“That’s me! I love this passage because I’m right there. Because women are right there,” I spoke energetically with my New Testament Gospels study group at Fuller Theological Seminary. A dear friend and great encourager, Justin, nodded and mirrored my excitement as we looked at a passage unique to the book of Luke. That brief, sweet moment of affirmation and recognition made the mundane task of studying holy. Luke 8:1-3 reads,
"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 who seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means."
I had read this passage many times before, but it was the first time that I realized that Jesus had women disciples—women that followed him not just in faith but traveled with him. It seemed so radical. And so Jesus. Jesus is never one to fit into anyone’s box. Probably because our boxes are too small.
These women had encountered Jesus and were transformed by his love and healing. Out of that transformation, they responded first with faith, but they didn’t stop there. Faith wasn’t just a belief for these women. It became action; it became movement. In the case of the women above, they literally moved around with Jesus and financially support him and his guys. These women were incredible! And they were also everyday women, just like you and me, who were once lost in their hurts and mistakes and were now saved through Jesus’ invitation to follow him. It’s no wonder I identified with them.
And they aren’t the only ones. Many stories of women can be found in the pages of our sacred Scripture. Women of all kinds of personalities, giftings, successes, and failures. These particular women disciples became my guides as I tried to follow Jesus faithfully, to go from faith to movement, just like them. These particular women disciples weren’t the first to give all to God, and they aren’t the last.
Women Disciples are you and me. This is a place where we can explore and deepen our faith and see where our faith meets movement in various areas of our lives—personally, in our families, at work, in our communities, in the world. Jesus hasn’t stopped beckoning women to follow him. We get the honor of picking up where the women disciples left off. Are you ready to move?
Movement Step: Set aside 10-15 minutes to reflect and journal about where you are in your faith journey. Consider these questions: When did you come to faith in Jesus? Why? How do you connect with Jesus throughout the week? How do you want to grow in your faith?