Did you know that Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17? The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation provides ideas on how to make kindness the norm in society. If such an organization were present in Tabitha’s day, she might have been a founding member!
We meet Tabitha, also called Dorcas in Greek, at the close of Acts 9. Peter was traveling, visiting “the Lord’s people” (v. 32). He served in a pastoral role for new believers and his healing ministry in Lydda and Joppa opened the gospel door to the Gentiles.
When Peter arrived in Lydda, he met Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for years. We don’t know if he was a follower of Jesus, but Peter called on Christ’s power to heal the man. Immediately, Aeneas rose. God used that miracle to bring to the Lord “all those who lived in Lydda and Sharon” (v. 35). Healing often played an evangelistic role but happened also within the Christian community.
In verse 36, we are told of Tabitha, who is identified as a “disciple,” known for her devotion to helping the poor. She was well loved. While Peter was still in Lydda, Tabitha died, and the disciples sent for him, believing he could help. When he arrived, Tabitha’s home was filled with widows. They were weeping and showing off the robes she had made for them.
Tabitha’s body had already been prepared for burial. However, with authority, Peter followed the protocol Jesus had used with Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:21–43). He asked everyone to leave the room. He knelt and prayed. Then he said to the dead woman, “Tabitha, get up” (v. 40). She opened her eyes and sat up. Tabitha’s resurrection became huge news, and “many people believed in the Lord” (v. 42).
>> Are you known for your kindness? As believers we are called to do good and to be kind. But unlike the world’s view, this is not random kindness. Rather, our kindness, as Christians, should always point people to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Even when we earnestly desire to be kind, we aren’t always sure how to be so. Give us insight, wisdom, and opportunities to show Jesus-centered and gospel-oriented kindness, especially toward those who don’t know You!