If there were ever an elite hall of fame for Early Christians, the men included would be many. There would be Great men of history that did significant things to further the cause of Christianity. Hebrews Chapter 11 comes to mind with its list of great leaders of the faith from the Old Testament. The New Testament would have its own noteworthy contribution of great men of the faith as well.
Any Hall of Fame for Christians wouldn’t be complete without including the women who’ve made their mark in early church history and in the Christians faith. Even though Hebrews Chapter 11 doesn’t mention any women, and early Christian history doesn’t site the contributions of women very often, we know that Jesus would approve of a special wing in this Hall of Fame to honor to the women who were the first followers of THE WAY.
Through His relationships and communication with women in the gospels, Jesus elevated the status of women during His earthly ministry. Women were a significant part of his financial support. The followers of The Way included both men and women where the girls were just as vital to the ministry of Christ as the guys.
This special wing of our Hall of Fame would include the very FIRST followers of the WAY. They would be the women who actually walked with Jesus, talked with Him, and participated in His ministry during His time on earth. These women must be honored for their whole-hearted passion and devotion to our Lord!
Of course, first in line would to be honored is Mary.
As the mother of Jesus, Mary was the first person ‘to carry the gospel’. We all rise and called her blessed because of her willingness to say ‘yes’ and her obedience to being apart of God’s great plan of salvation. She knew being a Christ follower wasn’t a short term gig; she knew it was a lifelong commitment.
Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus.
Mary and Martha were not only followers of Jesus, but they were also friends of Jesus. They mirror back to us the common struggles of all women who long to balance what’s good with what’s best. They had a special connection with Jesus where he dined with them, sat with them, and wept when their brother died.
Woman with Alabaster Box worshipped deeply.
If you’ve ever had a debt paid or a loan forgiven, you have just a tiny glimpse what it could have felt like to be this woman. She was forgiven much so therefore, she loved deeply…..to the point of using her own tears and hair as acts of worship. Pouring out her love on Jesus was such an overflow of her gratitude that she didn’t care who was watching. Jesus was so moved by her expression of love that he said it would be remembered and discussed for ages.
Mary Magdalene was the first of many.
Good Ole’ Mary! Even though she wasn’t family, she positioned herself at the cross with His Mother. She made sure she was one of the first ones at the tomb and was one of the first to see the Resurrected Christ! She was the first person to tell others the Lord is Risen- the first evangelist! She wasn’t just a fan, like Kyle Idleman would say, she was a follower. No doubt her influence as a first followers of The Way was great!
We are the modern Women of the Way….
As we discover who we are as the modern Women of the Way and what it means to be passionate, devoted followers of Christ, it’s such a delight to pause to reflect on the very first Women of the Way who paved the way for the rest of us to follow Him too! Even though these women lived thousands of years ago, they struggled with the same issues that we still struggle with today. We can identify with their hopes and dreams too. They are shining examples of how God used them to further His Kingdom which gives us hope of how God can use us to further His Kingdom. These precious women were the beginning of this Kingdom which helped to lay its foundation.
Could it be that we will be apart of finishing this Kingdom helping to usher in Christ’s completed Kingdom in the world??
Which one of these women can you identify with most? Who inspires you to be more passionate and devoted to Jesus?
Who else would you add to the list?
I’d love to know……leave a comment!
Let’s continue to talk about women throughout history who were Women of the Way……..