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 Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
When most people think of Jesus’s followers, they tend to think of only the 12 disciples. And yes, they were the core group of disciples. But as Luke points out here, others were following Jesus as well. And some of them were women.
This is unique because it was not typical in Jewish culture for rabbis to allow women to be their disciples. And yet, Jesus did not turn these women away which makes a powerful statement about how Jesus views women. He treated women as worthy to be included even when the culture of the time did not.
Luke points out that these women had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Jesus cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene. But we do not know details about the healings of Joanna, Susanna, or any of the other women.
What is evident is that the women were devoted to Him. These women were grateful to Jesus for what He had done in their lives so they didn’t follow Jesus around solely to learn from His teaching. They also financially supported His ministry and gave from their own means.
What’s even more interesting is where else we find these women in Scripture - at the cross. These women followed Jesus, even at the time of His death. Matthew 27:55-56 says, “Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for His needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.” They had followed Him to “care for His needs.” Jesus had taken care of them when they had great need. Now, they diligently cared for Him.
Even after His death, these women were seeking to care for His needs. Mark 15:47 states that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where He was buried. And of course, we know they were going to His tomb to anoint His body with spices the morning of His resurrection.
The WORD about women is that Jesus welcomes us to follow Him. He does not exclude women from participating in His ministry. So follow Him, sisters. Dedicate your lives to His service. Support His ministry by whatever means and resources you have. He welcomes you.
What does it look like to follow Jesus? What can you do to serve Him?
PrayJesus, I want to follow You. I want to dedicate my life to Your service. Show me how I can support the work You are doing. Amen.