Lessons from the Women Who Followed Jesus
31 Days of Women from Scripture
Women Who Followed Jesus
Day Eighteen: Lessons from the women who followed Jesus
Mary Magdalene, Salome (mother of sons of Zebedee), Joanna, Susanna, and others.
Mt. 20:20; Mt. 27:55-56, 61; Mt. 28:1-11; Mk. 15:40-41, 47; Mk. 16:1-11; Lk. 8:2-3;
Lk. 23:54-24:11, 24; Jn. 19:25; Jn. 20:1, 11-18; Acts 1:14
Those familiar with Bible teachings, know of the twelve apostles. These men were chosen by Jesus to follow Him and learn His teachings, so they could be sent out to spread the gospel to the world.
While those twelve men were Jesus’ chosen companions, there were others who followed. We learn in Acts 1:23 that Joseph (Barsabbas/Justus) and Matthias also followed Jesus the entire time.
Did you know it was not only men who did so?
There is a group of women who you could also say were with Jesus “through thick and thin”.
Mary Magdalene is listed most prominently in the group. What do we know about her? Not much! Jesus cast out seven demons from her. That’s all we are told about her.
Mary is included in a group of women that includes Joanna, who was the wife of Herod’s steward (Lk. 8:3), Susanna, and Salome, who was the mother of James and John the sons of Zebedee (Mk. 15:40), as well others who are not named.
This group of women, in three places, are said to have been “with Jesus from Galilee” (Mt. 27:55-56; Mk. 15:40-41; Lk. 23:55).
In Luke’s account we read that these women and many others “were contributing to their support out of their private means” (Lk. 8:3).
These women, from the beginning of Jesus’ teaching, followed Him and supported His efforts.
A few questions come to my mind –
What of Chuza, Joanna’s husband? We have no record of his choosing to follow Jesus. Was she having to go along this path without her husband?
What of Zebedee? Jesus called James and John to follow Him, and they left their father behind in the boat with the servants (Mk. 1:20). His wife, Salome, was also a follower. Where was he in those three years?
There are no answers to my questions. But it does make me think.
1 Peter 3:1 shows us how a wife may lead her husband to the truth by her own righteous choices. 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 teaches that an unbelieving spouse is not a reason to divorce. “For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband?”
Just looking at these things, God understands the woman doing her best to do what is right while her husband may not be going along. Remember Abigail (1 Sam. 25)?
It’s really for another lesson, but also think about God and Israel. God refers many, many times to Israel as His “bride” or “wife”. Israel certainly did not spend a lot of time being trying to be on the same spiritual page as the Lord God!
So, despite all the trouble that may have come from their decision to follow Christ – spiritually and literally – these women were ready to serve!
The next time we learn of these women is at the cross. These women stood with the mother of Jesus as she watched her son and Savior die (Mt. 27:55-56; Mk. 15:40-41; Jn. 19:25).
These women paid attention when Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body and buried it the tomb (Lk. 23:55-56). They went to wherever “home” was at the time and they prepared spices and perfumes to anoint Him (Mk. 16:1).
These women were at the grave on the first day of the week and they found the rock rolled away (Mk. 16:4; Lk. 24:2; Jn. 20:1).
The angel spoke to them of the joy of Jesus’ resurrection and told them to tell the others quickly (Mt. 28:5-7; Mk. 16:5-7; Lk. 24:4-11; Jn. 20:2).
They were the first to see Jesus after His resurrection (Mt. 28:8-10; Mk. 16:9-10; Jn. 20:14-18).
These ladies got to be the first bearers of the good news that Jesus was indeed risen again just as He said (Lk. 24:10).
This is further proof of Galatians 3:28!
Were these women appointed as Apostles? No. Jesus chose the men He wanted for that role. He only chose twelve – fourteen, if you count Matthias and Paul. There were likely dozens at least who followed Him throughout most of His ministry. More than twelve were there from the beginning as we pointed out at the start of our lesson. Those others were not chosen either.
They were not LESS because they were not chosen. They simply had other things to do in the kingdom! The apostles work was not their work. But work was not lacking for anyone, including the women!
These women spread the gospel, but were not appointed to be preachers, elders or deacons as men would be as the church was established (Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:1, 8; Titus 1:6).
Ladies – I want you to be encouraged to stop listening to the lies of world’s “religion” that teaches women are to be in the same places as the men.
God did not see fit to assign those places to women.
The women we see in scripture do not reach out and try to take those places for themselves.
God is the Creator of ALL things – including His church. His design. His plan.
When we work within His ways, GOOD will result (Rom. 8:28). It’s when we do things according to His purpose that His promises are fulfilled.
I also would encourage you to stop listening to lies of world’s “religion” that teach so many false things about these women, especially Mary Magdalene.
Each of us needs to be like Mary Magdalene and these other women. We need to recognize the truth and the salvation that is Jesus’ teaching. We need to see the benefit of following Him all things.
Are you ready to follow Him through thick and thin? Through relationships that get complicated because of your faith (Mt. 10:34-36)?
You can be one of the women who followed Jesus! Read Jesus’ words, pray for wisdom, and be obedient to the call (1 Tim. 6:12).
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