In my devotions some time ago, I came across a portion of a sermon by William Bridge, preached in the 17th century. Today I’d like to share it with you. It portrays a beautiful, intimate moment between the Savior and a woman who felt doomed, consigned to a life of failure and disgrace. It is my hope that your heart will be encouraged by this woman’s story of faith and redemption.
“It is this faith that now I am speaking: believing when all means fail and lie dead before us, that does honor God especially which doth justify the soul: It is the soul-saving faith of all.
“Pray look into the seventh of Luke and consider it well. It is said at the last verse, ‘Jesus said to the woman, thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.’ But here is no mention at all before of her faith. There is mention of her love in the forty-seventh verse. ‘I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.’
“There is mention before of her tears at the thirty-eighth verse, ‘A woman in the city, which was a sinner, brought an alabaster box of ointment and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.’
“Here is mention of her tears, here is mention of her liberality and bounty and love to Jesus Christ. And yet our Lord and Savior Christ does not say thus: ‘Woman, thy tears hath saved thee, go in peace; Woman, thy repentance and thy humiliation hath saved thee, go in peace.’ He doth not say, ‘Thy love to me and thy bounty to me hath saved thee, go in peace, woman.’
“No, but our Lord and Savior, he saw a secret work of reliance upon himself in this woman, for she was a great sinner, and he says unto her, ‘Woman, thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace!’”