The Gospel of Luke | Women in Ministry | Luke 8.1-3 |

by | Apr 13, 2021

“After this, 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 whom 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.“ Luke 8.1-3

From what I understand, this type of involvement by women in ministry in the early Church and in Judaism was unheard of. But in this passage, Jesus mentions three women, “Mary (called Magdalene)…. Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manage of Herod’s house, Susanna; and many others.” He mentions three by name by refers to “many others” who were with him in his work.

What did they do? Did they preach, probably not because Jesus was doing the teaching. Did they heal? Possibly, but while Jesus was with them he was the one doing these extraordinary miracles. What they did was to “help support them (Jesus and the disciples) out of their own means.” In other words, they were the benefactors of Jesus’ work and ministry.

I imagine they did all kinds of service to Jesus besides contributing money, food, goods and supplies, but these things are not inconsequential. We read later in Acts 6 when Stephen and other “deacons” were selected to help with the administration of the ministry. Women were not formally recognized due to cultural norms but these women were essentially doing a similar work as Stephen and the other men chosen by the disciples to help in ministry.

As you may know, I am a Methodist and work in conjunction with Truett seminary. Both of these organizations affirm the call of women into ministry. Why? Because they ministered with Jesus in the Gospels. He affirmed their call and relied upon them to help do the work of spreading the Gospel. Paul affirms women in ministry In Galatians 3:28 when he writes, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” I love this last line — “you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

What a joy it is to partner with women in ministry. The same Holy Spirit who fills my heart as a man, fills the hearts of women. The Spirit is not exclusive to only males in ministry. I believe God’s Holy Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8.11), lives in all people who commit their lives to the Lord.

As Jesus traveled from town to town, proclaiming the good news, as Luke 8.1 tells us, the disciples were with him as were “some women.”

Let’s affirm women in ministry today. Knowing that there is much to be shared among both genders for the glory of God and sake of the Kingdom.

“O Lord God, you are good. I praise you for including all people in the work of your Kingdom. Thank you for the privilege we all have to spread the Gospel. Regardless of our race, ethnicity and gender, you invite all people to receive your Holy Spirit and proclaim your Good News. Come now, Holy Spirit, bring life back into your church and stir the hearts of your people. Bring your fire upon us and help us to be faithful, sanctified, and holy by your Name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen