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)
I’m conflicted. When I enter the doors of my church, Presbyterian Church of America, I know they don’t support women ministers. Even the elders are men. I chose the church because its preacher, Michael, is humble, inspirational and open minded, giving different views of how Bible verses are translated without giving his opinion. An elder, Tommy, is my small group leader. He’s caring and monetarily supportive, providing food, all study materials, and occasional gifts. But in attending, am I giving approval that women shouldn’t have leadership roles when I don’t believe that?
The church’s primary goal is proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. But even in this twenty-first century, many churches exclude women from leadership. Luke points out Jesus didn’t. Women traveled with Jesus, monetarily supporting Him and the Twelve. In those times that was a leadership role. These women were independent, capable, and as worthy as men. Even though most healings reported in the Bible were men, Jesus healed these women also. After Jesus died, He approached Mary Magdalene and Joanna first, not His apostles. Jesus also approved of women being independent of their husbands, free to follow him. Joanna was married.
Father God, please help men and churches see women as equally capable and worthy of leadership roles. As my first priority, help me follow Jesus. But also help me be a good leader; humble and inspirational to those you give me; as the Twelve, Mary, Joanna, and Susanna were. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.