The Men Pleaded … the Women were Silent

I’m excited to share another podcast with you … great to listen to while walking or driving!

(For those of you who prefer reading as opposed to listening,
the full transcript and pictures are below.)

Here’s something I bet you haven’t notice about Jesus … at least, I hadn’t until just the other day!

I was lying in bed the other night (which is usually when insights seem to come), I sat up, turned on the light, and started thinking through all the miracles of Jesus.

The Healing of the Blind Men
Ilyās Bāsim Khūrī Bazzī Rāhib,
Arabic Gospels Manuscript, 1684

Here’s the surprising—and delightful thing I discovered.

There were numerous miracle stories of men who pursued Jesus—specifically asking Him for healing.  Here are a few …

Two blind men “followed along behind Him, shouting, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’” (Matthew 9:27)

When Bartimaeus heard Jesus was nearby, he began to shout [when the crowd tried to quiet him] he only shouted louder, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (Mark 10:47-48)

“When the man saw Jesus, he bowed to the ground, begging to be healed…” (Luke 5:12)

“As He entered a village, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’” (Luke 17:11)

There were other men … a Roman officer came pleading; a synagogue leader imploring; another two blind men begging, and so on.

But the women …

The Woman with the Blood Flow, mosaic
Basilica of Sant’Apollinare, Nuovo. Italy. 6th Century

The women did not come asking, begging, or shouting. 

In fact, the women didn’t come to Jesus for healing at all.

Was it the culture? The expectation that women should be silent—not seen?

Here are some of the women’s stories …

“Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, He saw a woman who had been crippled … Jesus called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are healed…’” (Luke 13:10-12)

Icon, The Widow of Nain
Author Unknown

“When the Lord saw her [the widow of Nain who had just lost her son], His heart overflowed with compassion … He walked over to the coffin … ‘Young man,’ He said, ‘I tell you, get up.’” (Luke 7:13-14)

The closest any woman gets to an out-right request for healing was the woman with the issue of blood who snuck up behind Jesus—hoping not to be seen, but simply touch the fringe of His garment (Mt 9:19f). 

Or the Syro-Phoenician, a woman enjoying different cultural expectations, who came to seek healing, not for herself, but for her daughter.

The men sought Jesus out … they pleaded, they shouted, they begged at his feet.

But the women—their culture did not allow such forthrightness, such a public display of their presence.

And if Jesus were a good rabbi in His day, He would not have noticed the women. He would definitely not have talked to the women.

Jesus, The Woman Bent Over, and the Leader of the
Synagogue as Munch’s ‘The Screamer’
by Glenda Skinner-Noble

We get a glimpse of this cultural pressure on Jesus several times in Scripture, two obvious examples: When the Syro-Phoenician woman approaches Jesus, the disciples say in annoyance, “Tell her to go away … she’s bothering us” (Mt 15:23), and when the disciples saw Jesus actually having a conversation with a woman at a well “They were shocked to find him talking to a woman…” (Jn 4:27).

But Jesus—our loving, pursuing, culture-shattering, rule-breaking Lord—noticed the women.

He bid them into relationship, conversation, and friendship.

Jesus called to the woman who was bent over. Held the longest theological discussion in the Bible with the woman at the well. Invited Mary Magdalene, Susanna, Joanna, and many other women to follow Him. And sought a friendship with Martha and Mary.

As Middle Eastern expert and author Kenneth Bailey states, with Jesus “the social ‘separation wall’ between men and women is destroyed.”

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary
by Tintoretto, Italy, 1570

But, what does this mean for you and me today?

I think it means, as my mother used to tell me, “Stand up tall and be proud you’re a woman!” I think it means that in God’s eyes women—you and me—are full participants, leaders, warriors, peace-makers, and disciples. And that nothing and no one has the authority to say otherwise.

But more importantly, we see in Jesus’ behavior not just a desire for relationship with women … what we see is an intentional pursuinga seeking out and a deliberate engaging with women.  A “going the extra mile,” if you will, in order to be present to the women.

Jesus is purposefully calling us. Calling us to deeper intimacy. To wholeness. To healing.

As we move into the Thanksgiving season, be thankful; but set aside some specific times to be alone and to be with God.

Just as Jesus invited the women around Him to move in closer, so He invites you. No—not just invites—but calls you nearerseeks out time with you … engages in conversation.  Jesus yearns for time together.

It is in time together that healing happens … that the soul restoring strength is given … and our invitation to freedom is received.

So, where is it you need healing this season? What’s the miracle you would ask for? Where do you need peace? Freedom?

Jesus is standing with open arms and a gentle voice calling to you—a woman—assuring you it is safe in His arms. That you are wanted. You are loved. And that a miracle awaits.

First Day in Heaven by Kerolos Safwat


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Notes
>The Encounter by Daniel Cariola, Magdela, Duc In Altum, Migdal, Israel. Retrieved from: https://www.magdala.org/duc-in-altum/
>The Healing of the Blind Men, by Ilyās Bāsim Khūrī Bazzī Rāhib, 1684, Walters Art Museum. Retrieved from: https://iconsandimagery.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-month-of-miracles-part-10-jesus-heals.html
>The Woman with the Blood Flow, mosaic. Basilica of Sant’Apollinare, Nuovo. Italy. 6th Century. Retrieved from: Itahttps://inpress.lib.uiowa.edu/feminae/DetailsPage.aspx?Feminae_ID=37579
>Icon, The Widow of Nain, Author Unknown. Retrieved from: https://paucaverba.blogspot.com/2013/05/christ-raising-widows-son-at-nain.html
>Jesus, The Woman Bent Over, and the Leader of the Synagogue as Munch’s ‘The Screamer’, by Glenda Skinner-Noble. Retrieved from: https://glendaskinner-noble.blogspot.com/
>Christ in the House of Martha and Mary by Tintoretto, Italy, 1570. Retrieved from: https://www.wikiart.org/en/tintoretto/christ-with-mary-and-martha
>First Day in Heaven by Kerolos Safwa, Egypt. Retrieved from: http://www.city-data.com/forum/christianity/2901616-first-day-heaven.html

4 thoughts on “The Men Pleaded … the Women were Silent

  1. Thank you, Arnell…great insight as always AND you have a great voice for podcast!Hope you and family are well!!Blessings Karen Truman Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

    Like

  2. I love this idea of Jesus coming to the women and how that approach is different from the men. Jesus understood their situation so deeply. Thanks for this thought. I also cried when I saw the picture of
    “the First day in heaven” by Kerolos Safwat. What a powerful way of expressing that promised joy.

    Like

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