What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]? If a brother or sister is poorly clad and lacks food for each day, And one of you says to him, Good-bye(Keep [yourself] warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body, what good does that do? (James 2:14-16)
Her name means ‘pleasant creature,’ as it reflects the pleasantness and the kindness of this most tender woman.
That Woman of God was Tabitha, (Acts 9:36) an Israelite from the tribe of Dan. She was called Dorcas by her Greek-speaking friends, who she no doubt clothed with the beautiful garments that she had made with her very own hands.
She was a ‘faith-full’ follower of Jesus Christ and was thus called a ‘disciple’ of Jesus!!
Yes! Tabitha was the first female in the bible, who wore the ‘title’ of disciple, implying that she was a witnesses for Jesus in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria…to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
But Tabitha was not just a woman who witnessed with words only, she was not just a lovely tree with leaves abundant, blowing about in the wind, but lacking fruit like the cursed fig tree!!
In contrast, Tabitha was a righteous and flourishing tree with much fruit, whereby she freely and cheerfully shared her bountiful harvest with the widows and the poor in the neighboring communities!!
The Apostle, James tells us that faith without works is dead!!
– So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead). (James 2:17)
But Tabitha was a woman, ‘full of faith,’ and because she was also a seamstress, she dutifully sewed feet onto the faith the she wore so boldly!!
This was not a woman who idly watched the weary widows and the ‘coat-less’ orphans, as they shivered near the nighttime fires, where she merely prayed for their warmth and their health!!
Tabitha matched her faith with her works as she made beautiful garments to clothe and to cover them in the snow and to protect them from the rain!!
This woman was not lazy, nor idle with her hands; nor was she miserly with her wealth;
But like the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, Tabitha sought out and purchased wool and flax and worked willingly with her hands to develop it.
She was not one who merely opened her heart to the poor, but she also opened her hands to them, which were filled with charitable abundance and cheer!!
Tabitha was one who planted fruitful vines in her vineyard, as she also shared and confessed her Faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ, not just before the congregation, but also in the tents and huts of the poor in and around her community!!
And because so many non-believers witnessed Tabitha’s faith, plus her works…Tabitha’s ever-shining light drew many to Christ!
But unfortunately, Tabitha had fallen sick, and now her bright light had burned out, and she was found dead.
Oh how the community mourned and grieved because of her death!!
Indeed the abundant joy and the ‘faith-full’ cheer that she shared with so many would be greatly missed!!
Tabitha’s death was a great loss to the community in Joppa.
When the local disciples heard of Tabitha’s passing, they sent two men to Peter, begging him to come to Joppa to stretch forth his hands upon the Lord’s deceased disciple.
Having heard that Peter was near Joppa, where he had simply spoken to a man called, Aeneas, Peter declared that Jesus Christ had made him whole; and this man, who had been paralyzed for more than eight years, instantly stood upright and was now walking about in Lydda…full of faith!!
Peter was so inclined to go to Joppa with the other disciples, and before he could reach the upper chamber, where they had laid Tabitha’s body, Peter heard the sorrowful cries of those who were in attendance at her funeral!!
But what Peter noticed more-so than the outpouring of cries, were all the the dresses, the tunics, the coats, the blankets, and all the wonderful workings of this woman’s hands, who now lay lifeless before him.
This was not your average ‘going home’ ceremony, where the surviving friends and relatives stood before the church, bearing testimony to the decedent’s well run race…in a matter of two minutes or so!!
But this was a very sad funeral, where each arm, every back, and all the warmly clad bodies of the widows, the poor, and the ‘least of these’ bore witness and showed evidence of Tabitha’s love and her flourishing faith in Jesus Christ!!
When Jesus was sick, Tabitha Fed Him!!
When Jesus was thirsty, Tabitha gave Him drink!!
When Jesus was naked, Tabitha clothed Him!!
And When He was sick, Tabitha visited Jesus!!
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Mat 25:40)
And now, We see Jesus reciprocating the ‘faith-full’ favor that Tabitha had bestowed upon the widows and the poor, as He sends forth his apostle, Peter, possessed with the healing power of the Holy Spirit, to visit His ‘ever-faith-full’ disciple, Tabitha, who had also fallen sick!!
But Peter put them all out [of the room] and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, Tabitha, get up! And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she raised herself and sat upright. (Acts 9:40)
We Praise God for His ‘faith-full’ disciple, Tabitha, who Jesus Christ revived, restoring her health, and resuming her charitable lifestyle in a community with much need; where she very likely continued to be a walking, talking testimony to the Faith and also to the Healing and Redeeming Power of Jesus Christ, Our Savior!!