Jesus’ Life: Chapter 20 – Early Spread Of Gospel By the Disciples
While Peter was in Lydda, some seven or so miles away a woman named Tabitha (Greek for Dorcas) became ill and died. Like many others in the region, she was possibly a convert of Philips. She was well known and highly respected in the community for her multiple “good deeds and acts of charity”. (Acts 9:36) As was the custom, they washed and anointed her body and then placed it in an upstairs room in readiness for burial.
When other disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they hurriedly sent two men to urge him to come quickly to Joppa. Their intentions were unclear! Perhaps they simply wanted him to join them in prayer before her burial the following day or maybe they had heard of his miraculous works and believed he could restore her to life!
When Peter arrived, they brought him to the upstairs room. The women stood around weeping and showing him the clothing and tunics Dorcas had made while alive.
Peter, after removing the women from the room, “knelt down and prayed”. Then he turned to the dead woman and said, “Tabitha” (Meaning, get up). Immediately, by the power of Jesus, Dorcas “opened her eyes and when she saw Peter, sat up”. Peter then took her by the hand and led her out to the mourning women.
When the news spread of Dorcas’ miraculous raising from the dead throughout Joppa and the surrounding area, many believed that Jesus was the Messiah and were baptised.
Peter remained in Joppa for “many days,” staying with Simon, a tanner. (Interestingly, many Jews considered the job of tanner unclean because of the contact with dead animals and blood. Peter, however, held no dislike for anyone!) (Acts 9:36-43)
As I think of Peter praying on his knees, I imagine him recalling the day when Jesus took his own mother-in-law by the hand and raised her back to health and the day He took Jairus’ daughter by the hand and raised her back to life!
Where there is faith, Jesus continues to work miracles, so that “we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing we may have life in his Name”. (John 20:31)
Lord Jesus, increase my wisdom so that I may overcome all my faith-challenges and praise you more and more at the beginning and end of each new day. Amen.
Prayer: Psalm 50
A pure heart, create for me, O God.
Put a new and loyal spirit within me.
Do not send me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your Holy Spirit.