While living in Africa as a teen a man offered my dad a sombrero style hat in exchange for me. I should have been offended by the fact that he wasn’t willing to offer more for me. I’m not even worth a sheep? Anyway, women in that culture did not have much value. They were mere possessions to be traded or bought in order to be someone’s wife and housekeeper.
This was also true in the ancient Jewish culture. It was male dominated where women were only valued in relationship to the home. They were segregated from men on most contexts, having their own area in the temple and were not even taught alongside men. And yet, when Jesus begins his ministry we see him interacting with women, loving and valuing them as friends and disciples.
These beginning verses of Luke 8 spotlight a few women who followed Jesus, citing their names and what Jesus did for them.
There was Mary Magdalene who was healed of demons. Joanna was the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager. Some think that it was her son that Jesus healed in John 4:43-54. Susanna is the last woman mentioned. We don’t know anything more about her except that Christ probably healed her of some kind of illness. It is believed that all three women had money and that they helped support Jesus and his ministry.
Christ did a lot for these women. He healed them not only from their physical ailments but also of their spiritual illness. He showed his power to heal souls by healing their bodies. Their gratitude, love and faith lead them to give up everything and follow him.
Luke shows us that Jesus valued women (and children) as much as men. He gladly welcomed them to listen to him teach, he hung out with them and showed his love and compassion by healing and saving women. As Creator he cared for them, and as Savior he rescued them and gave them the position of daughters of the king, chosen and cherished by God.
But what does all this mean for us as Christian women? Here are a few thoughts.
1. You are Loved by Jesus.
Let me start with the fact that as women we have value. Just as much value as men. This may seem like a no brainer to some, but I fear that by the beliefs, words and actions of some women they would rather have been born a man. Remember that we are created in the imago dei (the image of God), we have been washed by the same blood that Jesus shed for men and our inheritance will be the same. (Gal 3:28). You are dearly loved.
2. You are Saved by Jesus.
Are we as thankful as the women who were with Jesus? Not all of us will have radical transformation stories of being rescued by God out of a heinous lifestyle, but the “little” sins nailed Christ to the cross just as much as the big ones. Your sins called for your condemnation, but Jesus suffered and died for those sins and gave you life. The one who has been forgiven much loves much. Does your forgiveness produce a grateful love?
3. You are Led by Jesus.
Do we know our mission? Just like Mary Magdalene, Susanna and Joanna, we are to follow Christ. What does this look like since we cannot literally follow him around town and sit at his feet as he teaches? Consider this verse. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Col. 3:23. This mean you follow Jesus in all your work. From grocery shopping to gardening, from raising children to serving your husband, everything you do as a Christian woman is done for the Lord Jesus. This is your mission, to follow him, honor him, glorify him in all you do as a woman.
4. You are Taught by Jesus.
Jesus said those who follow him know his voice, they listen to him (John 10:27). Are you listening? Is your relationship with Jesus your top priority? We have to ask ourselves if we are willing to give up things like, TV, sleeping in, or time on the computer in order to cultivate our relationship with him. Are we willing to dig into some deeper books that can help us grow into mature Christians? When was the last time you read something that challenged your socks off? That made you wrestle with the word of God and exposed hidden areas of sin in your life? Are we willing to hear correction in order to grow more godly for the sake of Christ? Jesus loves, saves, leads, and teaches you, but you must hear his voice in the word and respond by faith.
We are daughters of a great king and loved beyond understanding. Let’s strive to glorify God in all we believe, say and do.
Looking To Jesus,