Who Were the Women Who Followed Jesus?
It may seem strange to devote a whole post to the women who accompanied Jesus throughout his public ministry, yet that is exactly what we are doing. However, it is important for readers to remember that ancient literature did not spend a large deal of time describing ladies. When they did, they frequently used pejorative language to describe the situation:
- According to the Greek poet Hesiod (Theogony of Work and Days), women should be avoided since they are only interested in a man’s goods rather than his person. Women were considered inferior to males when it came to leadership (Politics) according to Aristotle
- Statesman and orator Pericles stated, “A woman’s reputation is best when men talk nothing about her, whether it is good or bad.” (Hipponax)
Readers may find a selection of additional remarks made regarding women in ancient times by visiting this link. Because a woman’s testimony would not have held up in a court of law back then, the women who were there at the Resurrection would have rendered the tale significantly less believable in the eyes of those living at the time of its occurrence. Leaving aside ancient attitudes of women, the Gospels appear to devote a significant amount of time to female characters, as contrasted to their textual equivalents.
What do we know about each of them as individuals?
Mary Magdalene is healed by Jesus after seven devils are exorcised from her (Luke 8:1-3), and she then follows Him when He cures her. In ancient literature, the number seven, whether symbolic or literal, represented a large number of people. As a result, Jesus demonstrated His dominion over the forces of darkness and His capacity to save us from even the most catastrophic of situations. It’s possible that some readers confuse Mary with the prostitute who washed Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50), although there is no scriptural foundation for this association.
When all of Jesus’ disciples, with the exception of John, left during his trial and death, she remained by his side to console him.
If Jesus was able to deliver Mary from seven devils and she went on to become one of His most devoted disciples, then He has the ability to alter us as well.
Mary the Mother of James and Joses, and Salome
James’ mother, Mary, was the mother of one of Jesus’ followers, and the first of these was Mary (Matthew 27:55-61). She supplied financial support for Jesus’ mission, and two of her sons seemed to accompany her from Galilee to Jerusalem as she traveled the distance. She was there during Jesus’ death and, more than likely, at His resurrection (Mark 16:8). Salome, the mother of the other James and John, inquired as to whether or not her boys would be granted “places of honor” in God’s kingdom (Matthew 20:20-21).
Lessons learnt from these women: Even if God places our children in positions of ministry, this does not rule out our own participation in the ministry on our own terms.
These women gave up all in order to follow Jesus and provide for His work on the earth. When their sons left the cross, they lingered behind and were among the first to see Jesus’ amazing performance three days later.
Joanna the wife of Chuza, and Susanna
Jesus’ ministry and needs were supported by a number of women described in Luke 8:1-3 (including Mary Magdalene), who did it “out of their own private resources.” Even while it was not uncommon for women to hold down a profession in ancient times, it was more rare. These ladies, who had been healed by Jesus’ ministry, made the decision to forego their material possessions in order to join him. She does it with great enthusiasm since she is the wife of a high-ranking court official who would have had a lot of resources to donate.
Susanna does not have a well-known family member with her given name, such as Joanna, for example.
She is grateful to Jesus for healing her both physically and spiritually, and she joins Him and His followers as they carry out their work.
Many Other Women
Despite the fact that these women are not named in the Gospel, they sacrificed their time, skills, and even their own livelihoods in order to follow Jesus. In a period when women were not permitted to socialize with males from outside their family, they risked social prestige, familial pressure, and, most likely, the loss of friendships in order to follow Christ. Acts 2:1-4 reveals that they did so cheerfully, with many remaining faithful and ready to receive the Holy Spirit.
What does this mean for us?
We have no justification for not giving our all to Jesus. Women in His time had limited influence and, at times, even less financial resources. In the end, they handed over their entire lives to Him, particularly to demonstrate their thankfulness for His remarkable work in their lives. We may feel as though our time has passed as we see our children take on ministerial responsibilities, but it didn’t deter Mary and Salome from doing their jobs. Alternatively, we can be concerned about how our peers will perceive us, or whether we will measure up in contrast to our believing friends and family members.
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Who Was Joanna, One of the Women Who Followed Jesus?
Joanna is described as a woman who, by circumstance and desire, joins Jesus’ closest disciples during His final year on earth in the breathtaking Gospel-based novelJoanna: A Story of Love and Betrayalby Gene Everett Weatherley (2017), which is set in the New Testament. It is recorded in the Gospels that Joanna is one of the women who accompanies Jesus on his missionary journey throughout the world. The ladies in the party are in charge of the majority of the cooking and packing duties as they travel through Galilee on their way to Jerusalem.
They are astounded by Christ as they are by his miracles. In Joanna’s life, it is a busy, rich, and thrilling period, and it is a moment that transforms her spirit.
Who Was Joanna in the Bible?
Known as Joanna Cuza, she was the wife of Cuza, a rich Roman officer who oversaw the administration of King Herod Antipas’ palace. Before entering Jesus’ ministry, Joanna enjoyed a rich lifestyle in a beautiful mansion in Sepphoris, a cosmopolitan city populated primarily by middle-class individuals. Because of Cuza’s dominating nature, she is shown as being dissatisfied with her marriage and motherhood in the historical novelJoanna. The healing of their son’s high fever by Jesus, as well as the boy’s life, compel Joanna to become a part of Jesus’ mission.
- She believes that leaving her house and following Jesus is a means for her to express her dissatisfaction with Cuza’s unkind treatment of her.
- In the novelized version of the narrative, Joanna expects that Cuza would immediately understand the mistake of his ways, modify his conduct, and bring her back to their house.
- Because Jesus and the disciples did not have regular occupations throughout their time with Jesus, Joanna, a rich and relatively independent lady, provided financial assistance for them.
- In the story, Joanna swaps in her expensive silk robes for a rough fabric robe that she wears with a belt looped around her waist.
- The tale depicts the significant adjustment Joanna had to make in order to live simply on the run with Jesus’ band of followers.
- As she diligently followed Jesus, Joanna battled with her own personal challenges.
- The story may not be accurate in every area of Joanna’s life because we are given limited facts about her in Scripture, but we can imagine that she sacrificed a great deal in order to follow Jesus and that she felt it well worth the sacrifice.
What Does the Bible Say about Her?
Joanna is mentioned in Luke 8:1-3 as being a member of the group of individuals who are collaborating with Jesus to share the good news. He was accompanied by the twelve, as well as by a group of ladies who had been cured of bad spirits and diseases: Mary (also known as Magdalene). Many more are mentioned, including Joanna the wife of Cuza, the superintendent of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. She might have been one of the ladies who were healed of a disease or “evil spirit,” which has since been identified as a mental disorder.
- The ladies, together with the men, accompanied Jesus on his journey from town to hamlet.
- The ladies stood by and watched as he healed the sick, drove out devils, taught large groups of people, and challenged the Pharisees to a debate.
- According to Luke 24:9-11, when they (the ladies) returned from the tomb, they revealed all of this to the eleven and to everyone else there.
- They, on the other hand, did not trust the women since their comments appeared to them to be complete gibberish.
“Once again, Joanna was there — on the scene—this time as a witness to the resurrected Savior!” reads the Crosswalk.com article “Why Joanna Teaches Us About the Importance of -Supporting Missionaries.” One of the women who discovered the empty tomb, she went through a period of initial despair before bowing her head in dread at the sight of the “two men in clothing that flashed like lightning,” and then remembered Jesus’ statements that he would be killed but would rise again on the third day.
Joanna and the other ladies were swept away by a tsunami of emotions in a matter of minutes, which included tears of sadness and trepidation; horror and anxiety; hope; and, finally, tears of pleasure that filled their hearts.
With the apostles, she instantly expressed her joy and amazement with them.”
How Was Joanna Involved in Jesus’ Ministry?
As previously stated in the introduction, Joanna was a support person for Jesus and the disciples in their mission. Finding accommodation, procuring and cooking food, resolving personality disputes, strategizing and listening to Jesus’ teachings were all things she was involved in on a day-to-day basis. As the Gospel of Jesus spread, the Roman authorities intensified their hostility to His missionary endeavors. It is important to note that the Roman leader during Jesus’ manhood was Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, who had ordered the death of all sons under the age of two in the city of Bethlehem after the news of Jesus’ birth was made widely known.
The proclamation of a Savior’s coming to earth, proclaimed by Johnthe Baptist, did not sit well with Herod Antipas and his father, and so Herod Antipas had John the Baptist killed, just as his father had done.
As time went on, Roman troops were increasingly violent in their efforts to prevent Jesus’ message of redemption from spreading throughout the Roman Empire.
Joanna would have been terrified by Herod, yet she persisted in her efforts to shield Jesus from Herod’s ability to put a halt to His ministry.
7 Important Lessons to Learn from Joanna
First, Joanna lived by Jesus’ teaching to serve Him: “Whoever seeks life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and the gospel will find it.” For whoever seeks to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and the gospel will find it (Mark 8:35). She temporarily put her family’s well-being, personal safety, and financial luxuries on hold in order to work with Jesus. We have the ability to give a portion of our lives to Christian ministry. 2. We may hope to develop incredible wisdom as a consequence of studying Scripture and entrusting our lives to Jesus, as Joanna did, if we follow her example.
- When we labor inside Christ’s ministry, we have the opportunity to be healed.
- The ladies were almost certainly overwhelmed with sadness at Christ’s crucifixion and exuberant with joy at his resurrection.
- The importance of traditional “women’s” job cannot be overstated.
- Women were crucial in keeping Jesus’ ministry on track.
- Women provide a different point of view to a ministry, helping to resolve disagreements and discover solutions to difficulties.
It is possible that operating on faith with our entire life may provide huge rewards.
The tale of Joanna demonstrates that Jesus recognizes and appreciates the contributions of women to the Christian community.
We may all contribute to God’s work in our own manner.
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She is a former high school English teacher and editor who now works on writing projects from her home in West Michigan, where she appreciates the woods, water, dogs, and time spent with family and friends.
This page is part of our People from the Bible Series, which features some of the most well-known historical characters and individuals from the Bible’s historical records.
Your faith and soul will be strengthened as a result of their lives and paths with God.
The Life and Times of Elijah from the Bible Ruth’s Life – 5 Essential Faith Lessons to Take Away Queen Esther’s Biblical Story is a must-read. King Nebuchadnezzar is regarded as the world’s greatest villain. Mary Magdalene’s Biography in the Bible
The Women Who Followed Jesus From Galilee
|God gives a special emphasis to the presence of a company of women by the cross of Jesus. Their presence is in stark contrast to the apparent absence of The Twelve except for John who stood with Jesus� mother, Jesus� aunt, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the wife of Clopas.*These women had followed and served him from the beginning of his ministry in Galilee to his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection into the beginning of the first century church.Luke names Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna who, along with other women cured of diseases and demonic oppression, traveled with Jesus and The Twelve. These women supported his ministry out of their own finances. (Luke 8:1-3, Matthew 27:55) Susanna is never mentioned again by name. Joanna, the wife of the manager of Herod’s household, is named by Luke as one of the women who carried the message of the empty tomb back to the disciples. (Luke 24:10) Mary Magdalene is identified as the one out of whom seven demons was cast; she is never referred to in the Scriptures as a prostitute.Matthew adds that Mary Magdalene was present among the women disciples at Jesus� crucifixion. (Matthew 27:55-56) John tells us that she stood with him, Jesus� mother, and at least two other women near enough to the cross to hear Jesus� last words and to witness his death.She is named by Matthew, Mark (Mark 16:1), Luke (Luke 23:55; 24:1-11) and John who all report that this Mary was among the women who prepared the burial spices to place on Jesus� dead body. She was given the privilege of being the first to see and speak with the risen Christ, and to give the other disciples the good news that Jesus was alive. Mary Magdalene and all these other women followed Jesus because he had healed them. They believed his power to heal came from God. They followed Jesus without expecting to be given positions of power and authority over others. They didn’t quibble over who got to be vice-king in the new administration of God’s Kingdom under King Jesus. Instead of looking for free meals of bread and fish, they gave to him out of their own resources.None of them deserted him when he appeared weak and defeated. They made plans to honor him by tending to his dead body. They grieved over his suffering and death; over the loss of a good man, not the loss of a potential king who they hoped would free Israel from Roman occupation. Luke gave us the detail that the women disciples of Jesus also waited in Jerusalem for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:14) They continued to serve him in the early church and suffered persecution for their faithfulness to Jesus their Messiah, their Lord and Savior.These women did what needed to be done, not for personal gain or selfish ambition, but out of gratitude and a desire to give help. They model perseverance even when the cause seemed lost. They model devotion to our Lord and Savior. They model a willingness to take up their cross in the persecution they suffered. (Acts 8:1-4) They model community in their traveling and working together in the work of the Lord. Jesus himself commissioned them to be the first to announce the good news of his resurrection. We do not know the names of most of these women; but God knows who they are. These women, named and unnamed, did their work without hope of recognition in this life. Their hope in God was confirmed in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.*Some have speculated that Clopas may be the Cleopas of Luke 24:13-35 since there is only a minor variation in the spelling of the two names in Greek. If so, then Mary wife of Clopas, who stood at the foot of the cross could be the other disciple who spoke with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go toBible Study Guide: Near the Cross of Jesus
4 lessons from Jesus’ female funders
These female disciples of Jesus not only followed him, but they also provided financial assistance to him and the Twelve. Not only that, but they stayed with him all the way to the cross, even after the rest of the crowd left. What did these ladies look like, and what can we take away from their story? The Gospel of Luke has more tales about women than any of the other synoptic Gospels combined, including Matthew and Mark. As a matter of fact, the first letter of Luke to Theophilus contains 23 episodes that are not featured in any of the other Gospels.
Soon after, Jesus continued his journey through towns and villages, proclaiming and sharing the good news of God’s kingdom to everyone who would listen.
The Bible says in Luke 8:1-3 that There was more to it than merely following for these patronesses of Jesus’ mission.
In fact, the Greek name for their occupation isdiakoneó, from which we derive our contemporary word “deacon.” The money they gave to Jesus was only a small part of what they were doing.
What do we know about these women?
Luke appears to be assuming that Theophilus is familiar with these women. They were probably well-known because of their social standing, as well as because they had been healed – both physically and spiritually – of their illnesses. They were all together as a group. The most notable of these women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Chuza’s wife, and Susanna, to name a few. There were many others, and we must not undervalue the contributions made by these unidentified women to Jesus’ mission. The context and the specifics of the passages, despite some attempts to diminish their significance, provide substantial support for the premise that these women were independent financial benefactors who assisted Jesus’ ministry to work.
- Her given name, Magdala, may have simply indicated that she came from the fishing hamlet of Magdala in the Galilee region.
- More than likely, she was a well-known woman and a strong leader.
- Mary had a history of demon possession, maybe a particularly traumatic one.
- And her appreciation was so great that it appears she never left him, even after he passed away, despite his death.
- “God is gracious,” the name Joanname implies.
- Because she was of high social standing and out of place in Galilee, it’s possible that rural Galileans regarded her in disdain and rejected her as a result.
- There is no indication of their being divided into groups based on their social level.
It’s possible that Joanna and Chuza worked together to lend their influence, as well as their personal belongings.
Her ties may have assisted the organization in smoothing over severe political circumstances that had arisen.
This might explain why her name is listed, rather than being included in the category of “many others,” rather than the other way around.
“There are several others.” Despite the fact that they were not as well-known or had as much wealth as the mentioned supporters, the efforts and work of these other ladies (“many others” is indicated in the feminine gender) were significant enough to earn notice when taken as a whole.
Women like them are a shining example of what it means to follow Jesus, to contribute generously, and to accompany him on his mission.
And although if we don’t get the opportunity to walk with Jesus in the flesh as they did, there are definitely a lot of things we can take away from their experiences. Here are a few examples.
1. Show gratitude for how he has healed you
In spite of the fact that Jesus was homeless and impoverished, he performed miracles for these ladies that their money could never purchase. All of them appear to have been saved from a tremendous lot of brokenness, both physically and spiritually, according to Luke’s account of them. They were inexplicably thankful to him for saving their lives. They became his devoted disciples, and they utilized their material wealth to demonstrate their thanks to him and to help him continue his mission. He can cure you even if he did not save you from a demon or an illness, but you will still be spared from eternal death if he did not do so.
And that joy may inspire us to utilize our own material possessions, or whatever we’ve been given, to promote his mission as well.
2. Use the resources you’ve been given to continue Jesus’ work
The journey of Jesus and his followers lasted three years, and they did it while abandoning their fishing nets and collecting booths — sources of wealth – in order to do so. The miracle feeding of his disciples with loaves and fishes did not occur every time they needed to eat, as some believe. This is something he does just a number of times, according to the Bible. Instead, he delegated tasks to the ladies in order to address the demands of the group. In his teachings, Jesus expressed high expectations for his disciples, and he told them so.
Anything you want me to do in my name, I will gladly oblige.
3. Use your giving as a way to stay close to him
It’s likely that meeting the needs of Jesus and his traveling companions was not the major reason the ladies accompanied them. It seemed as though they were completely committed to Jesus. The means in which they remained by his side included the donation of their money, assets, time, influence, and service. They simply desired to be in close proximity to him, as did so many others. And by spending so much time with him, they were able to absorb his ways, benefit from his teaching, and observe how he interacted with others.
And when these ladies of money and nobility worked alongside the rural Galileans on a daily basis, their identities became less and less defined by their riches and social standing.
As these ladies of riches and nobility worked alongside the Galileans on a day-to-day basis, their identities became less and less defined by their money and social standing. The fact that they had spent time “with him” was what distinguished them.
4. Stay with him until the end
They accompanied him all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem. They refused to leave even when the situation got difficult or even hazardous. They never abandoned him, not even when he was no longer alive. With the exception of Mary Magdalene, the Gospel writers don’t mention these women very much. As a matter of fact, Susanna is never referenced again by her given name. However, we do know that Jesus had a large number of female companions since his ministry in Galilee. Some women were standing at a distance, taking it all in.
- Following him across Galilee, these ladies took care of him and looked after his necessities.
- (Matthew 15:40-41) Even after the disciples abandoned him, Joanna, Mary, and others remained at his side until he died.
- Joanna assisted with the preparation of his corpse for burial, and Mary waited outside his tomb until he rose from the dead.
- He was no longer alive, and they were still refusing to go.
- We are commanded to remain with him (John 15), and if we do so, we shall be greatly blessed as he returns to take us home with him.
THE WOMEN WHO FOLLOWED JESUS
THE WOMEN WHO FOLLOWED JESUS WAS A SPECIAL TOPIC FOR THIS SERMON. Luke 8:1-3 has the first mention of the women followers of Jesus who aided Him and the apostles in their mission. 1. Mary, also known as Magdalene, was a Christian martyr (Luke 8:2) The following verses are from Matthew 27:56, 61, and 28:1. b. Mark 15:40, 47, and 16:1,9 c. Luke 8:2; 24:10 d. John 19:25; 20:1, 11, 16, and 18 The wife of Chuza (Herod’s servant, according to Luke 8:3) is also mentioned in Luke 24:10 as being a disciple of Jesus.
- “as well as a large number of individuals who were giving to their support out of their own pockets” (Luke 8:3) It is said that a number of female witnesses were in attendance at the crucifixion.
- Matthew’s list of things to do Jesus’ mother, Mary Magdalene (Matt.
- 27:56), and the mother of Zebedee’s sons (Matt.
- 27:56) 2.
- Mary Magdalene (Mark 15:40) B.
- Salome (also Mark 15:40).
- Only “the ladies who followed Him from Galilee” are mentioned by Luke (23:49) 4.
Mary, Jesus’ mother (John 19:25) b.
Mary of Clopas (KJV, Cleophas, this might mean wife of Clopasor daughter of Clopas, John 19:25) d.
It is reported that a number of ladies were there at the site of Jesus’ burial1.
Mary Magdalene (Matt.
the other Mary (Matt.
Mary Magdalene (Mark 15:47) b.
Mark’s list a.
Only “the ladies who had come with Him out of Galilee” are mentioned by Luke (Luke 23:55) 4.
the other Mary (28:2) c.
Mary Magdalene (16:1) b.
Salome (16:1) a.
The list of Luke’s disciples a.
Only Mary Magdalene is mentioned by John (20:1,11) E.
“the ladies” or “the ladies” (Acts 1:14) 2.
It is difficult to determine the precise link between the many ladies on these lists.
Mary Magdalene, without a doubt, plays the most important part. This item about “women” in Jesus’ life and ministry may be found on pages 880-886 in The IVP Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, which is a valuable resource. 2014Bible Lessons International, All Rights Reserved.
Did Women Follow Jesus?
Yes! Women were highly respected by Jesus Christ, who frequently included them as positive role models of faith and dedication in his teaching and parables (for example, the widow of Zarephath who fed Elijah in Luke 4:25-26; and the woman who gave her two mites into the treasury in Matthew 25:21-23; and the woman who gave her two mites into the treasury in Matthew 25:21-23; and the woman who gave her two mites into the (Mark 12:42-44).
However, despite the fact that the quantity and extent of the New Testament stories of the women who followed Jesus are limited, it is obvious that females played an important part in Jesus Christ’s public ministry.
Mary received heavenly guidance that she would become pregnant with a son who “would be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father David, and He will rule over the family of Jacob forever; and there will be no end to His kingdom” (Luke 1:31-33).
Even though we have no further record of any role Elizabeth and Anna may have played as followers of Jesus Christ, Mary is present at, and facilitates, Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine (John 2:1-11), at the cross where Jesus commends her to the apostle John (John 19:25-26), and is counted among the Jerusalem members who met after Jesus’ ascension (Luke 24:47-48).
- Throughout Jesus Christ’s earthly mission, we come across a number of female ladies who are committed to him.
- Mary Magdalene appears to have been the leader of the female disciples, as she is consistently named first in the lists of women who were disciples of Jesus Christ (see alsoMark 15:40, 47; 16:1;John 19:25).
- It should be noted that the word diakone?, which is translated as “supplied” in this passage, is also used as a noun by Luke to refer to the apostles’ “minister (diakonia) of the word” (Acts 6:4).
- Mary Magdalene, the first person to view the risen Jesus and the one who announced the resurrection to the disciples, is also clearly shown among Jesus’ female disciples at his execution and burial (John 19:11-18).
- Despite the fact that she was a Gentile, the Syro-Phoenician mother begged Jesus to heal her daughter, who had been afflicted by a demon.
- You may have it done for you as you like.” And her daughter was cured very immediately (Matt.
- The lady, who had been suffering from a bloody condition for twelve years, reached out to touch Jesus’ robe, despite the fact that she was well aware that doing so would leave Him ritually unclean.
“Daughter, your faith has rescued (s?z?) you,” he said to her in a loud voice.
Last but not least, two sisters, Mary and Martha, are mentioned in both the gospels of Luke and John.
Martha is said to have welcomed Jesus into her home during the travel narrative portion of Luke’s gospel when Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, according to Luke.
During her stay in the house, Mary “sat it the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching.” The line may possibly contain a relative pronoun, which would read, “Mary likewise sat at the feet of the Lord,” (italics added), implying that Mary joined the other disciples in listening to Jesus.
Martha, along with Peter, is the archetypal example of those who have come to believe in Jesus as the Savior and Lord of their lives.
Mary demonstrates her love to Jesus by patiently listening to His teaching (Luke 10:39) and by anointing His feet with costly ointment and cleaning His feet with her hair, as recorded in Luke 10:41.
Lydia and Chloe may have served as patrons of house churches in Philippi and Corinth, according to some scholars (Acts 16:14-15;1 Cor.
According to Luke, a considerable number of women became members of the Church (Acts 5:14; 8:12; 17:4, 12).
Despite the fact that Paul occasionally chastises female members of the Church for their behavior (1 Cor.
2:9-15), women do make significant contributions through prayer and prophecy (1 Cor.
Though he had certain characteristics with both the Qumranites and the Traditional Jews in these topics, he was not one of the two groups in all respects.
He shares some similarities with the teachings of both John the Baptist and Qumran, in that he calls men and women to a bold devotion to God in the face of the disintegration of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Possibly, it is for this same reason that the Third and Fourth Evangelists go to such lengths to offer distinct women as religious role models for their respective audiences.” In Ben Witherington III’s Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A Study of Jesus’ Attitudes Toward Women and Their Roles as Reflected in His Earthly Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), he writes, “Jesus’ Attitudes Toward Women and Their Roles as Reflected in His Earthly Life” (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), page 126.
At Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, Dr. Witherington III is a Professor of New Testament Interpretation.
The Women Who Followed Christ
“The Raising of Lazarus” by 17th century Flemish artist Cornelis de Vos (Wikimedia Commons) (Wikimedia Commons). For the past two weeks, we have heard readings, unique to John’s Gospel, that focus on unnamed people whose initial encounters with Jesus lead them to believe in him. This Sunday, however, John records the faithfulness of Jesus’ friends, Martha and Mary, whose brother Lazarus has recently died. Interpreters often focus on the raising of Lazarus and its obvious parallels to Jesus’ resurrection.
- They provide us with another biblical example of women as preachers and steadfast believers in Christ.
- Where are you within your Lenten journey?
- The sisters Martha and Mary are friends of Jesus who believe that he is the Messiah.
- (Jn 12:1-8).
- Jesus is unresponsive because he knows that Lazarus’s death will be “for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (Jn 11:4).
- Raising Lazarus from the dead is the culmination of the powerful signs Jesus performs in the Gospel of John.
- Her first statement is a declaration of Jesus’ power: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
- (Jn 11:21-22).
Inspired by Martha’s proclamation, Jesus reveals powerful details about his identity: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Jesus asks Martha if she believes, and she responds with a confession of faith: “Yes, Lord.
- Like Martha, Mary proclaims that Jesus’ presence would have kept Lazarus alive.
- Mary’s weeping and wailing are powerful acts of mourning that affect those around her, including Jesus, who is upset and deeply moved by her pain (Jn 11:33).
- Though he demonstrates his power and divinity by raising Lazarus, Jesus poignantly expresses his humanity in his reaction to Mary’s grief and in his own weeping for Lazarus.
- Even when faced with an unbearable loss, they are steadfast in their trust, and their faith is enhanced by their interactions with Christ.
- Mary’s wailing is evocative to her community and to Jesus, who is moved by her lamentation.
- We can learn much from these women who inspire us to maintain an unshakable faith, even during the darkest of hours.
This article also appeared in print, under the headline “Another Biblical Model for Women Preachers,” in theMarch 16, 2020, issue. Jaime L. Waters Jaime L. Waters teaches Scripture at DePaul University in Chicago. She is an associate professor of Catholic studies.
The Women Who Followed Jesus
- Among those mentioned are Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of Jesus, Martha and Mary of Bethany, Ruth, the sister of Jesus, and Rebecca, the daughter of Ezra. Jesus and the Two Courtesans
- Jesus and the Two Courtesans Female Sycarite, Female at Simon the Pharisee’s, Female Evangelistic Corps, Female Who Touched His Garment, Female from Syria, Female taken in Adultery, Female with the Spirit of Infirmity
- Female from Sycarite The Service-Learning Lesson
- The Banquet of the Sabbath
- As witnesses to the Crucifixion
- As heralds of the Resurrection The Appearance of Jesus to Women
- The Appearance of Jesus at Sychar
- The Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth
During the course of one generation, Jesus freed women from the oppressive obscurity and slave labor of previous generations. And it is the one terrible aspect of the religion that claimed to be in the name of Jesus that it lacked the moral fortitude to emulate this beautiful example in its future attitude toward women. (149:2.9) A little is known about the women who followed Jesus, according to what is stated in the New Testament. Although women did not accompany him, we know from Luke 8:1-3 that they did so, accompanying him throughout the countryside and into cities and villages throughout Galilee and Samaria.
It took everyone by surprise when he proposed officially commissioning these ten women as religious instructors and even allowing them to accompany the men on their travels across the country.
- It was believed that it was “better to burn the words of the law (the Torah) than to be subjected to a female genital infection.” Jewish women got no formal schooling and were married as soon as they became fertile, which was generally around the age of 12 or 13 in the early nineteenth century. During one week of the month (during her menstrual cycle), she was considered unclean, and whatever she came into contact with during that time, including food and other people, was deemed tainted
- A respectable Jewish woman was confined to her house and kept out of the public eye. She had no contact with any men other than those in her immediate family. She had no honorable status until she married and produced a male kid, at which point she gained it. In the absence of such a development, woman would be without respect even within her own family
- Public matters were the exclusive realm of males. a woman was prohibited from speaking to any male in public, and a man was prohibited from speaking to any woman in public, even to acknowledge his wife
- Traveling by women, save for traditional causes like as visiting relatives and attending specific religious feasts, was regarded as abnormal conduct, sometimes with connotations of sexual immorality.
Do you think it’s any surprise that stories of the women who ministered alongside Jesus were lost to history shortly after his death? We now get a peek of the ladies who dared to follow Jesus through the pages of The Urantia Book. Women like Mary were as heroic in their courage and dedication to the Master, so offering us with a whole new insight of the reality of Jesus’gospelof the kingdom, in which “there is no wealthy nor poor, free nor bound, male nor female, all are equally sons and daughters of God.”
The Women Disciples of Jesus
- 15:41 These used to follow him andprovided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other womenwho had come up with him to Jerusalem.Matthew also tells us of women followers at the cross and later atthe tomb (cf.
- 27:61 MaryMagdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.Mary Magdalene is one of those women, along with Mary the mother ofJames and other women named in the various accounts.
- TheSynoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) all describe the women as thosewho had followed Jesus.
- This apparently large group of womenalso followed and witnessed Christ’s miracles and preaching throughoutthe region.These women also “provided for them out of their resources” (Luke8:3).
- These womensupported and served Christ throughout his earthly ministry.
- She is always listed first in groups of namedfemale disciples” (The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, 884).She is mentioned in all four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion.
- She stood at the cross with theother woman and saw where Jesus was buried.
She became known as the apostle to the apostles.In all the Gospel accounts women are the first to the tomb Sundaymorning, and they are the first to see the risen Christ and commanded tocarry the good news to the disciples.Mark 16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene,and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that theymight go and anoint him.
- 16:6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you arelooking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.
- Look, there is the place they laid him.
- 28:6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.Come, see the place where he lay.
- 24:3 but when they went in, they did not find the body.
- 24:5 The women were terrified and bowed theirfaces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for theliving among the dead?
24:6 Remember howhe told you, while he was still in Galilee, 24:7 that the Son of Manmust be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third dayrise again.” 24:8 Then they remembered his words, 24:9 and returningfrom the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.24:10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, andthe other women with them who told this to the apostles.John 20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while itwas still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stonehad been removed from the tomb.
20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peterand the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them,”They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where theyhave laid him.”In all four accounts different women are named, but one name isconstant in all four gospels: Mary Magdalene.
Peter and the beloveddisciple then run to the tomb where the beloved disciple stoops down andlooks in, and Peter enters the tomb.
Peter and the beloved disciple then leave.John 20:11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb.
20:13 They said to her, “Woman, whyare you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and Ido not know where they have laid him.” 20:14 When she had said this, sheturned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that itwas Jesus.
Whomare you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him,”Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, andI will take him away.” 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned andsaid to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).Mary remains at the tomb weeping.
- She answers, “They have takenaway my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him” (John 20:13).She then turns and sees Jesus but does not recognize him.
- Looking for Jesus is “one of the marks ofdiscipleship in John.” The repetition of the question in this chapter”establishes continuity between Mary and the first disciples of Jesus”(Gail R.
- Mary still doesnot recognize Jesus until he says her name.
But go to my brothers andsay to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God andyour God.'” 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “Ihave seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things toher.Apparently she tried to hug him, but Jesus tells her, “Do not hold onto me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father” (v.
- It is notas harsh as it sounds.
- Jesus cannot be held on earth–he must ascend toGod, so that God’s plan to build his kingdom through the church canbegin.
- She returned to Jerusalemto proclaim, “‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had saidthese things to her” (v.
She was the first preacher of the goodnews of the resurrection to the same men who had just been at the tombbefore Jesus appeared to Mary.In fact in all four gospel accounts Jesus appeared to women andcommissioned them to go proclaim his resurrection to his male disciples.The tradition that Christ appeared first to women was well establishedby the end of the second century when Celsus, a pagan critic, discountedthe gospel and resurrection by saying that an account given by ahysterical woman could not be trusted (cf.
- Luke 24:11).
- Jesus did not firstappear to the “vicar” of the church, Peter, or even to the beloveddisciple.
- Mary saw him first, and she received the central tenet of theChristian faith: “He is risen!” She was the first to proclaim the goodnews, or gospel, of the resurrection.
- That he appeared to Mary first can only mean thatthis was by divine appointment and was a deliberate act on his part.Women as well as men were credible witnesses to the gospel and werecommissioned to preach it to all with whom they came into contact.
Andthe women were faithful in proclaiming the Gospel, even to thedisciples.
Shawna Renee Bound, “Women in the Gospels” inYour Daughters ShallProphesy: A Biblical Theology of Single Women in Ministry,unpublished thesis, (Copyright � 2002 by Shawna Renee Bound).C. S. Cowles,A Woman’s Place? Leadership in the Church(Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1993).Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels(Downers Grove, IL:InterVarsity Press, 1992).Gail R. O’Day, “John” in theWomen’s Bible Commentary,exp.ed., eds. Carol A. Newsome and Sharon H. Ringe (Louisville: WestminsterJohn Knox Press, 1998).Virginia Stem Owens,Daughters of Eve: Women of the Bible Speak toWomen of Today(Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Co., 1995).Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Nancy A.
Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1992).Jane Schaberg, “Luke” in theWomen’s Bible Commentary,exp.ed., eds.
Newsome and Sharon H.
– Shawna R.
Atteberry, Copyright © 2018, Shawna R.
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