Dorcas Restored to Life
Open Your Bible
Acts 9:32-43, Psalm 36:9, Mark 5:21-43
BY Patti Sauls
Last week I got a blast from the past when I spotted a teen girl wearing a pink, plastic WWJD bracelet. For those of you with no gray hairs or wrinkles, let me explain. In the 1990s, many Christian teens sported bracelets stamped with the acronym for “What Would Jesus Do?” It was meant to be a reminder and declaration to live in ways that reflect the heart and actions of Jesus.
Regardless of how you feel about Christian slogans and accessories, we can agree that it’s good to learn from Jesus, right? Today’s passages present us with an intense WWJD moment for Peter. A beloved disciple of Jesus named Tabitha, an Aramaic name translated “Dorcas” in Greek, became sick and died. Her grieving friends sent for Peter, who was ministering in a nearby city. When Peter arrived, he approached Dorcas’s dead body. “He knelt down, prayed, and turning toward the body said, ‘Tabitha, get up’” (Acts 9:40). Miraculously, she did.
We’re reminded by today’s Mark 5 passage that this was not the first time Peter had seen the power of God restore life to a dead body. Years before Peter’s experience with Dorcas, Jesus specifically included him, along with James and John, when he took a dead girl by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you get up.” Miraculously, she did (Mark 5:41–42). Peter had a front row seat to this miracle; he saw with his own eyes what Jesus would do.
Surely Peter and the apostles were given an extraordinary calling to establish the early church and authenticate the gospel through signs and wonders accomplished by God’s power at work within them. Even though you and I do not physically walk and talk with the risen Jesus as they did, we have the biblical account of how Jesus lived and what He taught. We also have the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at work within us, illuminating every page of the Bible as a reminder and declaration to live in ways that reflect our Lord’s heart and actions.
In today’s supplemental reading we see Jesus being interrupted yet taking time to slow down and meet the needs of a stranger. We see Him engaging with those who are powerful and with those who are poor. We see Him cross cultural barriers by prioritizing girls and women who were sidelined in their communities. We see Him crossing religious barriers by touching a dead body and by allowing Himself to be touched by a bleeding woman. Jesus welcomed those considered untouchable by society, and He loved them to life. This is the example Peter followed, and the example we are called to follow as well.
As we like to say at She Reads Truth, keep opening your Bible. Learn what Jesus did, and follow His lead in loving people to life.