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9 inspirational women from the New Testament

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, June 6, 2019 Under: Random stuff
I love the fact that the New Testament records a range of women of different ages and backgrounds using their skills and gifts for God's Kingdom. We see rich and poor, educated and uneducated, single and married, leaders, charity workers, intellectuals, risk-takers, business women and craftswomen all being used by God in powerful ways. It truly is astonishing when you think about the cultural context of the New Testament - in the Jewish world, Greek culture and the Roman empire - that women have had such a fundamental importance in spreading the Gospel right from the start. 

  1. Anna the prophetess (Luke 2: 38)`
    One of the godly remnant in Israel who saw the Messiah. She was a prophet who worshipped, fasted and prayed in hopeful expectation of the Messiah. When Jesus was presented at the temple, she spread the good news of Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to Jerusalem's redemption. In a sense, she was the first Christian missionary. 


  2. Joanna (Luke 8:3)
    An upper class female who had been healed by Jesus (Luke 8:2) and gave her life to him. She used her wealth (possessions and money) to support Jesus and his disciples and was one of the witnesses at the tomb of Jesus. 


  3. Dorcas (Acts 9: 36)
    Also known as Tabitha, she became renowned for her acts of charity and she made garments for the poor. She devoted her life to putting her faith into action by serving the needy.



  4. Mary (Acts 12: 12)
    Mary was one of the leaders in the early Christian community and opened her dwelling to house a church. She also was the mother of John Mark, who wrote the second gospel and helped Paul and Barnabus in their evangelistic ministry. (2 Tim 4: 11). She had the gift of hospitality and intercession, particularly praying for Peter’s release. Indeed, Peter went to her house after his miraculous escape. (As an aside, teenage girl Rhoda heard Peter at the door and was so excited that she left him standing outside while she went to tell everyone!)


  5. Lydia (Acts 16: 14)
    A prosperous business woman who made her wealth trading in purple cloth. She was Jewish (either by birth or conversion) and was part of a group of women that Paul specifically went to (interestingly, there were no men present). She was baptised as a public show of her allegiance to Christ and immediately welcomed the missionaries into her vast home. She was part of the first Philippian congregation which met in her home.


  6. Damaris (Acts 17: 34)
    She was probably from a highly intellectual class of women. Rather unflatteringly, her name literally means ‘heifer’! She was converted as a result of Paul’s preaching to the philosophical elite in Athens. We’re not told how she used her gifts, but we can surmise that she used her intellect to advance the gospel.


  7. Priscilla (Acts 18; Rom 16: 3)
    Priscilla is always mentioned with her husband Aquila and is usually named first, which might indicate greater prominence than her husband. Maybe she was of a higher social rank or more distinguished in Christian service. They worked together for the sake of the church and both of them risked their lives for Paul. They demonstrated great unity and self-sacrifice in proclaiming the gospel. They also taught the full gospel to Apollos (Acts 18: 26). A dream team!


  8. Philip’s daughters (Acts 21)
    Philip's four daughters all prophecied and accompanied him on his missionary journeys, speaking the word of God to people with great faithfulness.


  9. Phoebe (Rom 16: 1 - 2)
    She was a deacon of a church in Corinth giving service and leadership to that congregation, and was someone who bankrolled Paul’s ministry. She was also the bearer of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome which shows her integrity and how much Paul trusted her.


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