“Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were there.” Mark 15:40-41

“Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.” Mark 15:47

“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.” Mark 16:1

Mark tells us several women were present at Jesus’ crucifixion. He says Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome were among them, implying there were others. John 19:25 says, “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” In Luke 8:2-3 we are given a few details, “and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” It is reasonable to assume many of these women were present at Jesus’ crucifixion. Several of them saw where Jesus was laid, and came back on Sunday, bringing spices with them to anoint Jesus’ body – out of devotion to him.

Women did not have power, voice, or influence in Israel in 30 AD. But these women heard Jesus teaching, were healed in their spirits, minds and bodies, and thus became devoted to Jesus and his ministry. They showed their devotion by following Jesus, using their own money to supply food and daily needs. In this way they served Jesus and his disciples and helped to further his ministry. The gospel of Mark tells us the kingdom Jesus proclaimed welcomes men, women, and children, Jews and gentiles. All are welcome.

Paul tells us briefly of two other women, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois, and in your mother Eunice,” II Timothy 1:5. Paul writes to Timothy, whom he considered to be his son, and “fellow worker” Romans 16:21. He reminds him of the spiritual heritage he is blessed to have – both a mother and a grandmother who were believers. His father evidently was Greek and not a believer in Jesus. Timothy was influenced and nurtured by a believing mother and grandmother, who surely helped him gain spiritual maturity.

Do you know a woman, or women who have been devoted to Jesus? Maybe she or they have influenced you on your spiritual journey? Perhaps a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister or friend was the person who pointed you to Jesus. Reach out and thank them. Affirm a woman or women who have helped you to mature and grow in your spiritual journey.

By Grace Hunter