and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, – Luke 8:2
“Let us mark … in these verses, the power of the grace of God, and the containing influence of the love of Christ. We read that among those who followed our Lord in his journeyings, were “certain women which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities.”
We can well imagine that the difficulties these holy women had to face in becoming Christ’s disciples were neither few nor small. They had their full share of the contempt and scorn which was poured on all the followers of Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees. They had, besides, many a trial from the hard speeches and hard usage which any Jewish woman who thought for herself about religion would probably have to undergo. But none of these things moved them. Grateful for mercies received at our Lord’s hands, they were willing to endure much for His sake. Strengthened inwardly, by the renewing power of the Holy Ghost, they were enabled to cleave to Jesus and not give way. And nobly they did cleave to Him to the very end! It was not a woman who sold the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. They were not women who forsook the Lord in the garden and fled. It was not a woman who denied Him three times in the high priest’s house. But they were women who wailed and lamented when Jesus was led forth to be crucified. They were women who stood to the last by the cross. And they were women who were first to visit the grave “where the Lord lay.” Great indeed is the power of the grace of God!
Let the recollection of these women encourage all the daughters of Adam who read of them, to take up the cross and to follow Christ. Let no sense of weakness, or fear of falling away, keep them back from a decided profession of religion. The mother of a large family, with limited means, may tell us that she has not time for religion. The wife of an ungodly husband may tell us that she dares not take up religion. The young daughter of worldly parents may tell us that it is impossible for her to have any religion. The maid-servant in the midst of unconverted companions, may tell us that a person in her place cannot follow religion. But they are all wrong, quite wrong. With Christ nothing is impossible. Let them think again, and change their minds. Let them begin boldly in the strength of Christ, and trust Him for the consequences. The Lord Jesus never changes. He who enabled “many women” to serve Him faithfully while He was on earth, can enable women to serve Him, glorify Him and be His disciples at the present day.”
J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Volume Two, Luke (Michigan:Baker Book House, 2007) 244-246.