When we view scripture from the 30,000 foot level we see it moving in the direction of a more equal partnership of men and women, defying the convention of the times. The male-female pairings in the book of Luke are one intriguing example of this movement. In today’s post Gail takes readers on a quick trip through Luke pointing out male-female pairs in the narratives, the parables, the miracles, and Jesus’ public teaching. It is an intriguing look at how Jesus elevated the status of women.
I read Matthew 27:55-56 recently and saw something I had not noticed before. There were many female followers at Jesus’ crucifixion – many. I had previously imagined that only a few women had accompanied Jesus and made the trip all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem – usually a journey of several days.
These women had travelled to be with Jesus and to minister to him by taking care of his needs. From this group of many, Matthew identified just three of the women: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the unnamed mother of the sons of Zebedee. Mark, in his parallel account, also lists just three women: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and Salome, but he adds that many other women from Galilee were near the cross with them (Mark 15:40-41 cf Mark 16:1).
Perhaps the most revealing glimpse into Mary’s true character can be found in the Magnificat…a bold and subversive prayer that reveals her own hopes for this special child and the future of Israel.
Recently, I heard it said in a sermon that the early church was led by “unschooled, ordinary men”. This idea that Jesus chose poor, uneducated fishermen as his disciples is entrenched in evangelistic teaching, and was something I heard often growing up in the church. But is it really true?