Tabatha had lived a life worth living. She was a disciple of Jesus, and “was always doing good and helping the poor (Acts 9:36).” She was the kind of woman who, if she was living today, would be filling her church food pantry, organizing clothing drives, packing shoeboxes and going on short-term mission trips.
James 1:25 tells us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Tabatha had done that. She had devoted herself to caring for the basic needs of widows and to loving these mostly forgotten women well. When she died, her church family was devastated.
In ancient times, dead bodies were buried before sunset on the very day that the person passed. The women washed and prepared Tabatha’s body, but knew that Peter would want to come before they put her in the ground, so even though he was 11 miles away in another town, they sent for him. He dropped what he was doing and came.
Peter had, no doubt, buried many people over the course of his life, but something about Tabatha’s death didn’t seem final to him. He did the unimaginable. He prayed that her dead body would come back to life. In the Old and New Testaments combined (the span of thousands of years) we only see this happening nine times, and some of those were by Jesus Himself. It was a shocking prayer, but even more shocking is that Tabitha woke up!
We are right to be amazed at this great act of God in Tabatha’s life, but even more amazing is the verse that follows. “This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord (vs. 42).”
It is good and right to pray for miracles. Nothing is out of bounds that is not out of God’s perfect will. Miracles are not only blessings for the person receiving them, they can actually be a catalyst for the conversion of others, as we see with Tabatha. While we are praying for Divine intervention in situations that are beyond our control, let’s pray also that when the answers to our prayers come, that many would come to Christ because of it.
(For those who have missed any of the previous lessons, you can go to https://comethirstyministry.com/blog/ and view all previous postings.)
Day 1: Acts 9:36-43 (Tabatha)
Day 2: Acts 12:1-19 (Rhoda)
Day 3: Acts 16:1-10 (Timothy’s Mother and Grandmother)
Day 4: Acts 16:11-15 (Lydia)
Day 5: Acts 16:16-35 (Slave Girl)