How Jesus Treated Women Is So Important TODAY

X womenCertainly one of the, if not the most important and cornerstone message of our Christian faith was first revealed to a woman. Not only that, the-risen-from-the-dead Jesus Christ, Son of God himself, told this same woman, Mary Magdalene to go tell his disciples that he was indeed alive. Simon Peter  and the disciple whom Jesus loved, assumed to be John,  and Peter, were just there with Mary Magdalene. Why didn’t he reach out to them, reveal himself when they were just there?  He waited. He waited until they left and Mary remained (or women including Mary mother of Jesus and Joanna), then he revealed himself. (see John 20 Mark 16 Matthew 28:10 Luke 24) Naturally the men did not take the women seriously when they came with the message that Jesus gave them to deliver. Most likely because of how women were viewed in culture during that time. But also because as Jesus stated they lacked faith.
Why is this significant to women today? This assignment or task that Jesus gave Mary shows how serious Jesus takes women. He trusts us, gives us direction, he values us and perhaps most importantly: he doesn’t leave us out! Corinthians 12:7 says; “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” “All the gifts were from the Holy Spirit and were for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ. Paul makes this great and liberating truth in these verses by insisting that every Christian is gifted. Each one is given an ability by God’s grace, and no believer is left out. Each gift is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.”*
This scripture is inclusive of all believers. We see this truth in Romans 16:7, where Paul greets Andronicus  and Junia recognizing them as former fellow prisoners and declaring them outstanding apostles.  Junia, numerous Biblical scholars have agreed is female. (The Junias (the masculine form of the name) that was often printed was discovered not to even exist in the masculine form, only in feminine during that time.) Why would she be imprisoned? Well why does Paul become imprisoned? For preaching about the saving grace of Jesus available to all, Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free.  Paul even mentions that she was a believer before him, possibly implying she taught him or was apart of his formation.
One of my favorite stories of a gifted female speaker never giving up, even when men physically turned their back toward her when she preached is Anne Graham Lotz. According to her father, Billy Graham she is “the most gifted speaker in the family.”
In what ways has the Holy Spirit gifted you? Do you feel you have opportunities to serve in church? Are you limited by your gender? Do you feel valued? The Barna Group provides us with a bit of insight to the church-going female mind and heart. Click HERE to see. 
The encouraging news is that is seems more than ever the church is talking about this somewhat taboo topic! See recent explanations shared on 1 Timothy 2:12 – HERE, HERE,  HERE and HERE – this last one comes from a Salvationist and Moody Bible Institute Student – Blake Fewell.
God’s Word is sharper than a double edged sword, it is deep, it is true, its is fascinating, sometimes disturbing and often reassuring. Know that God has a plan for you in His Kingdom – not matter your gender.
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“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unselfconscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.” – Dorothy Day, Catholic social activist and journalist
 
*Chafin, Kenneth L., The Communicator’s Commentary 1, 2 Corinthians. Waco, Texas: Word Books, Publisher: 1985
Image from Barna.org

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