Little Devotionals (Ann)

One More Mary

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Of all the Marys in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene is mentioned most often. Magdala was a place name, so she was actually the Mary from Magdala. One verse offers an insight as to the reason for her devotion to Jesus: Luke 8:2 “and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out.” Jesus had healed her from a tortuous life controlled by seven demons. I cannot imagine the horror of that kind of life, nor the incredible relief, freedom and joy at being healed. No wonder we see her faithfully following after Jesus. Read More…

Jesus Interrupts a Funeral

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little
(Originally written in Sep 2021, after the death of Juni)

In Luke 7:11-17 we read about a woman who at one time had both a husband and a son. In this story she had lost both and the scene we are introduced to is the funeral of her only son. All of this spells loneliness, no financial support, and the end of the family line. Read More…

Anna, God’s timing

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Luke 2:36-39

At the end of the Christmas story passage in Luke, when Mary and Joseph visit the Temple, we meet Anna the prophet. As new parents Mary and Joseph followed the law very carefully for their newborn son. At his circumcision they named him Jesus just as the angel had instructed both of them. They presented him at the temple and gave an offering. According to Jewish law, a spotless lamb was the accepted offering for the first born son. However, because Mary and Joseph were poor, two doves or pigeons were acceptable. Read More…


“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Luke 1:5-25, 39-80

As we approach the Christmas season one of the women who stands out in the story is Elizabeth. There are many things I could write about her, but let’s look at three important points.
  1. Elizabeth suffered the disgrace of infertility
  2. Elizabeth enjoyed the blessing of a special miracle, a touch from God
  3. Elizabeth became the mentor and comfort for Mary, just when she needed an ally.
Read More…

She Gave Everything

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

In Mark 12:41-44 we see a very short story about a widow:
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.”

The contrast between the rich people and the poor widow was startling. How happy the temple religious leaders must have been to see the offerings of the wealthy. They were noticed by everyone. However, no one noticed the widow as she quietly made her way to the treasury to give her two small coins. Read More…

Jesus Broke a Sabbath Rule to Heal a Woman

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Luke 13:10-17
When I first moved to Japan and lived in Aichi-ken, I was curious about all the little old bent over ladies that I saw. I wondered, was this a result of carrying babies on their backs for many years, or long hours working out in the fields, or from many years of deep bowing? Knowing that they probably suffered pain, I also wondered at their ability to keep going and marveled at their strength and tenacity. In Luke 13 we read a very brief story about a women with a similar condition. Read More…

The Mother who was both Insulted and Praised by Jesus

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

In Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-29 we have a somewhat puzzling conversation between Jesus, the Jewish teacher, and a nameless foreign Gentile woman from Syro-Phoenicia.

What was this woman’s problem? Her daughter was possessed by an evil spirit that was trying to harm her. She no doubt spent most of her time protecting the child and neutralizing the evil as best as she could. What was a mother to do in such a situation? Her solution was to ask Jesus to heal her little girl. Read More…

The Woman with an Alabaster Jar of Perfume

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

There are four passages in the Bible that record a woman anointing Jesus’ head with perfume. The three in Matthew 26, Mark 14 and John 12 are all very similar. John clearly says that this is Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. However, in Luke 7:36-50 we read about a mysterious, nameless “immoral” woman, who became a lesson to the religious leaders on forgiveness and love. Read More…

Women: First witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Scripture: Matthew 28:1-11; Mark16:1-14; Luke 24:1-24; John 20:1-20
Mary Magdalene was the key player in this resurrection story. Mary the mother of James, Salome, and Johanna are also listed and Luke mentioned “several other women.” Except for Jesus’ mother who, we can guess, was being cared for by John, the women were most likely the same women at the cross. They had witnessed his death, and watched where he was buried. Read More…

Women At The Cross (So Many Marys!)

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Scripture: Matthew 27:55-61, Mark 15:40-47, Luke 23:49-56, John 19:25-27
All four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) record the women at the cross of Jesus. We don’t know how many women were there, but Matthew says “many women.” Read More…

The Woman At The Well

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Scripture: John 4:4-29;39-42
Here is one of the most famous encounters that Jesus had with a woman in the Bible. Read More…

"Daughter" - The Bleeding Woman

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Scripture: Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48
This little story is an interruption in the middle of the story of the healing of Jairus’ daughter. We are caught up in the anxiety of a father, and wondering if Jesus will get to his little 12 year old girl in time to heal her. Then this nameless bleeding woman interrupts the journey.

In reality this is a sparkling gem in the stories of Jesus and reminds us once again of how much he valued women, no matter their rank in society.

What do we know about this woman? Read More…


“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

In the 1970’s and 80’s when I was in seminary, Christian feminist books began appearing on our book shelves. I remember one controversial book "All We're Meant to Be," as one of the first to break into the conservative Christian world. My favorite chapter in the book was about how Jesus treated women in the stories in the New Testament. It was an eye opener for me. As a result, I love studying the stories of women in the Bible. Over the next months, I would like to focus on one woman each month.

Martha has taken so much criticism from preachers and Bible teachers for her fretful attention to her household responsibilities. "Be a Mary, not a Martha," they say. But I would like to defend her.

Martha had the gift of hospitality.

Read More…

Mary, the mother of Jesus

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

What better choice in December to focus on in our series than Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary was from the town of Nazareth in Galilee. Once a young woman had her monthly period, as early as 13-14 years, she was deemed capable of child birth and old enough to marry. Engaged to marry Joseph, Mary is visited by an angel and told she was going to give birth to a son, and not just any son. He will be the Son of the most High. (Luke 1:31-33) What can we learn from Mary?

Mary believed and obeyed despite her fears, despite not always fully understanding, and despite the painful journey. Read More…