Damaris is certainly a less well-known Bible personality. In fact, we only read about her one time in Acts, and then only as the subject of a short phrase: “also a woman named Damaris” (Acts 17:34, NIV). Why should we sit up and notice her inclusion in the Bible?
One reason to consider Damaris is because she is named in the Bible! Even though women were treated more as property and with less respect than we would expect today, we can surmise the importance and value the Lord placed on women by the many female names sprinkled throughout the Bible. Women are just as wonderfully created as their male counterparts.
Another reason to think about Damaris is to wonder why she was included at all. Paul was in Athens. After he discovered an altar dedicated “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD,” (Acts 17:23b, NKJV), he used those words to start conversations. Paul explained WHO the unknown God truly was and how He created all things. As proof, Paul explained that God will judge the world through Jesus, whom he raised from the dead.
Perhaps, up until this point, audience members were interested enough to contemplate the truth. But that interest screeched to a halt as many of those assembled around Paul began to mock him, refusing to believe in resurrection.
But we can read in Acts 17:34 (CEV), “some of the men put their faith in the Lord and went with Paul. One of them was a council member named Dionysius. A woman named Damaris and several others also put their faith in the Lord.”
Some of the people in the crowd chose to believe the truth Paul was sharing. In spite of ridicule and a culture that embraced belief in many gods, Damaris put her faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. If ever there was a time to be mentioned, an acknowledgement of “putting her faith in the Lord” was the perfect time. While we don’t get to know the rest of her story, I like to think she continued believing and living out her faith in Jesus.
No matter how often you are named, acknowledged, or ignored, be confident as you live out your authentic faith in Jesus Christ. He knows you by name and calls you His own. As you lead preschoolers toward an understanding of faith in Jesus, remember the importance of letting them see your relentless faith and what it looks like to love and serve Jesus.
Father God, thank You for knowing our names and calling us by name. We thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to become a sacrifice for us, that we might believe in Him, love and serve Him, and have the hope of eternal life with You. Help us to live and show our authentic faith to the preschoolers we love, that they too might come to an authentic faith in You.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
by Angie Quantrell, Preschool resource editor