By Elizabeth Prata
Our busy days can get so fraught with things of this world, by necessity (kids, meetings, laundry, shopping, appointments, practices, etc) that when we read the Bible we can forget that the people we are reading about had the same kind of lives. They were real people and most of them that we read in the pages of scripture were believers. And since they are believers, we will meet them in heaven. They might have dropped off the pages of the Bible but they lived, died, and were brought to the presence of Jesus. Their lives are still going. When we get there, we will meet them. Their faith means that they have a relationship with us, and us with them.
Who do you want to meet? Who are you curious about?
After seeing Jesus first, and then after looking up Paul, of course, I’ve always loved the scene with The Woman at the Well (John 4:1-41). I’d like to know her name, to begin with. All we know is that she was a woman from Samaria, marginalized and had a sinful past. Her story moves me, and I always tear up when she runs off saying “He told me everything I ever did!” I don’t know why. It’s just beautiful, that’s all.
Her wonder and belief caused a revival among her town (John 4:39). She spread the word and made many townspeople curious to seek out the truth. They asked Jesus to stay and He did, for two days. After a while not only did they believe because of her testimony but because of the teaching of Jesus. The result was from this one woman’s spreading the good news, was that a whole town believed Jesus “is the Savior of the world” (John 4:42)
I like to think of Jesus welcoming her to heaven, and finally accepted by her people without judgment. What a blessing that is. It’s supposed to be that way here on earth, and a lot of times it is, but a lot of times it isn’t. But we all have the perfection of heaven to look forward to. Relationships will be without spot or stain, no jealousy, no agendas, no silent judgments, no marginalization, no rejection. Her story is gorgeous and I want to meet the actual woman the story is about someday.
Dorcas/Tabitha. (Acts 9:36-43). Here was a woman so filled with love for Jesus she did good works for the people around her constantly. She gave alms and she did charitable deeds, namely with her needle. She made garments for the poor. Dorcas was so loved that when she died, the mourning reached a pitch. “All the widows” were there, weeping. The Greek word for weeping is to ‘cry aloud with uncontainable grief.’ Imagine being so well-loved! Imagine being so well known for your works the loss was unbearable! I want to know a good and gentle soul like Dorcas.
So they sought Peter, whom they had heard did miracles. Peter raised Dorcas to life again, and there was much joy. This is another woman who caused a revival in her town. (Acts 9:42). Many believed in the Lord. As Acts 9:43 says, Peter stayed in Joppa, “many days” (teaching, I’m sure).
Though I’m not sure if Dorcas appreciated being roused from her eternal rest at Jesus’ bosom to return to this ole sinful world to do more work, lol.
Who are you curious about? Who do you want to meet? These people we read about in the pages of scripture are absolutely real, and they will be raised from the dead one day and fitted with a glorified body, as we will be. And we’ll stroll the street of gold and meet them and talk with them and proclaim Jesus’ excellencies, forever.
We already have a relationship with these believers, as we do to the living believers today who are in your circle. We are part of a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1).