In this lesson, let's look and see what we can learn about this section of scripture - Acts 9:36-42.
We must pay careful attention to the sequence of events - watching God's providence.
THE LESSON BEGINS AT JOPPA.
Joppa was named here for a purpose.
40 miles west of Jerusalem - seaport.
One of the oldest cities on earth.
Timber from Lebanon floated here from Tyre to build Solomon's temple - II Chronicles 2:16.
Jonah caught his boat here.
Necessary for Acts 10 - Find Peter at Joppa - Acts 10:5.
For Gentiles to be admitted.
Dorcas got the preacher ready for Acts 10.
THE LESSON IS ABOUT TABITHA - DORCAS.
Name means: Gazelle - sleek, fast, lovely, graceful, charming.
She was a disciple - v. 36.
Matthew 28:18-20 - Evangelism involves making disciples.
Becomes a student, learner.
Her life was that of learning about Jesus.
This is the only place in the Greek text that the word "disciple" has a feminine ending.
What can be learned about Dorcas:
Probably a widow.
Had an unusual interest and rapport with widows - v. 39, 41.
Helped the poor - v. 36.
She had a special ministry to the poor and widows.
SHE WAS FULL OF GOOD WORKS.
Jesus went about doing good - Acts 10:38. She was like Jesus.
Hebrews 10:24 - provoking to good works.
Ephesians 2:10 - created for good works.
Nothing is said of her being a teacher of anything "great".
Nothing is said about her "spirituality."
All that is said is that she could use a SEWING NEEDLE.
Her needle was her mission field.
She took advantage of the talent she had.
She left something to show - be proud of.
She was a giver - worker.
All of us are going to die - none are exempt.
The crying stands out.
Who will cry when you die?
When she died, the church cried.
They sought after Peter because they wanted a resurrection.
THE COMING OF PETER.
He was at Lydda.
He had healed a crippled man of 8 years - v. 32-35.
Two men were sent to get Peter - v. 38.
The spirit of the church at Joppa had died - her spirit was vital to this new church.
What would have happened if God had raised Stephen? (Acts 7). The power of the cross would have been nullified.
Why not Paul? Peter? James?
Dorcas was resurrected back to a dying life - not like Jesus.
WHAT CAN BE LEARNED FROM THIS?
Every ball team, organization, church must have a spirit - a catalyst.
Dorcas was theirs.
Every member loved her, trusted her, rallied around her. She was the spirit of the church.
She, by her disposition, action - was the strength of that church.
She was the GLUE that held the church together.
The name Dorcas - Tabitha was a Hellenistic or Grecian name.
Her culture and name betrayed her to the Jewish world.
She was viewed as closer to a Gentile than a Jew because of her name.
NOTE: This is important to the GREAT STEP that will be taken in Chapter 10 - going to the Gentiles.
God placed Peter in the company of this woman to temper him and his prejudice to prepare him to go into
the Gentile world and present Jesus to that world. Her sweet and serving spirit prepared Peter for the
task God was going to call him to do.
God's purpose was bigger than a needle.
God chose her needle to show HIS GLORY.
Before Peter could tackle the house of Cornelius, he had to be taught the value of a needle.
Peter, you need to meet Dorcas.
You need to know her spirit and her heart.
You need to see the value of what a woman with something as simple as a needle can do.
The resurrection of Dorcas did more for Peter than it did for Dorcas.
Acts 10 - Peter was ready for the knock on his door.
He had been touched by the influence of a lovely, loving Dorcas.
Helped him see the value in Cornelius.
Could have never seen it without Dorcas.
Dorcas made Peter a better preacher when he stood before Cornelius.