Why Jesus Didn’t Have Female Disciples

by | Sep 3, 2014 | Woman

 Oh, but he did!

Jesus chose 12 men to be with him. What is often forgotten is that a group of women accompanied him too.

Luke’s gospel describes these women:

:Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples” (Luke 8:1-3).

A group of women stayed with Jesus as he was crucified, even after all the men abandoned him:

“Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there” (Mark 15:40-42). (This word for “follow” is also used when, for example, Jesus called Matthew and Philip and said, “Come, follow me.”)

It was a group of women who were the first to know about Jesus’ resurrection: “But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes… It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened” (Luke 24: 1-4, 10).

In a culture where women had few if any rights, it is extraordinary that the gospels record the names of several women who followed Jesus. We know there were others too. For example, Jesus encouraged Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, to take on the posture of a disciple, learning at his feet.(Luke 10:38-42) Martha herself had deep theological conversations with Jesus. I’d like to think, but we’ll never know, that women were among the “seventy other disciples” who Jesus sent out in Luke 10.

The named women are:

  • Mary Magdalene
  • Joanna
  • Suzanna
  • Mary, mother of James and Joseph
  • Salome (who may have been the mother of James and John)

So then why were the 12 male disciples so important? Why, for example, didn’t he have six of each gender? I’d like to postulate a theory. (And yes, I know that maybe the 12 men represented the 12 tribes of Israel etc.)

It seems to be a principle that God limits himself within any given context and culture in order to reach people to become his followers. For example, we know it was not God’s will that Israel be governed by a king. (1 Sam. 8:5-20) But once the nation had chosen to go that route, God worked within that context. The argument could be made that God didn’t want a temple built for him (2 Sam. 7: 5-7, Acts 7:49-50), though it was David’s desire to build one for Him. Yet God chose to bless the temple that Solomon built.

The culture of Israel at the time of Christ was indubitably patriarchal. Women were often regarded as mere possessions. Aside from opening himself to charges of immorality if women had been among the 12, I suspect a woman’s testimony about Jesus’ resurrection would have been given little credence.

We know that the 11 disciples themselves thought the women were speaking nonsense when they came and told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead (Luke 24:11). “God so loved the world…” is a principle that transcends everything else. God limited himself within the patriarchal culture of the time in order to reach the most people with the transforming message of the gospel.

What do you think? Tell us on Facebook.

Adapted from Felicity Dale‘s blog, Kingdom Women. Felicity Dale is the author of numerous books including The Black Swan Effect and Simply Church. She is an an advocate for women in the church and trains people to start simple, organic house churches around the world.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Anne Graham Lotz: One Kingdom Truth That Will Never Change

Anne Graham Lotz: One Kingdom Truth That Will Never Change

Out of respect for those of you who have taken the time to comment about a statement I made 11 years ago regarding the World Economic Forum, I thought it would be beneficial to restate God’s call on my life. In 1988, He made it clear that I was to be His messenger,...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

One thing is crystal clear in America: If we truly want change, we must re-spark biblical boldness and flame the fires of biblical action. If we won't fight, then spiritually speaking, we will fade away. I recently attended a large gathering of pastors in San Diego...

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him. All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and...

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

Two weeks ago, I shared several practical guidelines on how to leave a church gracefully. I wrote this because I hear so many stories about people storming out of churches because their feelings got hurt. But one astute reader didn’t appreciate my observations because...

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and...

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

You have an enemy. His goal is to keep you from entering a covenant relationship with God. However, once you do, his goal changes. He wants to make you doubt your identity, doubt God’s ability and keep you from walking in your purpose. He changes his accusations...

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

RECENT ARTICLES

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

Just as the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons depicted a future full of video phones, robotics and Google-style office space, some modern-day prophets have prophesied about a future full of exposing...
The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

Have you ever seen blueprints? If not, blueprints are detailed drawings, containing specifications approved by the builder of a home. A blueprint fully outlines the quality of the materials needed to build a stable and trustworthy home. For a Christian, the Bible is...

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]