3/3 Luke 8:2-3

2 . . . and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

The twelve disciples followed Jesus everywhere He traveled, listening and learning from their Master. The verses for today tell us about the rest of the group. Unlike most rabbis of the first century, Jesus allowed women to follow Him. He even allowed them to finance His ministry. This was surely one of the many reasons that the religious leaders refused to accept Him and His teaching. The apostle Paul understood the reason Jesus did this. Paul wrote that in Jesus, there is neither male nor female, slave nor free, Greek nor Jew, but that all are one in Him (Galatians 3:28). Paul was writing about salvation making us one in Christ. The souls of these women, some of whom had questionable pasts, were just as precious in the eyes of God as those of the twelve apostles.

Jesus did not give the women the role of an apostle, but He did allow them to follow and learn just like the men. Their souls were made in the image of God just as the men's souls (Genesis 1:27). Jesus recognized different roles for men and women, but valued them equally. He did not care what the world thought, but instead was only concerned for what the heavenly Father desired.

Christians are often slandered as keeping women "barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen." While the Bible has different roles for men and women, it teaches an equality of value. In trying to conform to the world's current cultural standards, some will try to dismiss parts of Scripture and claim the roles of men and women should be the same. That is to deny that God made us differently for a purpose. Instead, we should acknowledge the differences while affirming the equality in value.

Prayer: Lord, help me to value every soul as precious to You and to see each one's eternal potential. Help me to see each person through Your eyes of unselfish love.