On Sunday, September 26, 2010, I gave a presentation to the women of our ward—”Examples of Faith: Women of the New Testament.” I had several ideas on what to present, but this topic was what the Holy Spirit pressed on my mind to share. Following are few highlights.
As you read about Christ in the New Testament, you see that He always noticed the unnoticed, the sad, the afflicted, the lonely, the lost, those who were forgotten, and he reached out to them with compassion, love and acceptance. The story of the man at the pool of Bethesda is an example of this (John 1:1–16).
The story of the widow’s mites appears in only two of the gospels (Mark 12:41–44; Luke 21:1–4) but it helps us to realize that Christ recognizes our quiet devotion and our sacrifices.
The Syrophenician woman’s request to heal her daughter was met by cold words, but the woman persisted (Matthew 15:21–28; Mark 7:24–30). She reminds all of us that we can ask boldly for what we need, and that He will ultimately honor our faith. The Lord will test our faith, however, before He grants us our hearts desire.
The woman with the issue of blood, who had been afflicted for 12 years and had spent all her money on physicians, fought a crowd to reach out to Him in faith (Matthew 9:20–22; Mark 5:25–34; Luke 8:43–48). As she did so, trying to avoid His notice, she was healed. He said to her, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (Luke 8:48).
A woman with a spirit of infirmity was in a synagogue on a day Jesus was teaching there (Luke 13:11–17). She did not call out to Him, but it was He that called out to her. Sometimes we reach out to the Lord, and at other times, He notices us first and calls us to Him.
Mary and Martha were sisters who lived in Bethany, on the Mount of Olives and were friends, together with their brother Lazarus, of Jesus (Luke 10:38–42; John 11:1–46; 12:2–9). Martha shows us that the mundane tasks of life can distract us from our duty to nourish our spirits, while Mary shows us that there is only one needful thing. What is it? We may give that thing away, but it can never be taken from us without our consent.
The woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria (John 4:3–30, 39–42) teaches us that even though at times our life choices can lead us far away from the Living Water, the Lord knows exactly who we are and what we need. He loves us and wants to bless us, even if we have made mistakes.
The woman taken in adultery (John 8:1–11) learned that, in spite of her weaknesses and sins, Jesus did not condemn her. So why do you condemn yourself?
Mary the Mother of Jesus (see Matthew 1,2; Luke 1,2; John 2) heard the angel Gabriel say, “For with God, nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Even Jesus needed a mother. You can and should be a mother, whether you have children of your own or not. Many need your nurturing care. Will you offer it to them?
Mary Magdalene was a faithful woman that followed Jesus and ministered unto Him. “And certain women…had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, [including] Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils” (Luke 8:2–3; see also John 20:1–18). As with this woman, the Lord can help us cast out illness or infirmity, sorrow, anxiety or feeling of depression, and the Lord will remember our loyalty to Him.
If we follow these examples, we too can be examples of faith.
I prepared these slides but did not use them in my presentation.