Sweet Sisters,


The other day I watched a YouTube video.  It was an episode from Extreme America’s got talent.  A young woman named Cyndel Flores did a death-defying act on top of a sixty-foot pole that was slick from the rain that had fallen before the show.  One of the judges, Travis Pastrana was so impressed with her act that he pushed the Golden Buzzer.  In the world of America’s Got Talent, the Golden Buzzer is the ultimate validation that you are very talented at what you do.

            I started thinking about what it means to be validated.  I looked validation up in the dictionary.  I learned that validation is the action of making or declaring something legal or officially acceptable.  It is also the recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings are valid, worthwhile, and acceptable.

            In today’s lesson, I want to look at examples in the New Testament of people who were validated for something they had done.  I want to begin with a story that takes place in John 12: 1-7.

 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.

It is also found in Matthew 26:6-13 and in Mark 14:3-9.  In both of these accounts, we see an additional validation of what Mary had done by Jesus.

Mark 14:9

“Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Matthew 26:13

Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”    

            Mary, for some reason known only to her, is moved to perform an outrageous, radical act of love.  She massages Jesus’ feet with a pint of pure nard.  This was a very expensive perfume.  In Mark, it says that some of those present “rebuked her harshly.”

            Jesus tells them to leave her alone and then “pushes the Golden Buzzer”.  He says that from now on wherever the Gospel is preached, people will talk about what she has done.  Jesus validated Mary in a very powerful way.  He acknowledged her feelings and her actions and gave His approval to them.



            Now let’s go to Matthew 8:5 – 10:

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” 

This story is also told in Luke 7:1-9:


When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 

            The Centurion realizes that Jesus is the only one who can heal his servant, but his faith in Jesus is so strong that he believes that Jesus can heal his servant from a distance.  Jesus is very impressed by him.  He says that nowhere in Israel has He seen such faith.  Sweet Sisters, this man was a Gentile.  He was not a Jew.  Jesus is saying not even among the ones who should know me best have I seen such faith.  Jesus gives His approval to this Centurions actions.



            The next story I want to look at is in Luke 8:43-48:

43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.

            It is also found in Matthew 9:20-22 and Mark 5:25-34.  In this story, a woman has suffered for 12 years with a blood condition.  It has isolated her from society and taken all her money.  In desperation, she goes to Jesus thinking, “If only I can touch His clothes I will be healed.”  She does and she is.  Jesus is so touched by her faith He calls her “daughter”.  This is recorded in all three accounts.  Nowhere else in the New Testament does Jesus call a woman “daughter”.  Matthew says that Jesus told her to “take heart”.  Mark says He told her to “go in peace”.

            I think Jesus understood her heart and the emotional and physical suffering she had experienced and wanted her to know completely that she was loved by Him.



            The final passage I want to look at is Mark 9:2-8 and Luke 9:28-36.  We know this story as the “Transfiguration”.  Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the top of a mountain.  Jesus’ appearance changes and Elijah and Moses show up to talk to Him.  Peter wants to worship all of them, but God speaks up and says, “This is my Son, whom I love.  Listen to Him!”  Jesus receives validation from His Father.



            Sweet Sisters, as you read these passages, do you wonder, “What about me?”  Do you feel validated by God?

            I found a couple of passages that I think answers this question.  The first one is Ephesians 1:13-14:


13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

I believe that God gave us the Holy Spirit as validation that we are loved and approved by Him.

            Psalm 17:8 tells us that we are the apple of His eye.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings

I love Psalm 37:5 – 6 in the Message Version.

Open up before God, keep nothing back;
    he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day

    and stamp you with approval at high noon.

God validates us in a way everyone can see.  He is proud of us.

            And in Zephaniah 3:17:

The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;

    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

We learn that the Lord our God is mighty to save.  He takes great delight in us and sings over us.  I would definitely call that “validation”.


            So, sweet Sisters, take heart and go in peace.  You are validated by God.  He loves you and accepts you just the way you are because you have put your trust in Him.