Posts Tagged ‘gospels’

The Women Disciples — There’s More!

August 7, 2015
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In this post we will look in more depth at the presence of the women disciples toward the end of Luke’s Gospel and consider their significance. We’re following up on a previous post, “Jesus and His Traveling Disciplettes,” which explored the way Luke’s Gospel places women as a regular presence among Jesus’ disciples throughout his ministry (beginning in Luke 8:1).

Here’s a rundown of what happened beginning in Luke 23:

  • The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee watched their Savior’s crucifixion at a distance (Luke 23:49). They are singled out because they about to become major actors in this plotline.
  • These same “women who had come with Jesus from Galilee” followed Jesus’ body, saw the tomb, and saw his body laid in it. (Luke 23:55) They became the only witnesses among the disciple group of the exact location where Jesus was buried.
  • “The women” then became the first witnesses of the empty tomb on Sunday morning, when they arrived with burial spices. Instead of the body of Jesus, they found two gleaming men who explained the absence of Jesus. (Luke 24:1-5)
  • The men remind the women what Jesus had told them back in Galilee (Luke 24:6-7). The women then remembered that, yes, Jesus had told them that (Luke 24:8).
  • They ran back and reported their discovery to “the Eleven and to all the others.” The guys were unwilling to believe the news, because “their words seemed to them like nonsense.” (Luke 24:9-10)
  • “The women” were finally identified as “Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them.” (Luke 24:9)
  • The resurrected Jesus walks along with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. These two report to Jesus that “some of our women amazed us.”Some of the guys, including Peter, went to check out their story “and found it just as the women had said.” Imagine that. (Luke 24:23-24)
  • The Emmaus pair returned to Jerusalem and found “the Eleven and those with them,” who said, essentially, “What the women said was true!” (Luke 24:33-34)
  • Jesus suddenly appeared to this same group. (Luke 24:36) He explained the scriptures about himself and told them, “The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” He reminded them that they were “witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:38-48)
  • Jesus told them he would send what his Father had promised and that they should stay in Jerusalem until they had “been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:38-49)
  • After he ascended, they (still the same group) returned to Jerusalem, and “they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” (Luke 24:50-53)
  • In Jerusalem the Eleven joined “together constantly in prayer,along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts 1:14).
  • On the day of Pentecost “all of them” were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1). As part of his sermon Peter reminded the audience that what they were currently experiencing was prophesied in Joel:

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Matthew Is Not Mark Is Not Luke Is Not John – For A Reason

July 15, 2015
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Four gospelsI once attended a church where the minister was known for his practice of reading all the way through the Bible every month. His discipline for being so “in the Word” is admirable. Yet, possibly influenced by this practice, his public teaching seemed to reflect a perspective of the Bible as one long book written all at once by a single author. He rarely mentioned the characteristics of a specific genre included within the Bible collection (like prophecy or poetry) or individual styles and word choices peculiar to different authors or key themes distinctive of each of the Bible’s 66 works of literature.

Don’t get me wrong, he is a man of great faith in God, and his life reflects the character of Jesus in many ways. He missed a great deal of the richness of biblical literature reading it this way, however, and likely sometimes misconstrued some of its teachings.

Each book of the Bible should be understood as part of the larger collection of spiritual works, but only after we understand it as an independent work of sacred literature. Sometimes we get this intuitively with other Bible books, but because the Gospels all report the life and ministry of Jesus, we might find it easier to ignore their individuality. In books like The Daily Bible and in pulpits every Sunday all over the world, well-meaning Christians harmonize all the Gospel narratives and teachings, as if scripture contained one consistent version of events regarding Jesus.

Many of us are more comfortable with this treatment of the Gospels than we are in acknowledging the conflicting versions of the crucifixion story and the ways identical teachings are placed in different contexts across the Gospels. Sometimes, I’ve seen people scratch their heads about these conflicts and suggest, “Maybe it’s like different witnesses today all describing the same car accident. They all tell what they saw from different angles.”

This post appeared as a guest contribution to the Women, Leadership, and the Bible blog. Keep reading.

To learn more, download a free bonus report, “Interpreting the Gospels.”

Jesus on Women – The Summary

November 24, 2012
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Over the past six weeks, I have been sharing with you a series called Jesus on Women. Considering the things Jesus said about women in his ministry has expanded the understandings of God we had already gained by looking at what Jesus said to women. This final post in the series sums up all we discovered.

As Jesus traveled the region of Palestine and taught about the coming kingdom and his Father’s will, he made sure that women knew he wasn’t running a boys-only club. He featured women in his illustrations and made reference to their familiar experiences, clearly communicating that he both invited and welcomed women’s presence among his public audiences as well as his more intimate circle of disciples. (Read More)

Jesus on Women – Part 6

November 16, 2012
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Adultery and Divorce

I’m going to be totally honest and tell you that I saved this topic until last  in the series for a very good reason. I was hoping the extra time would bring some brilliant spiritual insight on some scriptures that confuse me. Alas, it never came.

Yet, I am not deterred from sharing with you some words of Jesus on Women when discussing adultery and divorce.

The first statement of Jesus is easy-breezy to understand and very pro-woman given the culture of the day: (Read More)

Jesus on Women – Part 5

November 9, 2012
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Women in Apocalyptic Discourse

In this series on the sayings of Jesus about women, we have covered instances in which Jesus used women as his story illustrations, as well as statements Jesus made specifically about widows and about women in their family roles. Last week we looked at passages in which women were involved in Jesus’ confrontations with the Jewish religious authorities.

Today we will take a brief look at Jesus’ discourses on the destruction of the Temple and the coming of God’s kingdom (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17, 21), because Jesus mentioned women in these contexts too.

The interpretation of these broader passages has been debated by learned scholars for centuries. I won’t claim enough wisdom to sort out all the details, but I will provide some context. Understanding of these teachings is complicated, because the language Jesus used bears the characteristics of apocalyptic literature.  (Read More)