Dorcas–What a Woman

Acts 9:36-42

There was a disciple in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas*). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor.

*The names Tabitha in Aramaic and Dorcas in Greek both mean “gazelle”.

Way back in 1980 and 81, my mom was pregnant with my sister. I must’ve asked 300 times if we could name her Dorcas if it’s a girl, and Moses if it’s a boy.

My parents weren’t havin’ it. They went with Rebekah.


Even as a youngster, I was so impressed with Dorcas after hearing her story in Sunday School.

First off, she is designated mathetria (“woman disciple”), a term reserved only for her, as in, it’s the only time this Greek word is used in the entire New Testament.


And how about the one line description of her as a person: She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. Is there a much better legacy in the kingdom of God? What a reputation, what an identity! How wonderful would it be that when your name is brought up, people respond with, “Yeah, she’s always doing kind things and helping people who are down and out.”

What a woman.

Then there’s the whole sewing ministry she had. At her death, there’s all these widows standing around mourning, wearing the clothes that she made for them! What a sight.

And she’s raised from the dead! She was so beloved that the disciples call Peter in who is near Joppa at the time, he comes without question, and via the power of the Holy Spirt brings her back to life. This became widely known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.


What an inspiring woman who points us to Jesus.

I can just hope and pray that if our daughters have any girls, they name one Dorcas. Heck, I’d be super happy with the Aramaic Tabitha. Or even Gazelle! Make it a soft G, I don’t care.

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