After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household: Susanna: and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (Luke 8:1-3)Think about these remarkable words. Here were women not only associating with Jesus Christ and his male disciples, but traveling along with them. Also, notice that at least some of these women—possibly widows—had control of their own finances. It was out of their generosity that Jesus and his disciples were at least partially supported.
Although Christ worked with the cultural traditions of the first century, he ignored the limitations that had been placed on women by their culture. Women were free to follow him and to take part in his ministry to the world.
All are one in ChristIn Christ we are all children of God. As the apostle Paul wrote: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).
Paul’s significant words, especially where they concern women, are bold even now, and certainly were astonishing in the time he wrote them. This was another of Paul’s transitional statements showing that a new covenant relationship through Christ had begun.
Now we have a new life in Christ. All Christians have a new relationship with God. Through Christ, we—both male and female—have become God’s own children and one in Jesus Christ. Christ is calling all—men and women—to repentance and a new way of life. Jesus showed through personal example that it’s time to put aside the old biases, the feelings of superiority over others, the feelings of resentment and anger, and to walk in newness of life with him and through him.
Many of you are striving to be women of faith. Many of you, like the bent-over woman healed by Christ in the synagogue, have to overlook some discrimination as you faithfully worship God and serve him. Don’t get discouraged and give up. Jesus Christ calls you equal in every way in his sight, and heirs to his promises. And, as you humbly follow him, Christ will use you in his service.
And, for those of you who haven’t taken that step, just as he freed that poor woman from Satan’s debilitating physical affliction on her, Christ promises to free you, and all his “daughters of Abraham” who repent and follow him. Jesus Christ wants you in his kingdom.