Dorcas: A Willing Worker

Seeds of Promise Series by Shenica Graham

Women of The Bible

Dorcas: A Willing Worker

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Seeds of Promise Women of the Bible Dorcas: A Willing Worker Acts 9:36;9:39 Audio

Devotional Reading: Acts 9:36,39

Dorcas was a woman full of good works, so much so that when she died, all of the widows mourned (Acts 9:39). The disciples sought Peter to come. Peter came from another city, immediately, which suggests that Dorcas was a woman of high regard in the community. The widows showed Peter the robes and garments that Dorcas had made. It reminds me of the sewing circle that made blankets and other necessities for members of the church. They worked many hours, all volunteering. Peter prayed to God and Dorcas was raised from the dead.

Dorcas was a true willing worker. She made an impact. She made a difference. Her life inspired so many to tell her story in their own words. God loves a willing worker, one who takes His commandment with cheer and does whatsoever his or her hands find to do in His will (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Dorcas may have been a widow, yet she seems to not have found place to be idle. She appears to have wasted no time on procrastination, but kept busy in the service of her community. It is even possible that the believers in Joppa met for worship in her home.

The life of Dorcas certainly speaks to the lesson of faith without works being nothing. Dorcas showed her faith by her works, not with lipservice as pleasing men, but with works as unto God. And though we know that works to do not equal salvation, they are a testament to the Spirit that worketh in us. Dorcas showed the fruit on her tree – and it was good (Luke 6:34).

Perhaps my favorite account of the meaning of Dorcas’ name was from the work of Earl White:

Verse 36 tells us that her name in Aramaic was Tabitha, but in Greek it was Dorcas, which means “antelope” or “gazelle” – a very graceful animal! One writer says that “her name stands in the Bible as the symbol of Naphtali (Genesis 49:21), the giver of goodly words; then as panting after the water brooks, seeking everything in God (Psalm 42:1); and as nimble of foot (2 Samuel 2:18); and so, leaping (Isaiah 35:6); expressive too of tender love (Proverbs 5:19); of beauty of form (Song of Solomon 2:9); and as fruitful through the voice of Jehovah (Psalm 29:9).” Ponder this! Our lives should be gazelle-like – graceful – look up Acts 4:33 and 11:23, and compare John 1:14.

Dorcas was a disciple of Christ, part of the body – like a hand that went about helping others.


White, Earl. “Ten New Testament Characters. Study 7: DORCAS: FULL OF GOOD WORKS.” 16 November 2012

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. “Dorcas.” <; 16 November 2012

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