Did you know that Jesus had female disciples? That would come as a surprise to most people, and many (if not most) Christians. This is likely because we tend to confuse the disciples with the Apostles. All twelve Apostles were men, but those twelve were not his only disciples.
In Jesus Through the Eyes of Women, Rebecca McLaughlin shows us what we can learn about Christ if we put ourselves into the minds of the women he interacted with throughout the gospels. This book is essentially a biblical study of Jesus’s encounters with various women, some of whom were close disciples who spent a lot of time with Jesus, while others were limited to one short, miraculous meeting.
While this is an excellent idea for a book in its own right, what sets this read apart is the author behind the keyboard. Through her writing and public speaking, Rebecca McLaughlin has consistently displayed a razor sharp intellect mixed with a detailed and insightful approach to the text of the Bible. When she writes, people listen, and rightfully so. As a pastor, I find her insights into the Bible deeper than surface-level, faithful to the text, and almost always intriguing.
“Did Jesus have female disciples? Yes, he absolutely did. And 2,000 years later, wherever the Gospels are read all over the world, their stories are told.”
– Rebecca McLaughlin(Kindle loc. 761)
For example, notice the brilliant connection she makes here between three interactions of Jesus with Mary of Bethany: “Mary ‘sat at [Jesus’s] feet’ when he first came to Martha’s house in Bethany (Luke 10:39). She ‘fell at his feet’ and wept when he came to her after Lazarus’s death (John 11:32). Now, she pours ointment on his feet and wipes them with her hair (John 12:3). Mary of Bethany knows her place: at Jesus’s feet, where a disciple belongs.” (Kindle loc. 756)
In the Christian context in which I grew up, the default women’s study book has always been Liz Curtis Higgs’s Bad Girls of the Bible. I hope and pray that this book will become that type of default, go-to women’s study for my generation. Immediately after reading it, I bought six copies to give out to the ladies in my congregation. But, as a man, and one who wants to grow in my knowledge of and love for Jesus in all the ways I can, I deeply enjoyed this book. So, it’s not just for women. I would enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone who, like me, longs to know and love Christ more. In my opinion, the very best books make you do three things: pray, worship, and write notes in your Bible. Rebecca McLaughlin’s new book, Jesus Through the Eyes of Women caused me to do all three.
John Davis is the pastor of Columbia Christian Church in Columbia, KY. He is the author of God-Centered Christianity: The Bible’s Antidote for Self-Centered Religion and Seeing the Unseen God.
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