Who Can Serve?

women at crucifixion 1

Some Christians think that to be effective in ministry, you need to be a “somebody”, someone who is known, an expert in their specialty. Otherwise they will be just wasting time, putting in the effort but not having much results to show for it. The world works that way, but not with God’s Kingdom, which is upside-down compared to the world. Let’s take a look at the women at the cross:

* Mt 27:55-56 Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while ministering to Him. Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
* Mk 15:40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome. When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.
* Jn 19:25 But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

Six are named, including:
1. Mary Magdalene,
2. Mary the mother of James and Joseph,
3. Mary the mother of James the Less (James Alphaeus) and Joses,
4. Salome,
5. Mary the Lord’s mother,
6. Mary the wife of Clopas,
Two are identified but not named:
7. Mother of the sons of Zebedee (# 3?),
8. The Lord’s mother’s sister.

Since Matthew, Mark and John may call the same person by different names, some of the above may in fact be the same person. However, all of them were women, who did not enjoy equal status to men in Jesus’ days. Except for John, none of the apostles were at the Lord’s crucifixion. They were hiding for fear of the Jews and the Roman soldiers. There were no VIPs at the cross.

And besides Mary the Lord’s mother, what we know about some of them are unflattering. For example, Jesus cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9, Lk 8:2). She had a checkered past. The wife of Zebedee requested Jesus to let her two sons sit on His right and left (Mt 20:20-21). She had selfish ambition. The others are unknowns, nobodies in this world. None is perfect or a big shot.

For that matter, there were many women who weren’t even identified, except that they all followed Jesus and ministered to Him. As a matter of fact, the qualification for ministering to Him was that they followed Him. Nothing more, nothing less. You do not need to be a “somebody”, just a humble heart willing to learn, and to serve in whatever way you can.

nothing is wasted 6

You may think you have no skills to offer, but in our Lord’s hands nothing is wasted. He will take our spiritual gifts, our heart desires, abilities, personality and experiences and custom fit a ministry where we can serve Him, provided we are willing and make ourselves available. So put yourself in His hands, and see what God has in wait for you. You’ll be glad you did.