There is something special about gratitude. It inspires faith and motivates and produces action. Dorcas was motivated to do good works and charitable deeds. The community in Joppa was motivated to seek God’s power to resurrect Dorcas. Peter was motivated to show God’s power and comfort the those who were mourning. The miracle of the resurrection of Dorcas created a revival in Joppa. Let’s look at this miracle more closely.
When you allow God to use you, He is glorified and others are inspired to glorify our Father. In some cases, people are brought to faith in Christ. Have you led someone to the Lord? Have you inspired others to glorify our Father in heaven? Are you being used by God to do good works?
“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. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. 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. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.” (Acts 9:36-43)
Tabitha, called Dorcas was a virtuous woman. She was full of good works and charitable deeds. Are you a person who is noted for doing good works and charitable deeds? I like this word “full,” which seems to indicate filled up and is the opposite if being empty. She was full of acts of goodness. She made tunics and garments that others cherished. A charitable deed has its root in mercy – meeting the need of another, which may include giving money to some. Dorcas was full of these deeds. Dorcas may have been a widow, so it is understandable to read that she was full of good works and charitable deeds. Have you been a doer of good works in the name of Jesus? Have you been meeting the needs of others with your giving? Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
When you bless others, they find value in your life. In some cases, they will seek to bless you. In this narrative, Dorcas had died. But the people who she blessed believed that she still had a purpose in this life. Two men were chosen to visit Peter ten miles away and ask him to accompany them back to Joppa without delay and resurrect Dorcas. Did they really believe that Peter would pray and resurrect her? Or did they want their mustard seed of faith to be strengthened and the comfort of the great Apostle Peter’s presence? They got all three and more. Their faith was strengthened, their mourning was comforted, Dorcas was resurrected, and many more were saved.
Joppa was ten miles northwest of Lydda. Peter was an important Apostle. The Joppa believers had a desire, dare I say a need, that Peter was unaware of and may not have been available to meet that need. Dorcas was already dead. Yet there were two men who acted in faith, willing to risk being rebuffed, in their effort to bring Peter to Joppa. They had quite a journey ahead of them, perhaps 2-3 hours, and were filled with hope, anticipation, and uncertainty. The return trip would be an additional 2-3 hours. Would it be filled with hope or dread? Would they be encouraged or discouraged? If Peter came, what would they talk to the great Apostle Peter about during the journey back to Joppa? Faith produces action without having all the details. Faith produces action even when desired outcomes seem :impossible. Dorcas was in glory. But the other believers wanted her to come back to life.
Are You Believing For The Impossible?
Do you have a desire for something that you allowed to die? Is there a desire or need that you are praying about, but have not seen an answer? Do you believe in a miracle-working God? Do you believe that God is able to do the impossible? Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He asked you to keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking. God does do the impossible. God does answer prayer. God does bring life where there is death. Hallelujah!
Friends And The Lame Man
Sometimes, it isn’t your faith that creates a miracle in your life. It is your friends. A lame man was resigned to being crippled, and was unaware that he needed to be forgiven of his sin. His friends knew that Jesus was a healer. Do you believe this? Dorcas’s friends believed this. Perhaps, you are the friend that someone needs to bring them to Christ or to be healed. You can be a healer or a mediator. You can be a catalyst. Let’s look at the miraculous story about four friends and a lame man.
There’s A Hole In My Roof
Four friends of a lame man had enough faith in Jesus as a healer, that they wanted to bring their friend to Jesus. The place they carried him was completely full of people. But they were determined to get their friend to Jesus. So they broke through the ceiling and lowered their friend right in front of Jesus. Little did these friends know that Jesus would use the lame man as a teaching example. Jesus saw their faith, not the faith of the lame man. Not only did Jesus heal this man, but He forgave him of his sins. And Jesus was able to teach the Pharisees about His deity having the power to forgive sins, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins – He said to the paralytic, I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” (Mk 2:10-11) Will the Lord see your faith and bless someone in need? Perhaps, you are in need of Jesus forgiving or healing you. Jesus wants to heal and forgive. Jesus wants to use you to bring others to Him for healing and forgiveness. Have you been guilty of breaking through a roof to get someone to Jesus?
Good Intentions Require Action
The lame man’s friends acted on their faith. Dorcas’s friends acted on their faith. The following quote by Les Brown is quite insightful, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” If you have hopes, dreams, unused gifts, and limited influence, ask God to provide opportunities to bring to pass your hopes and dreams, to use your gifts, and to influence others to grow in Christ and come to Christ.
Jesus showed us that He could heal from a distance. The Apostles were able to heal sick people and demonized people, and many people were hopeful that the shadow of Peter passing by might heal their loved ones (Acts 5:15). Paul was to heal others by handkerchiefs or aprons that he touched and were taken to those who needed deliverance from diseases and demons (Acts 19:12). Yet, Peter came to Joppa. I am sure his presence was comforting. But his personal prayer was effective in resurrecting her, “And turning to the body he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up…” (Acts 9:40-41) The ones who loved Dorcas had their impossible prayer answered. Dorcas had come back to life.
The Return Of Dorcas
Try to put yourself in the shoes of her friends. Their despair and grief turned to joy and hope. Their faith was rewarded. But this miracle was not just for themselves. It led many sinners to faith in Christ. Put yourself in the shoes of Dorcas. You were in heaven but you then returned to this life. You became aware of the relentless faith and love of your friends. You got to witness a revival. It was the good works and charitable deeds that compelled the friends of Dorcas to seek out Peter, so that he could come, pray and resurrect her. Peter did all that the people expected. Do you have friends like Dorcas? Do you do good works and charitable deeds? Do you inspire others to praise God for your life? The purpose of Be A Living Miracle is to inspire and encourage you to do good works in the name of Jesus.
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (Jn 14:12)