February 17, 2011
The Female Disciples of Jesus
Jesus’s disciples were students who followed his teachings. There are variations among the four gospels regarding which women followed Jesus and their exact roles. The disagreement about the extent and the place of women within the gospels has carried into modern times. So who were these women and what do the gospels say about them?
There does seem to be consensus concerning the presence of women at the crucifixion and the resurrection, events which are a major focus of the gospel readings. All four gospels report that Mary Magdalene and some other companions were the first people to find the tomb of Jesus empty. In two gospels Mary Magdalene is the first to see Jesus resurrected. In Mark 15:40-41 and Mark 15:47, their attendance is noted as follows:
In Mark 15:40-41 “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 also there.”
Mark 15:47: “Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.”
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses and Salome play an important and integral part of the finding the empty tomb and seeing Christ risen from the dead. Their connection in these critical events seems to me to suggest their importance to the Lord.
The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan