Everyone knows who Peter was. He walked on water (not for long), spoke his mind (too often), and tried to take off another guy’s head with his sword (he missed).
There’s also Paul, probably the most prominent and influential Christian ever.
And the Bible has quite a few other household names, like Abraham, Moses, and David.
I wonder how many sermons have been preached on these men over the years?
But when’s the last time you heard a sermon about Mary Magdalene? Or Mary the mother of James the younger? Or Salome?
Yet God has done most of his work over the years through people like them.
Mark inserts this little tidbit into his narrative of the Lord’s crucifixion:
There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem (Mark 15:40-41).
While Jesus was dying, several people were conspicuously absent.
The apostle John was there, but where were Peter and James?
Where were the rest of the apostles?
We don’t know for sure, but they were probably huddled up somewhere hoping they weren’t found and arrested in the excitement surrounding Jesus’ execution.
But these women were somewhere near the cross, more courageous at this point than their male counterparts.
And notice also what Mark says about what they had done for Jesus: “they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women . . .”
It seems that Mark wants us to know that it wasn’t just the prominent names working with Christ.
It was the unknowns, the ones who were willing to work in the shadows to do what needed to be done.
They supported him financially. They also probably prepared food and made clothes and tended to a thousand other needs of a traveling group of missionaries.
In other words, they did the stuff behind the scenes that doesn’t make splashes but without it the public ministry doesn’t get done.
That describes a lot of you.
You’ll do things today that’ll never be recorded in a history book, and no one in the church will know.
You’ll change your baby’s diaper and sing her a song about Jesus.
You’ll send a note to a discouraged believer.
You’ll buy a gift card for a struggling family.
You’ll do what needs to be done to promote Jesus in the hearts of the people around you.
I think that’s what Mark had in mind when he told us about these women.
God mostly works through people whose names the world will never know.
But he remembers, and he’s recording every deed and every name.
Thank you for doing what nobody knows you do.