ASV Luke 23:26-31: 26 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Women stayed with Jesus until the very end. Perhaps, in him, they saw their freedom, or equality? Perhaps they invested their personal worth in the kingdom to which he pointed?
Maybe they did not yet understand that it - this realm of God - would not die with Jesus? Such a fear is understandable. Women, after all, experienced their unfair share of social and cultural stratification in those days. Jesus had given them something they still did not completely understand. He gave them the Kingdom of God. What a gift … to the most deserving of groups.
In God’s kingdom, women are unarguably considered to be every bit the equal to their male counterparts. Men and women are equals, but should retain and celebrate gender specific roles. A woman in Jesus’ ministry was much more than a mere incubator into which a man planted his ego and future. A woman was a human being whose gifts and talents were not only welcome, but also an actual and functioning part of the very foundation of the community. A woman could be a woman in the realm Jesus pointed toward, even if she “lacked” male representation. Jesus, in fact, used feminine symbolism and metaphor on a few occasions during his journeys to make socially clear his very radical point regarding the Kingdom of God.
Why were the women there, still following Jesus of Nazareth? It is simple … they were ones who still had “ears to hear.” They heard, indeed.
Artwork Used By Permission & Credit: Gwyneth Leech