Spirit-Led Woman

Want to receive SpiritLed Woman by email? Sign up here
Felicity Dale
Felicity Dale

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


Oh, but he did!

Jesus chose twelve 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 when 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 twelve tribes of Israel etc, 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 Samuel 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 Samuel 7: 5-7, Acts 7:49-50), it was David’s desire to build him one. 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 twelve,  I suspect a woman’s testimony about Jesus’ resurrection would have been given little credence. We know that the eleven 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 our Facebook page!


Adapted from Felicity Dale's blog, Simply Church. Felicity Dale is an author and an advocate for women in the church. She trains people to start simple/organic/house churches around the world. 

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Watch for these danger signals for choosing poorly.

    4 Signs You're Making a Bad Decision

    Avoid distraction and disappointment by testing your choices with these 4 principles.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit