If you follow social media, the term “influencer” is not unfamiliar to you. Some people faithfully follow men and women online, and because of the powerful impact they have on their followers, the “influencer” has a career promoting their opinions and products online. Think of the special people in your life who made a profound impact on who you are—no doubt many of them are remembered because of their close walk with God.
I remember hearing my mother pray for me—it had a powerful influence on me as a young man—and it is a memory I treasure still today. Nothing quite compares to the touch, testimony, and strength of a godly woman. God ordained such women to wield mighty influences over us, and the Bible is filled with examples of their faith. I can’t reference all the women who played such influential roles in Scripture, but I would like to look at four women who impacted the earthly life of the Lord Jesus.
Mary of Nazareth
The life of the young virgin Mary of Nazareth illustrates the importance of instant obedience. As a teenager in the city of Nazareth, she undoubtedly had little formal education, yet she was wise beyond her years. She had little wealth, but she was rich in faith. This simple woman of faith bore the Lord Jesus, held Him tightly, worried over Him, comforted Him, and stood by Him all the way to the cross and beyond.
The key to unlocking Mary’s devotion to God is found in two simple sentences in Luke 1. When the angel Gabriel brought news of her supernatural pregnancy, Mary replied, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (verse 38). In other words, her attitude was: “Lord, I’m your servant. I’ll do whatever You say.”
With the power and beauty of her obedience, Mary became the instrument by which the Son of God entered the mainstream of humanity and changed the course of history.
Mary of Magdala
Another Mary came into our Lord’s life after He was grown—Mary of Magdala, which was a town on the west bank of the Sea of Galilee. Mary Magdalene is mentioned about a dozen times in the Gospels, and her background is given in Luke 8:1-3. She was evidently a successful woman who was demon-possessed. But Jesus came, cast out her demons, and set her free.
Mary Magdalene’s life then became one devoted to her Deliverer. She was as committed as anyone in Christian history. When the disciples fled from the cross, Mary remained present until the bitter end. She was the first to the tomb. She was the first to see the Risen Christ. She was the first to take the news to others. At every point and in every way, we see a woman who loved with unequaled loyalty.
In that, Mary Magdalene is our model, and we can emulate her example today.
Mary and Martha of Bethany
Two other women—sisters—were loved by Christ, and they make several appearances in the Gospels. Their home in Bethany was always open to Jesus where He became a treasured guest. In Luke 10:38-42, Martha was overwhelmed preparing supper for Jesus and His entourage. Rather than helping her, Mary sat listening to Jesus as she sat at His feet. When Martha complained about it, Jesus told her tenderly, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part.”
We can learn from both sisters, for they had the same goal. They wanted to please their Lord. They wanted Him under their roof, to make Him feel at home, and to learn from His teaching. That’s a characteristic of godly men and women. The presence of Jesus infuses our homes, and we want to sit at His feet in worship and serve Him with diligence. These women drank in our Lord’s message and, in turn, generously provided for His needs.
We can learn from the lessons of these four women. A woman’s touch on her family, friends, church, community, and the world can be a powerful influence. Like Mary of Nazareth, we should be instantly submissive and obedient; like Mary of Magdala, our loyalty to Christ should be our badge of honor. Like Mary and Martha, we want Him present in our homes.
Women of God—these are our mothers, daughters, sisters, grandchildren, wives, coworkers, and friends—nothing can compare to their influence. Their touch enriches our lives today and forever. Our world is forever changed when a woman of God passes by—a Mary, a Martha, a you.
David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about David Jeremiah, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.
As you read Christ Above All, Dr. Jeremiah’s study of Colossians, you’ll come to better know who Jesus is theologically. In other words, the truth about Him—the whole truth and nothing but the truth—will thrill you. Our minds need solid doctrine so we’ll have a solid relationship with Christ, built on personal reverence for Him and friendship with Him.