Women Hear the Call to Follow Jesus

We see the women of the New Testament in many different roles:

1. As poets

The Magnificat, Mary's response to the greeting of her cousin Elizabeth, is the most beautiful poem we have in the New Testament; indeed, it is one of the most beautiful poems in all literature.

Elizabeth's joyful greeting in Luke 1: 42 - 45 is also a beautiful poem.

2. As scholars

The beauty of Mary's Magnificat shows clear scholarly knowledge of the prayer of Hannah in I Samuel 2: 1 - 10.

When Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was struck dumb until the child was born, he communicated with his household solely by writing notes. Elizabeth, his wife, may well have been the reader of the notes.

3. As financially independent persons

The ministry of Jesus was clearly financed by women, including Mary Magdalene and Joanna.

4. As hospitable property owners

Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, repeatedly opened her home to Jesus and the disciples.

Lydia opened her home to Paul and the apostles.

5. As spiritual persons

Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, chose to study at the feet of Jesus instead of helping with the household tasks.

6. As witnesses to Jesus' ministry

Many women followed Jesus as he preached and healed, and women were clearly a part of the events of Holy Week. Mary Magdalene was the first person Jesus greeted after he rose from the dead on Easter morning.

7. As teachers

Priscilla was the teacher of Apollos, who already had proven himself as a scholar before he met her.

8. As care givers to the poor

Dorcas, or Tabitha, was restored to life by Peter, so she could continue her work of making garments to clothe the poor.

9. As leaders in the early church and as equal partners in mission

Paul repeatedly greets Priscilla (with her husband Aquila) in his letters as a leader of the church.

Lois, the grandmother of Timothy, and Eunice, his mother, are given the credit (by Paul) for bringing Timothy to faith and service.

10. As equal partners in marriage

Paul writes a clear description of Christian marriage in 1 Corinthians 7. Verses 2 -5 were used as the medieval Christian marriage contract for centuries. The Message carries a frank translation of Paul's thoughts on marriage.

Many of the women whom Jesus healed, many of those women who formed part of his entourage, and many of the woman missionaries of the New Testament remain nameless.

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