Some of my favorite people to study in the Bible are women. I enjoy studying them because I don’t often hear them taught on and I am fascinated by their stories, their contribution to my spiritual heritage. I learn from them. I am challenged and inspired by them. I am encouraged by them. Many times, just as with their male counterparts, they were the most unlikely candidates to play the role they did in the epic and life-changing events they faced. Yet, their strength and dedication to do what was right is nothing short of amazing. (We will leave the ladies who were determined to create chaos and cause harm for another day).
Today, I want to focus on some lesser known ladies who deserve to be honored, recognized and celebrated. What better time than the week following Mother’s Day? We know a few names but some are only known as ‘other women’. I could stop right there and instantly feel a camaraderie with these women. As mothers, as wives, as women in the workplace, as women in the marketplace, we sometimes feel a bit nameless ourselves as we make things happen for everyone around us. Some may accuse us at times of self-imposed martyrdom and servitude, but, there is a difference when you are a disciple. These lesser known and sometimes nameless women that we will look at today were indeed disciples of Jesus. They made a difference. They had a purpose. They impacted their world.
In Luke 8:1-3 we find mention of this particular group. Here is a portion of that passage.”
“Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with Him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases.”
It goes on to name three of the women who were accompanying Jesus and the male disciples. They were not just ‘fans’ who were hanging around on the outskirts hoping to catch a glimpse or have some interaction with Team Jesus. Jesus took them along. They had a purpose, a part to play. The women named were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; and Susanna. It also says there were many other women who were also contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his ministry.
Here is what we know about these women from this brief account.
They had their OWN encounter with Jesus.
They had their OWN calling from Jesus.
They had their OWN resources to give to Jesus.
We may sometimes feel nameless and as if our world rotates around others and their needs, but, just like these ladies, we can experience Jesus for ourselves, answer a unique call, operate in ministry and recognize that we have something to offer because of who we are and how we were lovingly designed. When it comes to our relationship with Jesus, we don’t have to be a bench warmer or a cheerleader, we can play in the game.
The next time that Luke mentions these ladies is in Chapter 24. He says that Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and several other women went to visit the tomb where Jesus had been buried so they could minister one last time to their teacher.
Here is what we learn about these women from this account of that day that changed the whole world.
They were up early.
They went prepared.
They were puzzled and perplexed when their plan was changed suddenly.
They were terrified and alarmed while they tried to figure it all out.
THEN they remembered what Jesus had said.
They rushed back to give the report of what they had seen.
Sound like anyone you know? Yep, these were genuine, real life, sure enough women, just like you and me. They knew all about needing a schedule and having a plan and doing the things that need doing.
With their OWN eyes, they told their OWN story, of their OWN first hand account of an astounding miracle. Guess what happened next? Guess what the very next verse says? After they’ve truthfully explained what they had seen, experienced and encountered, this was the response.
“But, the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it.” Luke 24:11
Here is the crux of the matter. Here is what I want to say to you today. If you are waiting to share your vision, declare your faith, express yourself and your views until there will be no naysayers and no critics, stop it. Stop waiting and start experiencing, sharing, telling, preparing and answering the call on your life.
You have a purpose, a place, a position on Team Jesus that is perfect for you. Suit up and put on your disciple jersey that is custom made with your name on the back. No one else can wear it like you can because it is yours. Go and tell your story, invest from your own resources and change the world around you. Make a Difference.