7636 - Women Involved

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Lets consider today the many women that played important roles in the Bible.

Today we enter the eighth chapter of Luke in our Bible studies. In this chapter Jesus begins His second trip through Galilee. This time the twelve apostles accompany Jesus as He continues to mentor them in preparation for their work in establishing the future Church. This all culminates in perhaps less than a year at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit is sent to take up permanent residence in each believer, and the infant Church is born.

Let’s look at Luke 8, verses 1-3:
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

In a culture where women played behind the scene roles, it is significant that Dr. Luke mentions three women as being participants in this trip through Galilee and in general.

The Bible shares with us some impressive records of strong women of faith, and in general, Luke mentions women more than any other gospel.

In the Old Testament we think of Sarai, the wife of Abraham, who later received the name of Sarah. She is remembered in Hebrews as a great woman of faith.

Then there is Ruth, although of Moabite heritage, she remained faithful to her mother-in-law when they both became widows. She is remembered for her words, “your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” She is rewarded by being blessed in becoming an ancestress of David and of Christ.

Then there’s Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus and friends of Jesus. There’s Lydia, a seller of purple cloth, who lived in Philippi and who became one of the first gentile convert to Christianity in Europe. Then there’s Priscilla who along with her husband Aquila assisted Paul in his ministry.
And there are many more.

Having women as members of the traveling group with Jesus was uncharacteristic of religious leaders of His day because generally rabbis refused to teach women. But Jesus embraced the role of women as disciples and participants in His ministry. His attitude towards women gave them a positive place in the New Testament Church.

But let’s discuss a few of these women mentioned in today’s passage and take note that these women are from all levels of society; from king Herod’s household to a former demon possessed social outcast.

There was Mary called Magdalene, likely because she was from the town of Magdala. Jesus had cast seven demons out of her; and her life was forever changed. She ministered with Jesus in Galilee. She is also prominent in the record of the crucifixion; being near the cross, being present to observe where Jesus was buried, with other ladies she prepared spices to anoint the body; and most significantly on Easter morning Mary and others went to the tomb, but found it empty and saw two angels in the tomb, and later Mary Magdalene saw the resurrected Christ.

The second woman mentioned is Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household. Joanna is also mentioned by name in Luke 24 as one of the women who had prepared spices, and had gone to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, when they saw the two angels.

One other interesting fact; It says that these women helped support those in this ministry group out of their own means. Take not of the significance of this small statement.

Much in the same way as people have supported missionaries financially, these women supported the ministry of Jesus and His disciples. We may never know how much Jesus and His disciples were blessed by and provided for by these women.