Luke 8:1-3 (NLT)
1 Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him,
2 Along with some women he had healed and from whom he had cast out evil spirits. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons;
3 Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.
Here we see an example of Jesus treating women differently. In Jewish culture, women were not supposed to learn directly from the rabbis. By allowing these women to travel with Him, Jesus was showing that all people are equal under God.
Sometimes we don’t realize that there were many women among Jesus’ followers. One of the reasons women followed Jesus was because He didn’t treat them as others in His culture did. Instead, Jesus treated them with dignity; as people with worth and value. In first-century Jewish culture, women were usually treated as second-class citizens with few of the rights that men had. But Jesus crossed those barriers by showing respect, not only for women, but for all people.
A popular Jewish prayer in Jesus’ day was to thank God that one was not born a Gentile, a woman, or a slave. However, Jesus related not only to women, but to everyone – as people made in God’s image and likeness. Jesus lifted women up from degradation and servitude to the joy of fellowship and service. No wonder women gravitated toward Jesus – we all gravitate toward people who accept us and appreciate us.
Next, healing and deliverance are clearly seen in these verses. Notice who the recipients were of Jesus’ healing and deliverance – women. The intimation here is that the women mentioned, and many others, were all healed and set free. From reading additional translations, we know these miracles of healing and deliverance ranged from simple illnesses to complex diseases.
Finally, these women that followed Jesus had resources – wealth, if you will. We’re not told what Mary Magdalene’s occupation was, but she seems to have been wealthy. Mary and these other women were willing to share their own money to help Jesus and His ministry.
Mary Magdalene not only traveled with Jesus, but also contributed to the needs of His ministry. Jesus and His disciples did not provide for themselves by miracles, but were supported by the service and means of such grateful people as these women. These women continued to support the ministry out of their own personal resources. Women are vital to the ministry of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and faithfulness includes being willing to share your time, talent, and treasure.
Jesus was the first man who ever validated a women’s dignity, worth, and value based on Genesis 1:26. God created both men and women, in His image and likeness, so they could be equal partakers of God’s blessing. Jesus continually validated that in both word and deed. Jesus died for both men and women equally. The apostle Paul understood this and that is why he said (in Galatians 3:27) that there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Every person who is in Christ is accepted, approved, and blessed by God. This is the confirmation of our statement: Woman… Thou art successful!
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