Jesus lived and taught in a culture which believed women to be innately inferior to men.
“Rabbinic literature was filled with contempt for women.” The Jewish Oral Law went so far as to teach, “Let no one talk with a woman in the street, no, not with his own wife.” Nor were women to be educated or instructed in the Torah. An accepted teaching read, “The words of the Torah should be burned rather than entrusted to women.”
Ignoring women—disregarding their existence—was the status quo.
Today?… In our churches?…
While we’ve certainly come a long way from having to burn the Scriptures because we studied them, what do you think? Have you ever seen women’s thoughts or ideas bypassed in meetings? Ever felt like a second-class citizen in your own church?
Recently, the church I attend had a sermon series on the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), yet not a word was spoken about the lives of the Matriarchs (Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, & Rachel). (Oh, except for a children’s video which inaccurately portrayed Rebekah as sneaky and deceitful. But more on Rebekah in another Post!)
And as I research women in Scripture, it is sadly not unusual for a commentary to overlook a story about a woman, or totally miss the point and interpret the story’s meaning solely through male eyes, thereby giving only a partial and limited understanding.
It is for this reason studying Scripture—as women—is critical!
And it is why studying the life of Jesus is so important.
Because in His culture, Jesus was a radical—a revolutionary even.
Defiant to the laws and customs of His day…
Jesus saw women.
He touched women.
He healed women.
Jesus was friends with women.
He ate with women.
He traveled with women.
Jesus initiated conversations with women.
He taught women.
Jesus had women disciples!
So … I want you to know …
I want you to know that sometimes we’ve believed a lie about our worth in God’s eyes … about our place in the Body of Christ, and it has caused some of us to cower and hold-back on our ideas, our thoughts, our opinions, even our dreams.
Over the next weeks we’re going to take a look at some of those women Jesus saw … what it might have meant to them … and what it means for us today. Because I want you to know … I want you to know what it means to be a woman made in the image of God!
I am genuinely looking forward to studying this together with you!
Join Me and Spread the Word!
“Rabbinic literature was filled…” Women In Ancient Israel. Article Retrieved 4/8/2020: https://www.bible-history.com/court-of-women/women.html
“Let no one talk with…” Violet McDaniel. A Woman’s Place in the First Century. Truth Magazine. May 4, 2000. Article Retrieved 4/8/2020: http://truthmagazine.com/archives/volume44/V4405040008.htm
“The words of the Torah…” Eliezer ben Hyrcanus. The Jerusalem Talmud. Sotaha 3:4, 19a.
Pictures (in order of presentation):
Title Page Picture: Christus und die Samaritein by Paolo Veronese (1523-1588). Located at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. Retrieved 4/22/20 from: https://www.khm.at/objektdb/detail/404
Jesus and the Bent Over Woman, by Barbara Schwarz OP. Retrieved 4/8/2020: https://wrestlingwordblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/the-lord-upholding/
Christ and the Women of Canaan by Rocco Marconi (1504-1529). Located in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California. Retrieved 4/22/20 from: https://collections.lacma.org/node/229639
Tiffany Window. The Resurrection. Located at Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved 4/22/20 from: https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&id=9078E8B575282E9C2CF8E7D5F5742BCBBA975B2F&thid=OIP.FtVzNbh0s3b1TWFe6RyF-wHaHa&mediaurl=https%3A%2F%2Fstainedglassinc.com%2Fglass%2Fmid%2F3579.jpg&exph=800&expw=800&q=stained+glass+of+jesus+and+women&selectedindex=46&ajaxhist=0&vt=0&eim=0,1,2,3,4,6,8,10
The Woman with Issue of Blood & Christ Raises the Daughter of Jairus by Helena Cherkasova (1962-). Moscow, Russia. Retrieved 4/22/20 from: http://www.pinterest.com