Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the women from Galilee

So often women have been in the background of the story, while being instrumental in the story, itself.  Some of these women were from Galilee.  The most famous of Jesus' disciples: Peter, James and John were also from Galilee.  In its day, Galilee was almost like "red neck" country today.  They were blue collar types who carved out livings from fishing the sea and working the land.  They spoke with a pronounced accent and were criticized by sophisticated folks from Jerusalem for their lack of education.  Jesus chose Galilee as the setting for much of His ministry.  Nineteen out of thirty-two of His parables were spoken there and twenty-five of thirty-three great miracles were performed there.  Apparently there were women of Galilee who followed Jesus through His ministry.  Some may have been wives, mothers or other close relatives of the twelve Disciples.  Some probably witnessed almost just as much as the Disciples did of Jesus and His work.  They didn't get a lot of coverage in the scripture...but they were there and they had come to love the Lord as much as anyone.  When it came time for Jesus to die on Calvary the women from Galilee were still following Him.  From Luke, chapter 23:48-49 "And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.  But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching these things."  Even after Jesus died the women from Galilee followed Him: (Luke 23:55) "And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.  Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils.  And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment."  The women followed Jesus through His agonizing death, to His grave and even after to anoint His body.  They followed as close and as long as anyone could and they followed after the Disciples had gone into hiding.  They wanted to anoint His body but had to wait a full extra day to honor the Sabbath.  Even so they were willing to go to apply the spices to a body that would now be foul smelling and in decay.  As a result of their "maximum following" attitude they were the first to discover that Jesus had risen! (Luke 24:1-3 "they...came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.  But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.  Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus." Angels appeared to explain that Jesus was no longer dead and reminded them of what He had told them (verses 6-7) "Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'  These women became the first evangelists of the resurrection as they were the ones to tell the Disciples.
I believe that, still today, women are often the heroes in the background of our lives.  They are courageous, faithful, long-suffering and blessed with perseverance and endurance.  We men like to make the headlines, but the women are often the substance of the story.  They are the leaders when it comes to being followers!
blessings (with thanks to the women),
Rob Smith

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