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
Thank you Stephanie for this timely reflection. I left the Baptist Faith tradition and became a pastor in the Presbyterian Faith when God called me to do so. I haven’t always felt affirmed by religious groups, yet I have felt affirmed by God and what He reveals in scripture. Your reflection is “spot on.”
Beth Williams says
God told women to go & tell the other disciples because He knows we love to talk & tell others about what we’ve seen or heard. The woman at well also ran & told others- & many were saved. Who are we to put constraints on what God calls us to do? Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:34 As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. Do you see it? The law at that time didn’t permit women to speak, but we are no longer under the law! Paul states earlier in 1 Corinthians 11:5 every woman who prays & prophesies. I believe that if God calls women to pray, prophesy or preach then go do it. Who are we down here to contradict what God says? Why should we care what others think? It is utmost importance what Jesus thinks.
Bev Rihtarchik says
I love the fact God doesn’t go by what’s expected. Jesus (our King) comes as a tiny helpless babe; Jesus reveals Himself for the first time, as the Messiah, to a woman; Jesus appears first (after His resurrection) to the women…there are so many wonderful examples of God calling on women to further His kingdom. Now, it’s up to us to not second guess our calling, but to walk out The Great Commission with boldness and strength. Great post!
Kellie Johnson says
I love hearing that this is the heartbeat Christ has given you, to go and tell others about Jesus. I want this to be the center of anything I do or say for Him. As women, I believe we are wired to carry deep conversations and communicate truths in unique ways. I’m thankful to be a daughter of God ❤
This was a beautiful reminder Stephanie, thank-you for sharing with us.
Blessings to all,
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
We are called. But so many of us are scared. To tell we are saved. Tell what Jesus the king of the world done for us. We have so many opertunetys to tell about our faith. But we miss out. Our we are afraid. People will think we are preaching to them. I lost out in so many way. Like a few years ago. I messed up my Aunt who is not saved my Dad’s sister asked me something along those lines. You still go Church Dawn and believe in God. I just said yes or something like that. Said nothing else to my Aunt. Then she said. Oh she how good you are you believe God and go to Church. You are so good. I had my opertunety to say more to my Aunt that day. But I didn’t. As I didn’t want my Aunt to think I was preaching to her. As she that type that could say now now that is enough. I only asked if you Still go Church and believe still believe in God. As she wouldn’t want me to say I go because I love God and love to hear his word and so glad to be saved and am glad he is my saviour and that he sent Jesus to die for my sins. I am so glad to live for him every day. Say my Prayers and read his word the Bible. You have to be very careful with what you say to her. Like my Dad. As they think you are preaching the gospel to them. They say enough. I only asked a simple question. But I should have said was of course I do. I go because I love Jesus and go to Church to hear more of about the word Jesus and learn more about Jesus. Left it at that. That might have hopefully given her food for thought. As I know yes we are called to about Jesus to people. But when it comes to the unsaved. We have to careful. What we say. Like my Dad and his sister my Aunt. Watch what you say in front of people like that. Don’t be to preachy. As you can put them of wanting to hear the gospel. They would tell you keep your religion or belief’s to yourself. Then you could get into a row with them. So in times like this I just answer there questions if asked. Instead I just live my life for Jesus in front of them. With the things I do and says. Plus I pray for them. I tell them when leaving. If my Dad’s sister my Aunt. As she doesn’t live her. I say love you see you soon give her hug tell her keeping her in Prayer. I write in her cards I send her like Christmas Card etc. I tell the same in my Dad’s. I always tell my Dad when leaving after visiting him that I love him. Live my life for Jesus in front of him. Pray for him. Love today’s reading Stephanie. Love you all incourage be praying for you all. Xxx
Yes, The presence of God is always with you when you are working according to his Purpose. Thank you so much Stephany.