Art and scripture can work hand in hand to share and reinforce religious beliefs, and this year the MOA is selecting new artworks each week to accompany each chapter of the Come, Follow Me program. Below you'll selections for this month alongside commentary and questions written by members of the MOA team. We hope that art-lovers everywhere will be inspired by these artworks as they complement their gospel study, family discussions, and church classes with fine art from around the world.
February 27 - March 5
Like faithful Moses raising his staff before the vast Red Sea, here Christ is changing what those around him considered possible.
Matthew 8:27 says that the men on the boat “marvelled” when they witnessed this miracle. Christ, and our faith in him, have the power to move both visible and invisible mountains, but do we remember to marvel and wonder at this miraculous power? Perhaps we can focus more on these moments after the miracles, when the dust is settled and we are left only with the miracle worker himself.
In Luke 2:26, Christ teaches His disciples that anyone ashamed of Him and His teachings will not be welcomed into his glory after this life. In Mark 5, He offers a counter-example to this principle: the woman whose faith in Christ healed her issue of blood. Rather than being ashamed of Christ or of herself in His presence, she unapologetically turned to him to make her weaknesses strong.
The color of Christ’s robe in this painting suggests that he is the one covered in blood, while the woman we often identify as diseased is wearing white, the color of purity. Our Savior does not want us to forget that he has suffered every pain and covered every mistake through his Atonement. In order for us to experience that power in our lives, we cannot be ashamed of him, but must boldly come forth and reach out for the strength and healing we each need.
Jan Miel’s weary travelers are pausing for rest in what looks to be a cool evening, much like the refreshing moments we can take to pause and reset in our lives.
Christ offers us these moments to stop, but more than that, He shows us how to have a foundation of light even when we don’t have the time to stop for a break. “If thy whole body… be full of light,” He teaches, “the whole shall be full of light,” even the parts that are in charge of managing a busy schedule, gaining an education, or any number of the other tasks we have to complete (Luke 11:36). If we let Christ be “the good treasure of [our] heart,” we can “bring forth good things” and find peace and rest by yoking ourselves with the Savior in everything we do (Matt. 12:35).
In Christ’s parable of the wheat and the tares, the servants question their master when they wake to find tares sown in their fields. The householder, knowing that he was not to blame, does not doubt or rebuke his servants; rather, he rightly recognizes the misdeed as an act of an enemy, and counsels together with his servants to preserve the good work they had done.
In our world full of opposition and uncertainty, we may often find our plans being sabotaged by the adversary. Let us remember that while he does not want us to succeed, we each have a team of people to counsel with, to rely upon, and to work for good with. As we focus on building these trustworthy communities, we can better prepare for the glorious blessings the Lord has promised us.