Key Bible Verses

Acts 9:36-43

Who Was She?

Tabitha was a disciple of Jesus who lived in Joppa (modern day Tel Aviv). She was sometimes known by the Greek translation of her name (Dorcas). It is likely that at the time of the events recorded in Acts, she was a widow. In these verses she dies and through Peter’s prayer is restored to life. As the story is being told, we see some details of how God had been at work through her in addition to this miracle.

How Did the Spirit Work In Her?

1. Acts of Charity

The first thing we are told about Tabitha (other than her being a disciple) is that she was full of good works and acts of charity. In particular, this is a reference to acts of kindness that she showed towards those who could give her nothing in return. The Holy Spirit at work through this ordinary lady was expressed in the love and kindness that she showed.

2. Beloved in Community

When Tabitha had died and Peter arrived, all the widows stood beside the apostle in tears for their friend, and they showed garments that Tabitha had made for them. She had made an impact on this group of people, and was known and loved by them. This shows that a spirit-filled life does not only consist of the spectacular but also the ordinary.

3. Used Her Gifts

There is no record of Tabitha being a prophet, a preacher or a musician, but we do know that she was good at sewing and able to make garments and so this is what she used to bless others and serve the church. Sometimes we can have a narrow perspective on what God can use in us and what counts as a ‘spiritual gift’, but Tabitha is a great example. She did what she was good at and served God by doing so!