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Unnamed Women, Servants of Jesus - Daily Treasure - April 2

  • 2022 Apr 02

Unnamed Women, Servants of Jesus

Sharon W. Betters

TODAY’S TREASURE

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means (Luke 8:1-3).

The disciples were not the only ones who followed Jesus. Numerous women walked with Jesus to Jerusalem. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John use the word “follow” repeatedly. Following Jesus meant being a disciple of Christ (Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:18, Luke 5:11, 27-28). These men and women were not along for the ride to be where the excitement was, like many church hoppers of today. No, the women’s love for Jesus compelled them to not only follow but to meet the needs of Jesus and His disciples. They provided for Jesus and His disciples out of their own resources (Luke 8:3). The word “provide” means to minister to as a deacon, or serve, wait on. I believe these women were “helpers” in every sense of the word. I can imagine them walking through the crowds listening to Jesus, initiating conversations with needy women, helping a mother care for her children, and sharing food with the hungry. While Jesus taught, these women did not just sit and take it all in, and they gave the same grace they experienced to those around them. These women witnessed Jesus teaching and performing miracles. They watched Him interact with other women in ways their culture forbid. They, too, had experienced His tender touch and could not get enough of His preaching. The Scriptures list some of their names and then note “many others” who used their own funds to provide for Jesus and His disciples. I believe the crippled woman, the woman with the issue of blood, and the woman at the well were some of those women, including the widow of Nain, Peter’s mother-in-law, Jairus' daughter, and many others who received the life-giving touch of Jesus.

We find women nearby during the crucifixion, hearing Jesus’ last words, experiencing the earthquake, and being first at the tomb after the crucifixion. They are the first to see the risen Jesus and are commissioned to tell the other disciples that Jesus was alive. All four gospels record how loyal they were to Jesus and the way the Lord honored them:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb... But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (Matthew 28:1, 5-9, also see Mark 16:1, Mark 16:5-7, Luke 24:1, 3-10, John 20:1-2).

LIFE-GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT

Each of these women followed Jesus; they heard Him teach the Sermon on the Mount and the importance of “abiding in Him”:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).

They accepted His words as an invitation to stay close, to find ways of serving, and then ultimately, to refuse to abandon Him at the crucifixion. In response to Jesus’ touch, they followed Him, and in so doing, they were the first to see Him and the first to tell the good news.

Next week, we will continue our journey to Easter with some of the unnamed and named women of the resurrection. In the meantime, consider how these women responded to the life-giving touch of Jesus. Though following Jesus held great risk, they served Him and provided for His disciples. They responded to grace with obedience. Do we truly understand the price Jesus paid for each of us? If we did, perhaps we would truly follow Jesus in response to His forgiveness of our sins and with a desire to stay close to our wonderful Savior.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the Director of Resource Development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of EncouragementTreasures in Darkness, and co-author with Susan Hunt of Aging with Grace. She is the co-host of the Help & Hope podcast and writes Daily Treasure, an online devotional.

For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.



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