Faithful Women Standing Vigil: Matthew 27:55-56
“55) Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while ministering to Him. 56) Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. Matthew‬ ‭27‬:‭55‬-‭56‬
Each of the four Gospels mentions this group of women who followed Jesus from Galilee and were ministering to Him and His disciples. Though a few were mentioned by name, the actual group was fairly large and included some other acquaintances. (Luke 23:49) It is likely that this group remained in Jerusalem and were part of the 120 that gathered in the upper room and devoted themselves to prayer prior to Pentecost. (Acts 1:13-15)
According to John 19:25-27, they stood close enough to the cross that Jesus both looked upon them and spoke to His mother entrusting her into the care of John. This was a heart wrenching scene for these faithful followers.
So the reader must ask, “what won their loyalty?” The answer is simple; Jesus dignified women and treated them with respect. Throughout His ministry, He healed many, set many free from demonic oppression and never belittled them. His respectful treatment of women was actually counter culture for His day.
It must be noted, that by contrast, only John was mentioned as present from among the twelve disciples at the cruxifixction scene. But this group remained faithful to the very end without fear of personal safety, reprisal or repercussions. Each of the four Gospel writers held them in high honor.
The same holds true around the world today. As I visit remote, obscure and very difficult mission stations, I notice a common phenomenon… godly young men are tragically absent. Standing vigil and faithfully serving are godly women much like this group from Galilee that followed Jesus. They have sacrificed much to follow and serve Jesus. Many of them are young and single. They are the unsung hero’s of the modern missions movement.
I am the last to criticize them or argue that women have a lower spiritual status or significance in the church. To the contrary, I join the Gospel writers in acknowledging and celebrating godly women on the front lines of ministry.
Though I recognize the biblical pattern of authority in the church, I do not minimize the ministry importance of godly women. The Holy Spirit indwells, anoints and distributes spiritual gifts among them as well. They are shining lights in the modern missions movement of the past 200 plus years. I praise God for these faithful co-laborers in the work of the gospel. Thank you a hundred times over!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global