Eckhard J. Schnabel, in his Early Christian Mission: Jesus and the Twelve (vol 1), notices how Luke mentions women in the context of Jesus’ ministry:

  1. The women are “with Jesus” as the Twelve are “with him” [Lk 8:1]. The women are disciples of Jesus as the Twelve are Jesus’ disciples. But were the women equal with the Twelve? The gospel writer does not say.
  2. The women traveled with Jesus and the Twelve from town to town and from village to village. They witnessed Jesus’ miracles, they heard his preaching, and surely they must have played a role similar to that of the Twelve, as large numbers of people who crowded around Jesus needed to be “organized,” perhaps particular with regard to women who came to Jesus.
  3. The role of women is described with the verb “serve,” which in Lk 8:3 should be translated “provide for” (NRSV) or “support” (TNIV): these women supported them with the resources that they had. This means that the three women at least were well to do.
  4. These women will play a major role: they belong to the few that witness all four stages of early Christian confession.
  5. Mary Magdalene came from the important city of Magdala.
  6. Joanna is “wife of Chuza” [Lk 8:3], a steward of Herod Antipas.
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