“And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.”
She was known for her good works.
“Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.”
She was also called Dorcas.
“Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.”
She put action to her faith.
She was known for her sewing talents and her generosity in giving them to others in need.
She was faithful unto death.
“But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.”
Her friends sent for Peter, and then witnessed a miracle because of her faithfulness.
She was alive again.
She was a living testimony of the miraculous grace of God.
“And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.”
Tabitha, or Dorcas, serves as an example that faithfulness in even what seems like the little things can lead to great miracles and much fruit.
Haggai 1-2 | 3 John | Psalm 150
“Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.”
She and her husband were deliberately wicked.
They kept part of what they had sold.
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.”
She and her husband agreed together to surrender a part as if they had surrendered all.
“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”
Ananias lied to God and suffered the consequences.
“And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”
She would also receive God’s judgment for her deceitfulness.
“Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.”
Their deception cost them their lives.
Their punishment brought a great fear upon all who heard what the Lord had done.
“And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”
Sapphira serves as an example of how dangerous it is for us to portray to be something we are not.
Zephaniah 1-3 | 2 John | Psalm 149
“Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”
She must have been overjoyed standing before her Risen Saviour.
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”
She was told what she must do.
“…go to my brethren, and say unto them…”
He told her of the Good News that she must share with them.
She obeyed what Jesus had said to do for Him.
“And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.”
Yet when she told them, they did not believe her.
“And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.”
She had watched Him die on the cross.
She saw Joseph of Arimathaea place His body in the tomb.
And now there He stood before her.
She was the first to see Him after His resurrection.
“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”
She could not help but share the Good News that she had seen.
Mary Magdalene also serves as an example of how we must share our experience of the Gospel in our lives.
What we have seen the Lord do in our lives should encourage us to tell others about Him.
Habakkuk 1-3 | 1 John 4-5 | Psalm 148
“And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.”
She did not know it was Him.
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”
She was so focused on finding His body, that she did not even recognize Jesus.
“Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
That is all it took for her to know it was Him.
When He spoke her name everything changed.
Imagine how she felt.
She thought He was dead.
She thought someone had stolen His body.
Yet, there He was standing before her speaking her name.
Mary Magdalene also serves as an example how one Word from the Lord can change our entire perspective.
Nahum 1-3 | 1 John 3 | Psalm 147
“Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.”
She saw the stone was rolled away.
“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”
She ran to Simon Peter and John to tell them that the body of Jesus was missing.
“It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.”
The men ran to see for themselves.
Then they saw the linen clothes and the napkin.
She stood outside the tomb weeping, and stayed there as the disciples went home.
“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,”
She saw two angels inside the tomb.
“And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.”
She had forgotten what Jesus had said would happen.
Mary Magdalene also serves as an example of the fear that can consume our lives when we forget what the Word of God has said.
Micah 5-7 | 1 John 1-2 | Psalm 146
“Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.”
She had one very precious possession.
“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.”
She could have saved it for herself.
But she chose to give what she had to Jesus.
“She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.”
She could have sold it for three hundred pence.
But money was no comparison to what she desired to do.
“When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.”
She broke her alabaster box so that He could be glorified.
“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.”
Mary of Bethany also serves as an example that sometimes we must keep things in order to sacrifice them for Christ.
Micah 3-4 | 2 Peter 3 | Psalm 145
“Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
She was once again at His feet.
She spoke of her faith that the Lord could have healed Lazarus if He had been there before He died.
She must have spoken though her tears as she sorrowed over the death of her brother.
“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.”
Jesus saw her and the others weeping, He was moved with compassion.
It was His love for them that caused Him to weep and show His humanity.
She saw His tears.
She worshipped at His feet.
She compelled Jesus to do something.
She witnessed Him raising Lazarus from the dead.
The miracle brought many people to Jesus, because she fell at His feet.
Mary of Bethany also serves as an example of what a difference He can make in our lives when we are willing to fall at His feet.
Micah 1-2 | 2 Peter 2 | Psalm 144
“As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.”
She was told that Jesus had called for her.
“And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.”
She had been sitting still in the house while her sister went to meet Jesus.
“Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.”
Martha spoke with Him when she arrived, but there is no written record of Jesus asking for Mary or calling for her to come to Him.
Yet, the moment she was told that Jesus called for her she immediately went to Him.
She loved the Lord.
She was faithful to obey and worship Him.
Mary of Bethany also serves as an example of how we must not delay in coming to Him.
Today, and every day, may we love and worship our Saviour just as she so faithfully did.
Jonah 3-4 | 2 Peter 1 | Psalm 143
“She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
She truthfully answered the question that Jesus had asked her.
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
He asked this after He had stated Who He was and what He could do for her and the rest of the world if only they would believe.
This same question is asked to each person ever created, “Believest thou this?”
She gave the best answer…”Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God…”
She believed in Him.
Martha also serves as an example the belief that the Lord desires each of us to possess and express.
Everything in our life and walk with the Lord is based upon our answer to this question. Our faith in Him is everything.
Jonah 1-2 | 1 Peter 5 | Psalm 142
“Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.”
She had a history of being moved to action by her love for Jesus.
“But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.”
She at one point must have also sat at His feet hearing His Word.
“And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.”
The “also” found here implies that Mary did not always sit alone.
She had to have heard Him in order to so faithfully desire to serve Him.
When Lazarus died, Jesus came to comfort his sisters.
She had faith that had He been there, He could have made a difference.
“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
She also had faith that if Jesus chose to, He could work a miracle even though Lazarus was dead.
“But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.”
But it was how she reacted to the news of Jesus coming…
She sprang into action.
She immediately went to meet Him.
Martha also serves as an example that how we should be actively working as we wait for Christ to come again.
Obadiah | 1 Peter 4 | Psalm 141
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