I have struggled with what it looks like to be a Jesus-following woman who leads, teaches, and tells others about Him. It makes sense since there are many arguments and division in the church about a woman’s role in the body of Christ.
I’ve lived under limitations based on other Christians’ opinions. I’ve struggled with the rules of religion. I’ve delayed obedience to God’s answer to my prayers based on what I “thought” my role as a woman was supposed to be. I know being a woman is complex, with all the nuances of work, relationships, and faith.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to freely listen to God’s calling, live the resurrected life, and have courage to run in what God has asked me to do. I’m ready to lead because I follow Jesus and because He wants me to lead others back to Him.
During this Easter season, I thought about Mary Magdelene, Mary, and Joanna. I wondered what I would have done as a disciple of Jesus who was a woman, walking with Him, hearing teachings directly from Him, and seeing Him die and be buried in a tomb. I tried to put myself in their place, especially when they received this special groundbreaking assignment from the angel at the empty tomb:
“Go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
Matthew 28:1-10 (ESV)
Did they think to themselves, “Doesn’t God know I’m a woman? Who will listen to me? What if they don’t believe me? Is this really my role?”
I don’t know what their personal thoughts were, but I know they overcame any potential self-talk and cultural norms with their obedient actions. These women acted in faith of what they knew to be true — Jesus was alive and others needed to know it.
God chose them to be the first to know about the completed salvation message, and they were the first to be told to “go and tell.” As they were on their way, Jesus met them. He greeted them warmly, making Himself known to them, so they could see and worship Him. That’s what we need in the middle of the journey to “go and tell,” isn’t it?
We all need to be reminded that we heard our assignment correctly, that it really was God who called us and empowers us.
The women responded by grabbing Jesus’ feet and worshipping Him. They didn’t allow who they were to prevent them from doing so, and they continued on in obedience to do what He asked of them.
Jesus showed up to confirm that they were ready for this moment and the ones to come. He wanted them to know that they were created to share the good news and that He loved them and was with them. When Jesus calls us to go and tell of His great love story, He encourages us to stay the course and follow Him no matter what others may think.
I find it fascinating that Mary got to tell the brothers about Jesus’ resurrection before Jesus revealed Himself to them. Why did Jesus choose this way of doing things? I don’t have an answer, but it’s always good to pay attention to God’s ways when He doesn’t go by what’s expected.
The story of these women helps me remember that no matter what others may think of God’s calling on our lives, He will make Himself known to us and will make it very clear what we are to do to spread the good news. He will meet us as we take the first step of obedience, so we have no need to be afraid to “go and tell.”
Just like the women at the tomb who brought the gospel message to the other disciples about Jesus being alive, you too are empowered to share the good news with others in creative and new ways.
God will go before you wherever He sends you. And there — wherever He’s called you — is where you will see Him for who He really is, fully alive and the Savior to all.Leave a Comment