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Jesus and Women

Faithful Women who Served God

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell down upon a group of men and women who had followed Jesus Christ. They spoke with tongues and became His witnesses. Throughout the New Testament, we find many women who served Christ. When Jesus called the twelve to be His disciples, some of them were married (Matthew 8:14-15) and in all probability their families would have travelled on occasions with them. There was another group of seventy who on one occasion, like the twelve went out on a mission trip, but in amongst these followers was a group of faithful women who ministered to the saints who were readily accepted into the circle (Luke 8:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 9:5). Some of these women were wealthy with high social positions, to include Joanna, the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household. For Jesus to reach out His hand of friendship with women went against the grain and customs of the society of the day.

Jesus and Equality

The women themselves also took great risks just by following Jesus, in all probability they left their families behind on occasion to blaze the trail where Jesus was. If they were single then peoples' tongues would have been wagging! Just like Evan Roberts from the Welsh Revival (1904-1905) with his team of lady singers and evangelists, but Jesus treated women as equals.

The Bounds of Propriety

When Jesus and the disciples were in town, His followers would have put their money, homes and time at His disposal to assist them in the ministry. Jesus never over-stepped the bounds of propriety ordained by God, but He did make many cultural risks and was often looked down upon for doing so. When Jesus visited the woman at the well, His disciples were very surprised to find Him talking to her (John 4:27), but this one meeting changed not only the woman's life, but many citizens of the town (John 4:39-42), and was seed sowing in preparation for revival – which Philip saw three years later (Acts 8:5-17).

Mary and Martha

Even though many women ministered to the saints, culturally they would often be in the background, but with Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) we can see Mary sitting at His feet listening to every precious word. To sit at the feet of a teacher was only reserved for those who were students or disciples and for a woman to settle down and be at ease amongst men was regarded in those days as shameless behaviour. Martha was not happy about the situation and made that point known!

She was chasing her tail and running round in circles as she prepared a meal, not only for Jesus, but the disciples as well. Martha was showing Jesus her performance as a hostess, but Jesus really wanted her presence, and He told her that ‘one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part’- to have fellowship and to learn from Him.

Caught in Adultery

When the woman who was caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, He did not condemn her (John 8:3-11). Its an interesting point that she was caught in the very act yet the man was never brought even though he was just as guilty, probably more so, because it appears that the woman was framed. Jesus saved her life, but said, “Go and sin no more.”

The Formally Immoral Woman

On another occasion, a formally immoral woman wept tears of repentance over Jesus’ feet and then used her hair to clean them (Luke 7:36-50). The Pharisees were disgusted at such an act, but Jesus could see her broken heart and humility, she was forgiven of much so she loved much and her faith saved her (Luke 7:50).

Expensive Perfumed Oil

When Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman anointed Jesus’ head with very expensive perfumed oil (Matthew 26:6-13). The disciples were very indignant about this huge waste of resources, saying that it could have gone to the poor - they were technically right, but spiritually wrong; Jesus politely rebuked them and went on to say, “She did it for My burial…what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her (Matthew 26:13) and Jesus' words have been fulfilled.



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