In addition to this story, there are many others, including the bride of Cana, Mary and Martha of Bethany, and even Pilate’s wife, who encountered Jesus in a dream (Matthew 27:19). For me, however, the most powerful stories were actually the monologues by women who did not meet the human Jesus. Prisca and Phoebe give wonderful testimonies about how they came to know the living Christ after the Ascension. These stories suggest that even us living in modern times can come to really know Christ.
After reading this book, I have a different viewpoint about women and Jesus’ ministry. Women are crucially important to Jesus’ life story, and Phoebe as the first deacon (ever) indicates how important they were also to the early church. For that time period, Jesus’ interactions with women and ideas really were radical, and in many ways they still are.