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Which Type Are You?

Good morning. It is Monday, November 29, 2021.

When you think of a disciple, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Perhaps you think of the twelve:

“And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.” Luke 6:13-16 NKJV

Did you catch that? “He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve”

There were more than twelve. In fact, Luke 10:1 talks about Jesus appointing 70 other disciples.

Now, here is the bigger question. Did you know that there were women who were disciples?

My friend Terah shared something on social media that another friend had written. It spoke to me in volumes; loud, crystal-clear volume.

I reached out to the Author and got her permission to share that with you. You can follow her on Facebook. Look for “Finding Grace”.

“She was a good woman. She worked hard for the Lord, always taking care of those little details that everyone else forgot. She struggled with tolerating the negligence in others - especially pertaining to working for God. She was an admirable woman. Martha definitely cared about serving God.

I’ve often heard that we need both the Martha and Mary types in a church. But today I’m not so sure. On closer scrutiny, Martha has some glaring problems.

Luke 10:38-42 tells the story. Jesus was staying in Martha’s home, and she was busy preparing and serving meals worthy of her guest. The shopping and cleaning were time consuming. Her sister Mary acted more like a guest than family - sitting with the other guests and hanging on Jesus every word. She didn’t even offer to do the washing up. Martha became more and more frustrated and upset, feeling that she was the only one doing the important work of keeping the world turning. When she finally blew her stack, Jesus basically told her that her service wasn’t important at all. It was dispensable. Mary, on the other hand, had found the only necessary thing in life - being with Jesus.

Martha’s gift was service. But she wasn’t serving with Jesus. She was serving for Him; for His approval, for the affirmation of his followers, for maintaining her reputation with her neighbors, for being acknowledged as indispensable.

There is another woman in scripture who had the same gift of service. But she sat first in the presence of God and learned. Her service wasn’t for God, rather it was with Him. She was the hands and heart of the compassionate Jesus, serving those who could never repay her kindness and generosity. Tabitha, or Dorcus, was a woman of action and service but with a very different spirit.

We have enough Martha’s in the church. And they wound and drive away souls hungry for Jesus by their self-importance and critical spirit. We don’t need any more Martha’s. But we can’t ever have too many Tabitha’s. In fact, this serving woman was so indispensable to the body of Christ that Jesus used Peter to raise her from the dead. Tabitha followed Jesus lead. Martha told Jesus what to do. See the difference?” – Finding Grace

Wow! How often have you heard the story of Mary and Martha? How many times have you heard it presented this way? For me, zero times. It spoke to me in ways that had always nagged at me but I had never been able to put it to thought or to words. I have heard it dozens of times.

Now, how often have you heard the story of Tabitha? For me, rarely.

I want to take a small look at the life of Tabitha, or Dorcas, this morning.

The Adventist church has an outreach called Dorcas. Also known as Adventist Community Services or Dorcas Community Services. This service offers food, clothing, sleeping bags, blankets, and other necessities.

I knew Dorcas was a woman in the Bible. I knew she was a woman that was known for her acts of charity, but I did not know, or I forgot, that her name was Tabitha. And I did not know, or I forgot, that she had died from an illness and had been brought back to life. Let’s look at the story.

“At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord…” Acts 9:36-43 NKJV

A certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas…

Dorcas. What a legacy she has left.

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