The highlight of Easter reading was the extra-devotion of the women who followed Jesus in His earthly ministry.
While the disciples were scattered, confused and dejected by their Lord’s death, the women prepared the spices before Sabbath to anoint Jesus’ body, as was the Jewish custom. They traveled the following day to the tomb. While on the road, they were discussing who will roll the stone away. Upon arrival, they were surprised to see the stone rolled away and the disappearance of the body. An angel appeared and told the women, why were they looking the living from among the dead. They went in hast to announce the resurrection to the disciples, who remained skeptical.
Why were the women, the first ones to witness the resurrection? One of the answers is the redemption of women. Eve was deceived in the garden.
In some cultures, women are slaves, without the right to vote and second-class citizens, to name a few. Christianity however, elevated women from such a status. In his book Exodus, Dennis Prager wrote “Eve, described as “a helper equal to” Adam. The issue is not gender equality but the function of men and women in the plan of God.
Speaking about the Priesthood of the Believer, women are as anointed as everyone else. They can function in the gift of the Holy Spirit, do almost anything except being ordained. Perhaps the reason is because some of them have more ability than I do that risks losing my job.
In the bible, Moses’s mother who played a critical role in saving him. The midwives, who defied Pharaoh’s edict to drown the Hebrews’ male babies; Pharaoh’s daughter, who saved Moses. Miriam, Moses’s sister, who intervened with the Egyptian princess to have Moses’s mother, Yocheved, appointed to nurse and care for Moses. Esther saved the Jewish people from extinction.
In the gospels, we see Jesus’ relationship with women in general and also with the particular women in whose company we find—mother, friends, disciples, and beneficiaries of his mercy. These women appear to have been every bit as individual and unique as any of the apostles
Luke writes about them in his Gospel. In chapter 8, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others—who provided for him from their resources. (Luke 8: 1–3). Luke’s reference to the “seven demons” driven from Mary Magdalene. One thinks, for instance, of the “daughter of Abraham” whom Jesus healed in the synagogue, that lady “who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years and was bent over and could in no way straighten upright” (Luke 13: 10–17). Then, there was another “daughter” who, until she touched the hem of his garment, had been hemorrhaging for twelve years (Luke 8: 42–48). We recall, as well, the wife of Jairus, who watched Jesus raise her own daughter from the dead (Luke 8: 49–56). In addition to the Galilean women who traveled with him and the Twelve, we know of others associated with Jesus’ ministry, the two sisters of Lazarus at Bethany—that family of which John observes, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11: 5). Both Mark (7: 24–30) and Matthew (15: 21–28) testify that he expelled a demon from the daughter of a Gentile woman, and John records a lengthy conversation with a woman of Samaria (John 4: 6–26).
We cannot underestimate the ministry of women and their role in the plan of God.
by: Bishop Elmer Belmonte