True Discipleship Modeled in Luke 8

As we progress through Luke, we come today to another of Luke’s main topics that he discusses throughout His gospel, discipleship. What is interesting is how Luke portrays the women as models of discipleship. As he begins to display discipleship, the women who accompanied Jesus are shown in a very positive light. They often will exhibit a response that reflect a more faithful attitude than that of the twelve. We end chapter eight with another example of Jesus’ healing and how that transcend societal norms.

Luke 8:1-3 offers a unique reference to the early days in Jesus’ ministry that shows women participating, ministering and serving in it as “disciples.”[1] The women were “with him” from the beginning and were faithful to that call. The verb that is used in the passage indicates a permanence, or that it was continuous and not sporadic.[2] In introducing the female disciples, Luke prepares “the reader for the role they would play at the crucifixion (23:49), the empty tomb (24:1-11), and perhaps in the early church (Acts 1:14).”[3] Luke 8:1-3 is an important passage for women because it indicates that Jesus’ attitude was different from other rabbi’s of that time (cf. John 4:27).[4] This portrait of Jesus’ relationship with these women and the way He treated them with dignity, respect and honor were very unusual in the first century.[5] These women essentially modeled the words Jesus spoke in Luke 14:26 and 18:28-30 about leaving everything to follow Him. More often than not, Luke presents women as examples of faith, sometimes in contrast to the male disciples (cf. 24:1-11).[6]

Luke concludes chapter eight with another pairing of cures (8:26-56). A Gerasene is cured of demon possession and two women are cured of physical ailments, one who has been hemorrhaging for twelve years and the other who is dying. Once again, this episode demonstrates how Jesus transcends the normal divisions in society and display a reversal on the normal by touching the “unclean.” Jesus helps all those in need and sees all individuals as equal, regardless of gender.[7]

[1] Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” 102-3. Also see Rosalie, Ryan, “The Women from Galilee and Discipleship in Luke,” Biblical Theology Bulletin: A Journal of Bible and Theology 15 (1985): 58.

[2] Maly, “Women and the Gospel of Luke,” 102-3.

[3] R. H. Stein, Luke, vol. 24 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 240.

[4] Ibid.

[5] R. C. Sproul, A Walk with God: An Exposition of Luke, (Great Britain: Christian Focus, 1999), 158.

[6] Joel B. Green, The Theology of the Gospel of Luke, (New York: Cambridge Press, 1995), 128.

[7] Kopas, “Jesus and Women: Luke’s Gospel,” 197-98.


One thought on “True Discipleship Modeled in Luke 8

  1. Pingback: The Significance of Women in Luke: Mary, Martha and Luke 10-11 | Seeking Our God

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