Monday, May 11, 2015

Lydia, the First European Convert

.... "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul."—Acts 16:14.
We may laudably exercise curiosity with regard to the first proclamation of the gospel in our own quarter of the globe. We are happy that history so accurately tells us, by the pen of Luke, when first the gospel was preached in Europe, and by whom, and who was the first convert brought by that preaching to the Savior's feet. I half envy Lydia that she should be the leader of the European band; yet I feel right glad that a woman led the van, and that her household followed so closely in the rear.
God has made great use of women, and greatly honored them in the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Holy women ministered to our Lord when he was upon the earth, and since that time much sacred work has been done by their patient hands. Man and woman fell together; together they must rise. After the resurrection, it was a woman who was first commissioned to carry the glad tidings of the risen Christ; and in Europe, where woman was in future days to be set free from many of the trammels of the East, it seems fitting that a woman should be the first believer.
~ Charles H. Spurgeon

It was also to a woman that Christ Jesus first proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah--the woman at the well. It was also to the women that Jesus was proclaimed to be risen from the dead. We can't imagine how huge this is---in those days particularly, women were very devalued and treated with contempt or disregard, even though created in the image of the Creator.  It was the Creator Himself, Jesus Christ the Lord, who corrected such heinous treatment of women, the work of HIS hands; who restored women to their rightful place as such. While submission is necessary, the value is equal. 
Joh 4:24  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."25  The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." 26  Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."27  Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you seek?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" 
Luk 23:55  The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 
Luk 23:56  Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. 
Luk 24:1  But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 
Luk 24:2  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 
Luk 24:3  but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 
Luk 24:4  While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 
Luk 24:5  And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 
Luk 24:6  He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 
Luk 24:7  that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." 
Luk 24:8  And they remembered his words, 
Luk 24:9  and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 
Luk 24:10  Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 
Luk 24:11  but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 
Luk 24:12  But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. 

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