For the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ

A Biblical perspective concerning Jesus and women

Twentieth century Christian churches have begun the process  of opening up the ordination status for women far more than in any other  century except for the first, when the original twelve apostles still lived.  During the first century, after the Lord Jesus had established His church, there  were multiple opportunities for women to serve as they had never had  before.  One such example, in the twenty-first century, is a pastor in  Chicago who primarily serves women.  Darlyn C. Turner is the founder  of  WOW  Women International.  It is now celebrating its tenth anniversary.

But religious activities for Jewish women during the time that Jesus  ministered on earth, were completely void of opportunity. But the Lord Jesus  Christ made it clear by His example, that He was lifting up women to their  proper places, i.e. right next to the men with full  equality.   Let’s take a look at what the Lord Jesus did and how  he dealt with these two women who followed His ministry.

 The first and most prominent example is that of Mary, the sister of Lazarus,  and we find her account in Luke 10:38-42. When her sister Martha was busy in the  kitchen, where was her sister Mary? She was sitting at the Lord Jesus’ feet in  the posture of a disciple. When a Rabbi was teaching, his disciples sat at his  feet indicating that they were on a lower status than he was and that they were  prepared to learn. It should be noted that this was probably not Mary’s  first time of being so bold. While it is not there in the text, perhaps at  another teaching, Mary had inched ever closer, straining to hear the Lord Jesus’ teaching around some campfire. Perhaps He had beckoned to her and invited her to  join and to sit down with the men to hear. During this time, no properly raised  Jewish woman would have so boldly sat down with the men while the Scriptures  were being taught. Thus when Martha came out of the kitchen to complain to the  Lord Jesus that He should instruct her sister to come into the kitchen to help  her, the Lord Jesus does not rebuke or reject Mary from being one of His  disciples, but succinctly told Martha that Mary had chosen the better portion  and He would not take it from her.

Another fine example of how the Lord Jesus dealt with women is the account of  the woman caught in adultery in John 8:2-11. As the story is related, this woman was caught  in the very “act” of adultery. To be so caught was to be found  breaking the seventh commandment of the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments.   The punishment for this was to be taken outside the gates of the city and  stoned to death. Before we proceed any further, the question shoud be asked, ‘if  the woman was caught in the very act’, then, ‘Where was  the man?’ Was he not also caught in the same act? It would be rather  hard to be caught in the act of adultery if you are alone. So how does the  Lord Jesus respond to all of this? He utters one sentence:

John 8:7b

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at  her.

He then stoops down on the ground and begins to write words in the sand. Then  one by one, beginning with the oldest present until the youngest was left, they  all left. During this historic period, men continually broke the seventh  commandment and all manner of excuses were made for them, however, if a woman  broke this commandment her fate was sealed. Again, we note that the Lord Jesus  does not reprove, condemn nor reject this woman, but He simply asked her:

John 8:10-11

Where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She said, No  man, my Lord.  And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I  condemn you, go and sin no more.

The Lord Jesus while ministering during His earthly life showed by example  that He was treating everyone the same.  He made it clear for all who could  perceive His teaching, that He viewed all people as having worth, even as they  were originally created by His Father in  Heaven.

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