Mark has just recorded the agony and death of Jesus.
I feel like I should stop and dwell on the Cross, but I am not sure I can say anything adequate.
So I’ll turn to this little passage:
There were also women looking on [the crucifixion] from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem. Mark 15: 40-41
Jesus called the disciples to come and follow Him. The women followed him without being called.
I’m not saying this to put men down. It’s just an observation I’ve made about women in the Bible (it’s not the only place we read about women who followed and ministered to Jesus and the leadership role women sometimes took in the early church – despite a culture opposed to women in many ways).
It’s an observation I’ve seen in the church. Women disproportionately serve vs. men. And often women are the only missionaries to show up in dangerous locales. I believe it may be one reason why Jesus called only men to be disciples. He didn’t need to call the women. They followed, anyway.
Maybe it’s one reason guys get the titles (Priest, Elder – ok, lots of people would disagree with me that women don’t have that second title). Maybe men need the titles and to observe other men in leadership positions in order to follow. Again, this isn’t a put-down of men. It may just be about the difference between men and women.
I’ve personally never felt interested in competing with men for positions in the church. I’ve never felt particularly frustrated that I “couldn’t” be a pastor or an elder. I always had a satisfying role. Especially now that I lead a women’s ministry.
I know that’s not true of many women. And I certainly know that many men treat women abysmally in the church because of their misunderstanding of God’s commands regarding marriage and church leadership. It’s NEVER about domination. It’s NEVER about skill. It’s ALWAYS about service, mutual service. It’s like the mutual service and submission among the completely equal members of the Trinity.
I just think it’s interesting that God gave women whatever it is that the WOMEN stood at a distance, followed Jesus everywhere, ministered to Him, AND followed him to Jerusalem when it was dangerous to do so.
They even followed him to the grave: “Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.” vs. 47
And because the followed, they were the first to see Jesus rise from the dead.
Dear Lord: Thank you that you put in women this natural inclination to follow you without being called and wherever you lead. Help me to continue following you wherever you call, no matter how it feels, no matter how scary, no matter how hard. Amen.