Remembering and Celebrating Women's Ministry
Atty. Lal Varghese
Dallas Farmers Branch MTC
“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, the gospel writer gives a greater attention to women in his gospel than other New Testament writers. Jesus used and encouraged women in His earthly ministry. Luke’s account of the women who followed Jesus and supported the ministry in Galilee is a perfect appreciation to women and to their ministry. Luke’s gospel, especially the above portion emphasizes the women for their faithfulness and commitment to the Lord and it values their ministry as a partnership in the proclamation of the gospel and kingdom of gospel. Throughout the gospels women were portrayed very favorably.
Jesus differentiated the ministry of women from that of men by not entrusting women in His ministry with the same responsibility as given to men. Jesus did not send women to preach the good news to the people as Apostles or Disciples, but entrusted that responsibility to men. Jesus used women in His ministry, in a way that is entirely consistent with the principles and practices of the Jewish culture in which Jesus lived and preached. Jesus revealed His power and sufficiency over the lives of these women by performing a miracle in each one of their life. Luke tells that these women were not mere followers, but they were active contributors to the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom. These women who accompanied Jesus were a testimony to the identity of Jesus Christ as Messiah.
These women who are mentioned by Luke are the same women mentioned by Matthew and Mark, who continued to follow Jesus, not only in Galilee, but also to Jerusalem. They followed Him both at His good times and bad time. They are the women who stood by our Lord at the cross, and who were the first to come to the empty tomb. These were faithful women, faithful in meeting the needs of our Lord and of His followers, faithful in staying with Him even at times of danger, and faithful even after His death. Indeed, they were among those present and praying at the time of Pentecost.The women in the Mar Thoma church also shared the spiritual power generated by the Reformation. The Mar Thoma Suvisesha Sevika Sanghom, the women’s wing of the Mar Thoma Church, was established in 1919 and Mrs. Kandamma Varghese, who was the secretary of the Sanghom for more than 20 years, who worked hard by traveling far and wide to establish the branches of the organization in parishes and doing evangelistic work, is a role model for all women of the Mar Thoma Church. We as a church need to appreciate the ministry of women in our parishes and throughout our church including in our mission fields.
“Lord ,thank you for enabling the women to proclaim the gospel even today and we pray that You may continue to keep them in Your providence so that they can be role models to the family, to the Church and to the community.” Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
" Christianity fuels everything I write. Being a Christian means that I am called upon to do battle against lies, injustice, cruelty, hypocrisy." Ann Coulter