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"In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 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!'" New International Version
In verse 36, we see faith in action as Tabitha is described as both a disciple and one who "was always doing good and helping the poor". If you are a disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ, it will be evident in your actions just as it was for Tabitha. The rest of this passage gives us an example of faith as the other disciples believed that Jesus would use Peter to bring Tabitha back to life. A question comes to mind as to whether she would want to come back to this life. The other disciples assumed that she would and sent for Peter.
"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." New International Version
In this passage, we see that Tabitha (Dorcas) was mourned by the widows. She was remembered for her skills at sewing. This brings us to a question that we should all ask ourselves: What will we be remembered for? Will we be remembered for material things or for eternal things and which is more important?
"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." New International Version
In this verse, we see an example of how to tap into the power of God. We see that, before Peter told Tabitha to get up, he knelt in prayer. Peter knew that without God he could do nothing but through prayer he could even call a woman back from the dead. We, as Christians, can also wield the power of God but, like Peter, it starts with humbly bowing in prayer.
"He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord." New International Version
We notice in this passage the reason for this healing. Because of this miracle, many people came to the Lord. When we come to Christ, our every action should be focused on this same purpose. We, like Peter, are called to be the salt and light of this world.
"Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon." New International Version
At first glance, we may not see much to this verse but God was really working on Peter. God had Peter stay with a tanner which was a person that worked with the skins of dead animals. You see, Peter was Jewish therefore staying with a tanner would really not be something he wanted to do because Jewish law said that touching dead animals or people made you unclean.
Have you been in situations where you were very uncomfortable? Did you think that maybe God had you there for a specific purpose?