~i went out this afternoon to buy a bookcase...i returned with a bible. and it was on sale!~
"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."
finally... some women i can look up to! =)
i was trying to think of the last time a woman was even mentioned in a sermon, much less really discussed in depth. besides the woman at the well and the Virgin Mary, not too many instances come to mind. this is the image women are given to look at and live up to-don't have 5 husbands, be humbled by the fact that a man is talking to you, and oh yea, give birth to the Messiah. curiously, no one ever talks about Jael driving a tent peg through the temple of Sisera, a powerful oppressor of God's people. now that's what i'm talking about!
okay, so maybe i'm taking it a lil far, but still. i feel like on the rare occasions women from the Bible are mentioned, we tend to skirt around the most crucial aspect--they loved Jesus. sure, most Christians have likely been exposed to the story of the woman at the well, but what is focused on? her sinfulness, the fact that she is an outcast and has multiple husbands. i'm not saying these are necessarily bad things to talk about in regards to the passage, for they can be used to paint a beautiful picture of Jesus' love and redemption. but we also miss a crucial point. the woman at the well immediately went back and gathered an entire town to come see Jesus and hear him. why? because she believed He was the Savior and loved Him, because she was in awe and filled with a joy that could not be contained. the result of this sharing of love and joy was that "many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony!" (John 4:39)
the more i talk to my fellow women, the more i am convicted that we need to hear about these women of the Bible, and not necessarily in the light that they are often depicted in. i had no idea until i randomly flipped(or Jesus guided me there i should say) to that passage in Luke of any of the following: women followed Christ, like the 12 disciples, throughout His ministry, women financed and supported said ministry, these women did it not because they were asked or because their husband was there, but because they felt the joy and love of Christ first-hand. basically, these were women who loved Jesus and were committed to following Him regardless of the social or cultural norms and pressures of the time.
I, too, like Mary, Joanna, Susanna, and the countless other women want to follow Christ and proclaim His good news in whatever way that may look like. more than that, i'm convinced that there are Christian women out there who want to do the same, but like me, have been scared and intimidated by other Christians of doing so fully. the fact that i felt so overjoyed yet shocked to hear about these women and the part they played in Jesus' ministry, their love for Him and His people, shows just how necessary it is for us to begin talking about women in this powerful and encouraging light. so women, be encouraged! men, start encouraging! =)
perhaps, for once, we should stop talking about what women "shouldn't" do in ministry and look at all they already have done.