The Work of Wealthy Women: Female Discipleship in Luke 8:1-3
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Luke 8:1-3 is the only explicit indicator in scripture that Jesus receives financial provision during his ministry. Interestingly, the donors are wealthy women. From a social historical perspective who are these women who travel with Jesus and the Twelve? Is it possible for women in first century Palestine to have finances at their disposal? What is the significance of Luke recording that women provide for Jesus out of their own means and how does this square with Luke's understanding of discipleship as a call to leave everything? The thesis at hand explores the answers to these questions using a social historical and narrative critical approach in an attempt to recognize the implications and significance of the pericope for the women in 8:2-3, Jesus and his ministry,and Luke and his audience. In summary, it finds that the actions of the women as traveling companions of a rabbi and financial providers, but not patrons, reflect a radical departure from the religious, social, and political norms of early first century society. They play a significant role both historically and within the narrative as committed disciples who remain with Jesus throughout his ministry from Galilee to Jerusalem and as witnesses to the crucifixion, entombment, and resurrection.