Women of the Bible: The first women missionary society for the support of the gospel
the New Testament times the position of women was not equal to that
of men. Women were regarded as inferior to men. In marriages only men
were allowed to dissolve a marriage and in the temple area women were
permitted to go only as far as the court of woman and can only share
in the synagogue worship only by listening.
mixture of the sexes in public was an uncommon thing, opposed to the
custom of Palestine. The rabbis were not in favour of associating
with woman in public but we read of Jesus that as he went about
through the cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the
good-news of the kingdom that some women provided for him and his
disciples out of their means (Luke 8:2-3).
of the women mentioned were Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven
demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household
manager, and Susanna. These woman all had personal grounds of
gratitude to Jesus for some of them were healed of evil spirits and
Jesus’ social context, there was a lot of disdain towards women.
Women lack influence and power, they were shun in public and treated
as second class citizens. A rabbi in the second century AD said that
the Jews should daily utter three thanksgivings with one of the
thanksgivings being: ‘Blessed be God who did not make me a woman,
for a woman is not obligated to keep the commandments’. Such was
the hostility towards women in public life that Jesus countered the
social hatred by accumulating women to travel with him in his
woman displayed their gratitude to Jesus by providing for his
missionary work out of their own personal resources; we could say
that this is the first woman missionary society for the support of
the gospel. Another Rabbi may have shunned these women’s support
and bid these woman to go back to their own homes but Jesus, the ever
compassionate Saviour allowed these Women to be the backbone of his
read that in Jesus’s suffering hours that these woman were with
him. He had them for company from Galilee all the way to Jerusalem.
The gospel writers were not misogynist for they included the presence
of these woman in the dying hours of Jesus’s life whereas they were
completely silent about the whereabouts of the chosen twelve save a
women were loved and cherished by Christ. Jesus also came for them.
He came for their reconciliation to God’s society and to God
see two valuable traits in these woman of which we can all learn. The
two traits are service and loyalty.
woman offered their service voluntarily. I am sure that Jesus did not
oblige them to provide for his needs just because he had set them
free; their debts was for him to pay, but in the view of the mercy
and love which Christ had showered upon them, these women responded
by giving him their hearts. They offered him that which they could
give in whatever heights or depths. One thing can be said, namely,
that they gave their service willingly. God loves a cheerful giver
and Christ and his disciples must have loved these women for they
supported the ministry out of their own means. And when Christ had
ascended into heaven the disciples were found devoting themselves to
prayer with the Women and Mary the Mother of Jesus.
of God and sisters of Christ, is your heart melted by Christ as these
women’s once unclean souls were? Are you quick to offer your
service, money and time to Christ, supporting the work of his
ministry or are you still lingering in your struggle to conquer Adam
and fight your rights of equality? Will you not be like Christ who
considered equality with God not as a thing to be grasped but emptied
himself and was found as a servant? Will you not be a servant? Will
you not go quickly because of your gratitude and in your great joy
sell all of your ambitions to gain Christ? O will you not be one of
pray that you render your service to Christ and to his Church for the
joy and salvation of the world.
beloved Apostle tells us that standing by the cross of Jesus were his
Mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary
Magdelene. The loyalty of the other women were recorded for us by
Matthew when he writes, There were also many women there, looking
on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering
to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James
and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
woman were faithful to their Christ, there was not a Judas among them
– they did not pick up the cause of Christ, putting their hands to
the plough and then turn back like some of the disciples at Capernaum
who turned back and no longer followed Jesus. These woman endured the
hard teachings, they suffered the fear of being thrown out of the
synagogues because of their association with Jesus. These women were
seeds planted on good soils, they yielded the fruits of faithfulness.
women’s loyalty were like Uriah’s loyalty for his fellow soldiers
when David had taken him away from them. Uriah refused to go back to
his own home to sleep in comfort but he slept at the door of the
king’s house with all the servants of his lord’s and did not go
down to his own house. Although David may write that the faithful
have vanquished from among the children of men, we can say of these
woman that the faithful have not perished from among the daughters of
Eve. These women stood and watched the crucified Christ from a
distance although powerless to do anything yet they showed their
support for the suffering messiah by being there and standing near
the foot of his cross.
all truths of heaven, women are not second class citizens of the
Kingdom of God, they are first class, highly honoured and crowned
with beautiful gems decorated with a special name which God their
Father has given to each that belongs to him. They enter the kingdom
of heaven like all men namely through the effectual calling of God,
who justifies them and then glorifies them conforming each to the
character of his glorious Son who carried their sins on the cross.
dear Ladies, be Women who are full of gratitude because of what
Christ has done for you. Hold nothing back, live for Christ, serve
his church, love your family, use whatever gifts Christ has given
you, be a good daughter, seek his kingdom, be loyal, be faithful,
provide for the ministry like the Women mentioned in the gospels who
provided for Jesus out of their means.