. None of us know when the dash ends and the terminal date will be added and once we have died, we no longer have the choice to receive salvation. Make today the day you choose life.
Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”