Luke 8:1-3 – Soon afterward, Jesus began a ministry tour throughout the country, visiting cities and villages to announce the wonderful news of God’s kingdom realm. His twelve disciples traveled with him and also a number of women who had been healed of many illnesses under his ministry and set free from demonic power. Jesus had cast out seven demons from one woman. Her name was Mary Magdalene, for she was from the village of Magdala. Among the women were Susanna and Joanna, the wife of Chusa, who managed King Herod’s household. Many other women who supported Jesus’ ministry from their own personal finances also traveled with him.
The gospel liberates humans from all sorts of bondage. Paul taught that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. You would have to admit, historically women have been suppressed. Isn’t it ironic that it is the gospel that began the process of liberation? Think about it, it was a woman, Mary Magdalene that was the first witness of the resurrection and actually “preached or proclaimed” the good news of the resurrection of Christ to the apostles. In today’s passage we see women traveling as “disciples” of the Lord. Apparently it was women who provided the majority of the financial support for the ministry of Jesus. It has been said that Luke is the most “Pentecostal” of the gospel writers. After all he authored the book of Acts and included the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit in his gospel. Pentecost was responsible for elevating women to a place of public speaking. In Acts Peter said that young women would prophesy, even the Baptists call that preaching. Here are some notes from the Passion Translation on this passage.
“To travel with a rabbi was considered a high honor. Yet it was not permitted in the culture and time of Jesus’ ministry for a woman to be mentored by a rabbi. Jesus elevated women into a place of honor and respect, in spite of the cultural limitations. It was these wealthy women who provided for Jesus’ care. Luke is the one Gospel writer who brings out the many times Jesus honored women. These women would later be present at the crucifixion and at the resurrection. Mary Magdalene was the first human being to see the risen Christ.”
Women have always played a prominent role in the advancing of God’s kingdom. Maybe its time for another Kathryn Kuhlman, Aimee Semple McPherson, or Mary of Bethany to step forward.