Last Sunday March 8, 2020 was International Women’s Day, an annual event that reminds me of how we, as Christian women, have cause to celebrate our roles in today’s world. While this event has its roots in the labor movement and the promotion of women’s suffrage over a hundred years ago, we know that long before that, Jesus promoted and celebrated women. The New Testament offers a compelling portrait of Jesus and the women who surrounded him. His ministry on earth was advanced by female entrepreneurs who provided finances for food and travel for Jesus and his disciples. They also served meals, preached the gospel, healed the sick, and accompanied Jesus as he went about his work.
During Jesus’ lifetime, the Jewish rabbis began their meetings by saying, “Blessed art thou, O Lord, for thou hast not made me a woman.” However, Jesus rejected this attitude by ignoring the customs and accepted wisdom of the day. On many occasions, including when a woman poured perfume on him and washed his feet with her hair, or when Mary sat at his feet, he defied all of society’s rules.
Jesus taught us that women are equal to men in God’s eyes, able to receive forgiveness and God’s grace; capable of being personal followers of Christ and full participants in God’s Kingdom, ideas that were unheard of during Jesus’ life.
After Jesus’ resurrection he did not appear first to Peter, or even John, he appeared first to Mary and the women who followed and served him. It was a woman, Mary, who first announced: “He is Alive!”, the foundation of Christianity. I cannot help but think that Jesus deliberately appeared to a woman, sending a message through his actions, not his words.
He chose Elizabeth to give birth and raise John the Baptist (Luke 1: 13-17). Mary was honored by God to bear and be Jesus’ earthly mother (Luke 1:26-33). Mary and Martha were two of Jesus’ closest friends (John 11:5). Tabitha was known for her good works and was raised from the dead (Acts 9:36-40). Lydia was a businesswoman who hosted Paul and Silas (Acts 16:14). Rhoda was in the prayer group for Peter (Acts 16:14).
Today he uses women as missionaries, pastors, teachers, lawyers, politician, doctors, nurses, caregivers, engineers, businesswomen, wives, mothers, and in hundreds of other positions to advance his work in the world today.
As we pause to consider what our Creator has done for us, we should always remember his love and his plans to prosper us. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Georgialee Lang is an attorney, arbitrator, writer, and PDCPC choir member who is using her writing skills to help us populate our Blog with compelling stories about God, our denomination, and the work of PDCPC in the world. If you are interested in being a contributing writer, please email