They were unlikely witnesses. Women were not considered reliable witnesses in legal proceedings. Yet, it was women who were the first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, and the first followers entrusted to carry the message that “He is alive!”
The four accounts of Jesus resurrection (in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) differ slightly in which women were the first to learn that Jesus was raised form the dead, but all agree that it was women. Mark, whose account we will read on Sunday (click here to read it) tells of Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome. Matthew only mentions Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” (probably the mother of James). Luke mentions, again, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, then also Joanna and the “other women.” John only identifies Mary Magdalene, but he does not rule out the possibility of other women.
Do you consider yourself an unlikely witness? Perhaps there are reasons others might not trust you or take you seriously. Perhaps you’ve not been taken seriously in the past. Perhaps you don’t feel like you know what to say, or how to say it.
These women had no education, no sophistication and they certainly did not understand what they had seen. No Bible training, no seminary, no theology degree. Yet, they are the most well known witnesses to this central event in human history.
Jesus walked the the Palm Sunday Road, all the way to Good Friday and finally to Easter Day. All that’s left is for us to celebrate it, live it as Jesus told us, and share it with others. Even without wisdom, eloquence or degrees. The only qualification is our own experience of Jesus!
This column appeared in the April 1, 2018 issue of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at another time, you may click here for the current issue of the eNews.