I’ve often been impressed by the faithful, courageous roles that women in the Bible play. One might think of Esther’s courage, Rahab’s faith, or Deborah’s inspiring leadership.
But there are quite a few more women in Scripture you may have not heard of who’ve make a difference in their world and still encourage us today. Some in particular the Bible does not even name.
Recently, Cathe and I had the opportunity to talk with Fox News journalist and author Shannon Bream, and she elaborates on why she decided to write The Women of the Bible Speak—and, more specifically, why she begins her book with a relatively unknown character.
Cathe pointed out how Shannon sets up her book using the powerful example of faith we see in the woman with the flow of blood, whom Jesus healed while commending her great faith. Shannon makes a profound point:
“Your faith has made you whole”
I love this story so much. I really identify with it because of the years I went through physical trials and chronic pain and doctor to doctor, looking for help. And I think about that because this woman, we’re told in the Gospels, had spent everything she had, she’d been from doctor to doctor to doctor for 12 years. No one could help her. But she heard about this man, Jesus, and she said, “If I can just touch the hem of His garment, I believe I’ll be healed.”
Now because of this issue of bleeding that she had, we believe that she would have been considered unclean in many societies. She would have been considered an outcast. So she probably felt very isolated, not being able to be in the temple, or crowds and other places, probably very much confined to her home—as many of us have felt this past year. But she decided to venture out, and she found Jesus, and she got close enough that she just touched His garment. And the Scripture tells us immediately she was healed. And instead of shaming her in front of that crowd and saying, “You shouldn’t even be out here. You didn’t ask my permission”—none of that. Jesus turned to her in every account in the Gospels, and the first thing He says to her is “daughter.” I love that. I think it is so beautiful that He immediately shows—in front of this crowd that’s watching—that He accepts her, and what she’s done is right. It’s not wrong.
There were so many people in those days who were accusing Jesus of always not following the letter of the law of the rules. And He recognized that she had reached out in desperation, and He said, “Your faith has made you whole.” He credited her—it was certainly His divine power—He credited her with that faith that she had. It was enough to heal her—just the touch of Him.
And He showed the people there that he accepted her, that she was not somebody to be thrown out of society. He viewed her as precious, as a daughter. And I just think her story is so beautiful and so encouraging on so many different levels.
Shannon’s book is really full of brilliant and personal insights like this, and I strongly recommend this book to you. We’re making The Women of the Bible Speak available as a thank-you gift for anyone who donates to Harvest Ministries in the month of May, and I hope you pick up a copy.
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