There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem. –Mark 15:40-41 

*   *   *

After the arrest of Jesus, the male disciples fled, leaving the women to witness the crucifixion. Apparently, there were many. Matthew 27:56 has them as Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses (Jesus?), and the mother of Zebedee’s children; Luke 23:49 has simply “the women that followed him from Galilee, stood far off, beholding these things”; John 19:25-26 relates, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved …”

There has been endless speculation, of course, about the “disciple … whom he loved” and the nature of that love.

These were women, no doubt, who already knew mourning.

*   *   *

I write this to you Friends, only by Way of Remembrance, as knowing none need teach us to love those who have received like precious Faith with us, much less need we any human Teachings, to esteem such as held the same ancient Faith before us, for we are taught of God to love one another, and by this shall all Men know that we are the Disciples of Christ Jesus. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

2 thoughts on “Eighth Month 15

  1. My sense is that the women who came as witnesses did so out of deep love, compassion, and faithfulness, drawn by something much deeper than any words or teaching could convey. Perhaps there is even something illogical in their coming to observe the atrocity.
    Bathhurst reminds me that in this dimension the Spirit of Christ leads us, opens us, and unites us as followers of the Holy One, often in ways that can appear irrational.
    As for the men? Who could possibly imagine the terror and despair they were suffering?

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