Apostolic and Prophetic Women of Power
I am reminded of the first century Protomartyr, Thekla, meaning “glory of God.” [Note: This story is taken from the New Testament apocrypha that is not generally given the acceptance of canonized Scripture. John G. Lake mentions this story of Thekla below as well.] She is said to be the first woman martyr for the Gospel. Daughter of a wealthy family in Iconium, Thekla was engaged at the age of 18. When she heard the Apostle Paul’s teachings from her bedroom window, she took a vow of chastity, refused to marry, and ran away from her home. Her family became so angry that they had Paul locked in prison. (Photo of Saint Thecla via Wikimedia Commons)
Eventually Paul was banished from the city, and Thekla was sentenced to be burned because she refused to be separated from Christ. As the flames were lit, light surrounded her and rain came and extinguished the flames. She began to travel with the Apostles, preaching the Gospel in Antioch, where she was condemned to death again for being a Christian. In an arena full of wild animals, the beasts would not touch her, but laid at her feet. The crowd began to shout, “Great is the God of the Christians!” Apostle Paul then blessed her, sending her to preach the Word of God, and she went about healing the sick through prayer.
John G. Lake, in his sermon, “The Truth About Divine Healing,” was discussing the school of Tyrannus, where the teachings of philosophy and psychology were discarded for Paul’s teachings about the Spirit. Lake said, “From this school came Thekla, a Grecian noblewoman, a God-anointed healer, whose ministry of healing is said by students to have set a record. And still there are those who would deny the right of Christian ministry to women.”
Thekla converted many pagans to Christ, and the Church famously named her as “Equal-to-the-Apostles.”