Jesus rocked the religious thought and social structure of His day. He confronted the world not only by His teaching but also by forming a discipling community that exemplified these new kingdom values. Jesus grafted this community into the Israel/Roman society as a means to spread His kingdom as yeast throughout dough. He told His disciples that the world would know that they were His followers by their love for one another, or in other words, by their community. Their love for one another would be counter culture to the world system around them.
This revolutionary community included women. Jesus challenges His society’s view of women by placing women into His community, some of whom had been sick, outcasts, demon possessed, as well as those having social status (Luke 8:1-3). Luke tells us that Jesus even took a group of women along with the Twelve on a ministry tour to towns and villages. Luke is careful to let us know that the women were present in this public kingdom ministry. He also felt it was important to gives us names and background information of some of the women.
The commitment of these women to Jesus is demonstrated by their financial support of Jesus out of their own income (Luke 8:3; Matt 27:55; Mark 15:41) and their courageous faith by accompanying Jesus to the crucifixion (Mark 15:40-41). It was the women disciples who were first to witness the resurrection while the men were in a locked room refusing to believe their report (Luke 24:11).
Christianity is losing her influence on society. Rather than rocking our society, we are the ones being rocked because our ministry structures and programs hinder the community that Jesus intended. Women must play a significant role in our discipling communities if we are to see the same impact as in the first century. It is in the example of kingdom community that Jesus gives us that is a key to the advancement of His kingdom in our day. We are to be a community made up of men, women, poor, rich, ill, sinners and outcast who find unity in Jesus, then we will demonstrate to the world the love of the good news of Jesus.