Jesus' Interaction with Women in the Book of Mark.

Women were not given a respected place in first-century culture. The Bible gives them an equal spiritual standing as illustrated by many examples. Jesus' public ministry especially highlighted the spiritual place He gave women. Women listened to Christ, followed Him, were healed by Him, and served as examples of being and making disciples. Women are essential influencers within God's community of the local church.

Mark 10:45 gives the theme of Mark: Jesus' purpose as a servant. His interactions with several women throughout the book highlight this theme of Jesus' ministry and the role He gave women as disciples.

Faithful Service

Mark 1:30-31 records the first healing in Mark's gospel. The recipient reflects the purpose of Christ's life. Peter's mother-in-law had a prior reputation for serving, and her first response after being healed was to minister. Someone who served with an unbalanced approach would not be eager to return to service. Servants with a balanced approach find an essential joy in their service.

Genuine Saving Faith

Service flows from the joy of salvation. In His ministry, Christ's passion was directed toward hurting unbelief. The purpose of His coming to Earth was "to give His life a ransom for many."

The woman in Mark 5:25-34 illustrates a genuine saving faith. Her ailment caused her to be forbidden from worship in the Temple for 12 years. Jesus had pity on her because He had designed the human body. He knew how it should work in a perfect state and the glory it had before sin and illness invaded.

When she reached the end of human solutions, this woman looked to God. She exhibited faith first and then sought healing. The word "well" or "whole" in verse 34 includes spiritual salvation and the healing of her body that Jesus gave her. He came as Savior primarily, then as Healer.

Sincere Devotion

In Mark 12:28, the Pharisees asked a question to test Jesus. He answered in Mark 12:29-34 and showed them the real importance of the Law and obedience from the heart. In Mark 12:41-44, a destitute widow provided a living example of His teaching.

The point of this narrative is not about money but sincerity of heart. The expression of genuine devotion is public. Worship and service are a public proclamation of who owns and governs you: that Jesus has your whole heart, including what you have and who you are. We talk about finding our identity in Christ. Also ask yourself how Christ identifies you.

Giving was not private in this setting. Everyone could see what each other put into the Temple collection. But the Lord was observing the heart of the givers. This woman was not giving to be seen but because God owned her heart.

Application Points

  • Are you a faithful servant? During this time, many of our normal service opportunities have been disrupted. If your approach was unbalanced, you are likely feeling burnt out and needed this break to recover. Having a balanced approach will help you find joy in continued service even if modified! Are you eager to return to service? What does that tell you about your service before this disruption?
  • Has Jesus made you spiritually whole? If so, He wants to use you to let others see what saving faith does. Do you have a testimony? Who can you share that with?
  • Are you broken and needing peace? You may have a chronic illness like the woman in Mark 5, which is emotionally and physically discouraging. You need your soul to be healed before your body. You don't need to live with a broken soul. Jesus can make you whole if you approach Him with genuine saving faith! If you don't know how, ask a godly lady that you know.
  • Do you serve to be seen or to demonstrate that Christ owns all of you? Do you promote God's Gospel agenda, your own, or another?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Acts 1:14, Acts 9:36-42, 2 Timothy 1:5, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Timothy 5:1-16 – Female disciples.
  • 1 Peter 4:9-11 – All believers have a spiritual gift.