For the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ

Women in the Bible

Complementarianism: is it biblical? A study of 1 Corinthians 11 – Part 2


Michelangelo,_Creation_of_Eve_00In the last article, we were studying in Genesis 1 and 2 to see how the Lord God Almighty set up and defined marriage between a woman and a man or a man and a woman.  In this article, Part 2, we will be examining Scripture from 1 Corinthians 11:2-3,  (but also including verses 4-16 for the full treatment), as these Scriptures were listed at the bottom of Gavin Peacock’s article.  When dealing with words in the Scriptures, the student must first acquaint themselves with the words and how they were understood in the day that they were spoken.  Too often, verses of Scripture are lifted out of their context in order to establish a point that was never intended by the author of the epistle.  Plus, there are instances of cultural issues that the author is addressing within the letter that are not relevant to our day and time.  In those cases, the heart of the prohibition should be established and then the central idea can be applied to our day.

In the case of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, it is addressing the cultural issue of head coverings.  Furthermore, looking to the last chapter of 10:1-14, which deals with Israel’s tendencies to fall into idolatrous practices; Paul addresses both Jew and Gentile Christian believers, especially those that were former pagans, who shopped for their meat supplies in the ‘shambles,’ which contained meats first offered to idols and then were thrown out.  This meat was collected and sold at greatly reduced prices.  Paul allows for this meat to be bought and eaten as long as they basically do not practice the pagan rites that went along with the meat.  So in v. 25, Paul instructs them to go ahead and eat the meat sold in the shambles, yet just do not ask any questions about its history.  So we are dealing with the cultural issues of Corinth.  In v. 32, Paul once again instructs the believers to

1 Cor 10:32-11:1

Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.  Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Then in v. 33 Paul is basically saying that (without sin) he accommodates other people in order that he might save them; then in 11:1 instructs the Corinthians to be followers of him just as he follows Christ.  So this then sets the stage for the following verses in which Paul lays out what seemingly looks like a prescriptive command that women should be veiled.  However, according to James B. Hurley, “women in ancient Judaism and in the Greco-Roman culture were generally not veiled in public–the shawl/face veil for women came into Near Eastern custom later through Islam…Men and women were given a cooperative social mandate in creation; women’s role was restricted only religiously in Israel*”

Whether there was a specific sect that was present in Corinth that required veiling or as some have suggested that gnostic influences had perhaps penetrated the church community and were bringing disruption into the church.  Further, Paul is answering the question that was sent to him and so verses 2-15 elaborate upon this fact and Paul lays out his reasons, making reference to Genesis 2 that woman came from man, etc.  This brings to mind that the religious cults were dominated by women, such as worshipping Bacchus, and if certain adherents had come into the Christian community bringing disruption concerning the order of creation, i.e. women being the first created, this would then explain why Paul brings up Genesis 2, to establish truth among the believers.  However, in v.11 he clearly shows his liberationist perspective by clearly announcing that while woman came from man, God had created their spirits at the same time, thereby showing their equality before God (see Genesis 1:26-27).

1 Corinthians 11:8-11

For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.  Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.  For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

It was only the woman’s body that came from man, probably with God taking some of Adam’s DNA and thus forming her body.  Her soul was unique to her own self, having received it after God blew her own spirit into her body, thus was her soul made.  Further, with Paul answering the Corinthians’ questions regarding the veiling of women, we come to verse 16, which almost always is never addressed by those who are trying to affirm their patriarchal or complementarian views regarding the subordination of women to men.  Quite clearly, Paul states

1 Corinthians 11:16

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Therefore, if any of the Corinthian believers were going to still be argumentative about this subject, Paul declares, WE HAVE NO SUCH CUSTOM, NEITHER THE CHURCHES OF GOD. This writer understands the WE to be a reference to Israel and then Paul includes the other churches of God who also do not have the practice or custom of veiling women for worship.  Why?  Because Paul affirms that women have already been given a permanent covering, namely, their hair.

Basically, Paul was addressing their internal quarrels and squabbling about who was right, and since most commentators do not believe that Greco-Roman women practiced veiling, one can only surmise that perhaps this had come into their community from an external source such as Gnostic beliefs that were assailing the community.  The portion concerning the creation reflects Paul’s teaching to Timothy in Ephesus, which was also dealing with Gnostic infiltration into their churches.  This writer does not believe that Paul was attempting to establish or re-establish patriarchal views, because other letters affirm and further the ideas first established by the Lord Jesus Christ that women were to now be on the same par as the men.  They were to be allowed to learn right along with the men, and when finally established in the doctrine, they were being allowed to teach and to preach, thus showing that the Lord Jesus Christ had re-established at least that portion of Eden back to mankind, that men and women were created by God to be fully equal with each other.

Therefore, those who practice complementarianism are still trying to live under the sinful regime of patriarchalism which had its beginnings after the first couple had been expelled from the Garden.  So with the purchased redemption paid for by Christ, why indeed would anyone want to go back to the former repressive lifestyle first perpetrated by sinful men?  It does make one wonder.

*Excerpt taken from “Slavery, Sabbath, War & Women” by Willard M. Swartley


Complementarianism: is it biblical? A study of Genesis 1 and 2 – Part 1


Michelangelo,_Creation_of_Eve_00Is complementarianism truly biblical? As far as this writer’s personal studies have led, it is not. When a true student of the Word of God, or the Bible, reads such articles as that written by Owen Strachan, the President of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, who has laid out some of the pillars of his beliefs regarding complementarianism, and then lists supposed Scriptural accounts to back his assertions up, it simply does not bear out. In the first part of his article he covers the controversy regarding Gavin Peacock, a pastor located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who also believes in complementarianism and who also wrote his own article regarding this subject. However, what will be covered in this article are the points Strachan lists in his article concerning complementarian viewpoints.

In the Bible, God makes the cosmos in Genesis 1, and then he makes man and woman, husband and wife, in Genesis 2. He gives this relationship structure and form. Adam is the head of his wife; his wife is his helper. Eve is created from Adam. Her body depends on his for existence. This is a signal from the very start of Scripture: the position of marital headship given to men is one of responsibility and sacrifice, not ease and self-indulgence (Strachan).

Strachan quotes Genesis 1 and 2, so let us read these Scriptures to see if this is what they say. Verses 1-25 tell of God speaking creation into existence. It is in v26-27 that we first find the beginnings of mankind.

Genesis 1:26-27

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The only thing in these two verses that Strachan is correct about is that God created man…male and female created He them. No sign of order…no headship…just a simple statement of fact. Plus, He unequivocally states, “Let THEM have dominion…” So, God is the Creator. Exactly what did God create? He created the male and female spirits. How do we know this? The Word that God spoke about His creation: He was going to make mankind in His image. What is God’s image? It is Spirit, as we find in John 4:24, “God is Spirit.” If the age-old argument is to be proffered that the word ‘male’ is first and then ‘female;’ well in the order of things…something has to be first and something must be last when dealing with a list of words. It still gives no authority of placement in these verses. To say so is eisegesis of the worst kind; and what exactly is ‘eisegesis’?

Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsəˈdʒiːsəs/; from the Greek preposition εἰς “into” and the ending from the English word exegesis, which in turn is derived from ἐξηγεῖσθαι “to lead out”)[1] is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text. This is commonly referred to as reading into the text.[2] The act is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda (Wikipedia).

The next chapter of the Bible that Strachan refers to is Genesis 2 and the verses, though not listed, are these:

Genesis 2:18-23

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

God first created their spirits, but then He put them in ONE body (a foreshadowing of the ONE body of Christ, His church), and then God looked at Adam (meaning, ‘red earth’), and said “I will make him an help meet (Hbw= ezer, a strong help)”; so God took woman’s spirit out of Adam and gave the female spirit her own fleshly body. Adam then said “…she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” As we read this biblical text in Genesis 2, there still isn’t any command of God for man to have ‘headship’ over his wife. It simply is just not there! In verse 24 we read:

Genesis 2:24

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

This verse sounds more like commentary from Moses who wrote the Pentateuch, especially since at this juncture there was no father or mother to leave. There would be in the future, but not at this scene in the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, Moses lived in the midst of a patriarchal society and so it would behoove one to believe that as the writer of Genesis, that this would have been the perfect time to have instituted patriarchalism or complementarianism if this truly was the will of God. But as we have just seen, Moses did not institute either biblical worldview when he wrote the very words of God.

So for those who hold the complementarian view and for them to say that the book of Genesis supports ‘headship’ and ‘wifely submission’ are errant in their views because the record of the creation of man by God shows no such thing. Furthermore, there isn’t any commands uttered by God to Adam (who was both male and female at the same time) to engage in any such practice. Neither did God command the now separated man and woman to engage in any such lifestyle.

The first we read about any such possibility is in Genesis 3:16 and yet God is not cursing the woman, but merely tells her that since sin has now entered into their existence, the resulting skewing of their equality will now be that the male Adam will begin to rule over the female Adam. We should now see that this ‘headship’ if you will and forced ‘submission’ leads into the patriarchal system, but it was only introduced after sin entered the Garden of Eden and not before when they were in God’s paradise. So how is this God’s perfect will?

This writer will continue in additional articles to cover this large topic. So stay tuned.


Mother’s Day: Giving honor to whom it is due


Happy_Mothers_Day - photobucketAnother year come and gone and here it is Mother’s Day again. You are probably thinking about what to buy for your Mom on HER day. Like most Mothers, we have enough perfume, we have all the plates and glassware we need, we have all of the small appliances, etc. Please don’t buy her a vacuum cleaner unless she has requested one. You can however buy her a dishwasher if you don’t already have one in your home and that would be quite a blessing. If by some odd chance she is still using a washboard, DO buy her a washing machine and dryer.

So…Dad…what you can get for the Mother of your children is to treat her to a series of gifts all designed to bless her on this day set to honor her. Here are some suggestions of different gifts that you can utilize if you wish:

  • Get that family photo taken that is overdue
  • Take her and your family on a horse-drawn carriage ride through your city
  • Eat at her favorite fancy restaurant
  • Buy her a heart-shaped gold locket with that new family photo inside
  • Have your family lunch catered at your favorite park with servers in tuxedos

These are just some of the ideas that this writer proffers for those of my readers who might be struggling to think of some new things to get for Mom on her day. While the Bible does not obviously have any verses set aside for a special Mother’s day event, yet we see that God the Father did provide words upon this subject. You can find it in the Ten Commandments, it is

Exodus 20:12

Honour thy father and thy MOTHER: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (emphasis mine).

We also find Jesus Christ honoring His mother on a daily basis. How do we know it is most likely on a daily basis? In the first place, it was a commandment of God and the Lord Jesus kept all of God’s commandments perfectly. Then we find an instance written in the Bible where most definitely He honored His Mother by obeying her even when it wasn’t the most convenient for Him.

John 2:1-8. 12

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.

Jesus knew that it was not yet time for Him to begin His ministry, yet because His mother took the lead and set Him upon His path, He obeyed her and performed His first miracle in His ministry. We don’t see Him arguing endlessly about the fact that it wasn’t time yet; what we do read is that He does make mention of this, yet He honors His Mother and does it anyway. By the cultural rules of the society in which He was living, He could have simply informed His Mother to be quiet and refused to do anything. Yet He honored her and obeyed her. This is a good clue for all children to do so in imitation of the Holy One of God. Amen.

So this Mother’s day, give honor unto whom honor is due. Above all, children love your Mother, honor her and obey her and as the commandments of God states: “that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Have a blessed Mother’s day!

 


The exegesis of ‘that’ or ‘a’ in John 4:19


Christ and the Samaritan WomanHenryk Siemiradzki, 1890The oft quoted line from Hamlet, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”  In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet is questioning the meaning of life.  But what if the question is really to use ‘that’ or ‘a’ in order to have a more perfect exegetical argument?  What if the exegete needs to use one or the other aforementioned words in order to point to a “Who?”  Does the exegete decide, or does the Biblical text decide?  This should be a truly easy question shouldn’t it?

So let us look at John 4:19

The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

The 1550 Stephens Text shows:

λεγει αυτω η γυνη κυριε θεωρω οτι προφητης ει συ

Th 1881 Westcott-Hort Text shows:

λεγει αυτω η γυνη κυριε θεωρω οτι προφητης ει συ

Both Greek texts have the identical wording and so the word in question is that little three letter word, οτι.

Follow the list items and the pictures to find out just how truly beautiful John 4:19 is, especially in the Greek, and if incorrectly translated into English it loses its unique flavor.

2013-08-22_12-21-07_253

This is the Greek text of John 4:19 which shows the word in Greek “Hoti” which is pronounced “Hotty.”

The rough translation of this verse is such:

“The woman said to him, Lord I perceive that prophet you are”

In the Greek language, sometimes a word or words would be thrown to the front of a sentence or at the end for emphasis.  Here it has been thrown to the end of the sentence and subsequently the translator can move them to their proper place in the English language.  By putting them at the end of this sentence it has the same equivalent as the woman pointing her finger at Jesus and saying “YOU ARE!”

So a more correct  rendering of this verse would be:

“The woman said to him, Lord I perceive YOU ARE THAT PROPHET!”

Why does the King James insert an indefinite article?  Technically, in this writer’s opinion they should not have because simply there wasn’t any need.

2013-08-22_13-09-27_690

In John 4:17 another usage of Hot-ti is found and here in this verse the KJV has omitted the Greek word due to the fact that it is being used with direct discourse.

2013-08-22_12-23-51_370

Looking at the photo above one notices the entry marked (b.) “after verbs that denote mental or sense perception.”  Thus Hot-ti should correctly be translated as ‘that.’  The KJV left it in the same order but positioned “you are” after ‘that’ instead of before ‘that’ which is why they necessitated the use of the indefinite article of  ‘a’.  But by placing ‘you are’ before ‘that’ it leads into the identification of which prophet the Lord Jesus truly was, is and will always be.

2013-08-22_13-12-42_71

Here is the entry which indicates that Hot-ti was originally the neuter of Hos-tis, whereas we see that Hos-tis is translated as a ‘who’ or ‘what’, but Hot-ti being more neuter in nature merely points to “THAT.”

2013-08-22_13-13-07_192

The Greek word Hot-ti was the neuter of Hos-tis which definitely points to a person or a thing as one can see from the photo which lists Whoever or whatever. This will also show why the Greek word Hot-ti points to Jesus Christ, thus pointing him out as ‘THAT’ prophet and not just ‘A’ prophet as the King James renders it.  The Lord Jesus was not just ‘ANY’ prophet, but rather ‘THAT’ prophet.

2013-08-22_15-35-18_210

Deuteronomy 18:18-19

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Here is the Pièce de résistance of this entire study.  Why?  Because the Samaritans were well aware that Messias was coming.  They did not know when or who but they knew that one day He would come.  What this writer sees happening in this passage is this:  The Samaritan woman had just been told by the Lord Jesus that she had already had five husbands and she was living with the sixth man.  She probably had never encountered someone like Jesus who could tell her everything that she had done.  So without her own self quite realizing it, she prematurely uttered that HE was the ONE….THAT prophet… that had been prophesied in the book of Deuteronomy which she and her people would have been familiar with since the Samaritans had once been full-blooded Jews before the exile.

In v.25 the woman again utters her knowledge of Messias coming and finally in v.26 the Lord Jesus merely confirms for her that indeed He was THAT Messias and prophet.

Is that not just fantastic?  This is why careful exegetical work must be done so that the true content of the Holy Scriptures are not lost.  Amen.

Copyright 2013  Rev. Janice J. Robinson

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If you would like to study more deeply the Gospel of John 3-4, I have written a book titled above that deals more on the subject of the Samaritans and their encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.

You can go to

http://www.newcovenantchristianministries.org/bookstore

and order it for only $10.00


The controversy is this: Did Jesus have a wife?


So let us ask the question already, right?  Did Jesus have a wife?  He does and He didn’t.  Does that make any sense to you?  Okay, here’s the scoop.  One professor, namely Karen King of Harvard apparently received a piece of papyrus that dates back to around the fourth century.  So believed because of the style of writing that was used on the document, because the document was written in the Coptic language, which is an Egyptian language that uses Greek lettering, plus a few more.

Peter Williams, the Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge, England has this to say:

It is written in Coptic, the language of Egypt which descended from the even earlier language of the Hieroglyphs. Coptic is Egyptian written in the Greek alphabet with a few extra letters. Because Coptic was only emerging as a written language in the third century and papyrus went out of use in the seventh century the 8 cm x 4 cm fragment has to be dated some time from the third to the seventh century and the scholars involved with this fragment have stated that it is fourth century on the basis of the handwriting.
Since we have virtually no firmly dated Coptic handwriting, this date is just an educated guess. Then we turn to the date of the contents. Here Professor King puts the text in the late second century, but all that we really know is that the text is at least as old as the manuscript.

Professor King has dubbed it as “The Gospel of Jesus’ wife.” This is not the name that is on the document, since the document doesn’t even have a name on it, seeing that it is but a fragment of another document.  The papyri originated in Egypt, but has been in private ownership for many years, but the name of the owner has been withheld at least for now.

TheNew York Times had this to say:

The provenance of the papyrus fragment is a mystery, and its owner has asked to remain anonymous. Until Tuesday, Dr. King had shown the fragment to only a small circle of experts in papyrology and Coptic linguistics, who concluded that it is most likely not a forgery. But she and her collaborators say they are eager for more scholars to weigh in and perhaps upend their conclusions.

Even with many questions unsettled, the discovery could reignite the debate over whether Jesus was married, whether Mary Magdalene was his wife and whether he had a female disciple. These debates date to the early centuries of Christianity, scholars say. But they are relevant today, when global Christianity is roiling over the place of women in ministry and the boundaries of marriage.

So then we must also ask, ‘If Jesus had truly been married, why did not His faithful twelve disciples, four of whom penned the Gospels that are now canonized, openly write about His marriage?’  We know that Peter had a wife, it is recorded in the Gospels along with the historical fact that the Lord Jesus healed her of a fever.  It could be argued that it was never recorded due to the fact it is not relevant to Christ’s salvific purposes.  However, this writer does not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was married while He was living on this earth and here is why; let us look at the Scriptures for any attestations concerning the possibility of this being true.

Isaiah 53:8

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Acts 8:33

In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

When Martin Luther penned his famous words, Sola Scriptura…this is the same mind-set that we need to have as well. This in no way does not preclude or exclude any ‘new findings’ at all; scholars just need to take their time in adjudicating their findings.

When the Scriptures state: ‘who shall declare his generation,’ it should be noted that Isaiah is making a clear reference to the Messiah.  He also is making a clear statement that obviously the Messiah would not have any of his own offspring.  During the historical time of the Lord Jesus Christ, birth control as we know it was not available.  If a married couple was fully engaged in their married life, conception was not long afterwards in that day.  It is highly doubtful that the Lord Jesus, who defended women and lifted them up to their proper places next to the men.  Who also gave women the opportunity to be His disciples, which many were and many chose to physically follow Him during the time of His ministry, while many also financially supported Him.  It is very difficult for this writer to believe that He would have chosen to physically marry a woman and then not behave as a proper husband would have behaved in His duties towards a wife.  Therefore, this writer also believes the witness of the book of  Isaiah as well as the witness by the Apostle Luke when he quoted from the book of Isaiah when he penned the book of Acts are true.

Now this writer also believes however, that the Lord Jesus Christ does have a wife, or a Bride and we find this in the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 21:9-11

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

While the Bible makes mention that the Lamb, or the Lord Jesus Christ will indeed have His own Bride, it is not just one woman, but it will be the inhabitants of the city of New Jerusalem.  Whosoever is worthy to enter therein, shall be the Bride of the Lamb.  Amen.

If you are wondering who will be able to enter therein, then read the previous verses  beginning in:

Revelation 21:5-10

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

So if this newest find of this particular papyrus that may have been written in the fourth century and could possibly have been copied from an even older document is true, it is also noted that the Lord Jesus does indeed have a Bride-to-be; He is espousing those inhabitants right now for the city of New Jerusalem. Amen.

 


A Biblical perspective concerning Jesus and women, Part 5


Well, here at last is Part 5 of this series, concerning how the Lord Jesus interacted with the women who followed Him and those that He encountered as He traveled. We stopped in Part 4 at John 4:25-26, at which point the Lord Jesus had boldly declared to this despised woman that HE was the long-awaited-for Messiah. As a recap, this was a time, at least culturally, that Jewish men did not speak to women; barely did they speak to their wives or daughters, and most certainly they did not speak to Samaritans, let alone a Samaritan woman. So let us continue:

John 4:27

And upon this came His disciples, and marveled that He talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or Why talkest thou with her?

As we come upon this scene as it is written in the Scriptures, the Jewish culture of that day is demonstrated in that they were clearly shocked that the Jewish Rabbi that they were following was clearly not behaving like any other Rabbi that they had ever seen or heard about. Yet they were too intimidated by the Lord Jesus’ status as a Rabbi to question His behavior. It is at this point that in:

John 4:28-29

The woman then left her water pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

In that culture, because one had to walk to a community well to draw your water supply for the day, women did not just haphazardly leave their water jars lying around the precincts of the town in which they lived. The water pot was a functional tool that they used each and every day, and even if they were relatively inexpensive to buy or to make, women still did not just leave them anywhere they felt like leaving them. So what does this tell us about the Samaritan woman’s state? She was obviously wildly excited that she had just heard from the Lord Jesus’ own lips that HE was the Messiah. However, because she lived within the confines of her own culture as well, she knew that the word of a woman would be doubted, unless of course there were at least two other women who could vouch for the first woman.  She knew that she would have to get the men interested in coming out to see for themselves this prophet at the well.

In the meanwhile, Jesus’ disciples were trying to get their Master to eat some food, since it was now noon time, but the Lord Jesus said:

John 4:34

…My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.

Totally uninterested in physical food at this point, the Lord Jesus launches off into a teaching moment for His disciples and questions them with:

John 4:35

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and comes harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

At this time of the year, this was most likely the barley harvest that would have been ready in the next four months, and it would have looked like the field was white. However, it is thought that the Lord Jesus was also viewing all of the towns’ people, that were by now crossing the fields to come towards Him and primarily they would have been wearing white clothing.

John 4:39, 42

And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him  ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

This despised woman with whom even the other women in the town would not openly socialize with, was chosen by the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, to be the first one ever to hear openly His proclamation that He was the Messiah to the World. Even the men were grudgingly acknowledging that she was right, even though they hedged their comments with, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying…”    It indeed was because of her own word of testimony that He was THAT prophet…the one that everyone had heard about and up to that point were still waiting for His arrival.   Jesus had just now identified Himself to a woman who in the view of her contemporary society, didn’t amount to much in anyone’s eyes.

It is interesting to see how throughout the Gospels, the Lord Jesus interacted with the women of His day in an openly accepting manner, thereby letting these women know that He valued them as people in their own right.  The Creator, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ had originally created both man and woman, creating them as equal beings in His sight, and said, “It is good!”

If you would like to read more about the passages that I covered here in Part Five concerning Biblical women and especially about the Gospel of John 3-4, I have written a book titled, The Holy, The Common and The Despised.  It is available for purchase for $10.00 and you can follow this link to New Covenant Christian Ministries’ website to obtain a copy for yourself.   God Bless.


Mother’s Day celebrates Mothers and Motherhood


Mother’s Day will be celebrated on May 13th, 2012 and we will celebrate the state of Motherhood across this nation.  Mothers everywhere will be honored and children will be expressing their thankfulness for their Moms.  Florists will be especially busy as this is their version of  Black Friday and Saturday, in that their phones will be continually busy and the door to their stores will be constantly letting in new customers ready to purchase that dozen of eye-popping red roses or a bouquet of their Mother’s favorite flowers.  Telephone companies also report that this is one day that the telephone lines are fairly jumping as children everywhere call their Mother’s to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day.

But there is one Mother who has been honored because of her pure obedience to God through her faith in God by allowing the Holy Spirit to hover over her and cause her to be with child while she was yet a virgin.  Mary like all Mothers demonstrated the sacrifices that she would have to make in her capacity of Mother through her obedience to God.  Her first sacrifice was in her submission to allow the Holy Spirit to conceive the Messiah in her womb.  Why was this a sacrifice?  In the day that Mary lived, if a girl or a woman, according to the Mosaic Law, was found to be with child it was tantamount to an admission to the charge of either fornication or adultery and the sentence was death by stoning.

Mary, as a devout Jewess, knew the penalty for the sin of adultery.  For her to agree to this showed her total trust in her God, that He would provide a way around the impending accusations of adultery and the ultimate price of her death.  The Mosaic Law was very clear on this subject; if a girl or woman was out in the field and was attacked, she had to scream for help even if there was no one who could help her.  In these cases there was mercy.  However, if she was in the city and attacked, it was an admission of consent if she didn’t scream.  Mary was also cognizant of the shame that would be placed upon her and her family, as well as Joseph, her espoused husband.

In Jewish society, being espoused was the same as being fully married in the sight of the Law.  When a couple became espoused to one another, the bride usually went to the groom’s parents’ house and lived with her husband-to-be for up to one year, learning to live together.  The groom’s mother would teach her daughter-in-law how to please her son and prepare her to be a good wife.  When the time (up to a year) was almost complete the date for the consummation of a newlywed’s marriage vows was set by the local Levitical priest.

Therefore, when Mary had to tell Joseph that she was already pregnant, even though Mary told him that she had an angelic visitation, Mary was totally trusting God that He had prepared Joseph to receive this information.  The Scriptures relate that later that night, Joseph had a dream given to him by God, telling him to not to fear to take Mary as his wife.

Christians can be thankful for these two very faithful people, Mary and Joseph who allowed their God to work so mightily in their lives.  As Mary found out, being a mother usually entails great sacrifices.  Mothers all over the world make these sacrifices each and every day, such as giving the last piece of cake to their child instead of themselves, staying up late to wash and dry the clothes that their family will need for the next day, etc.  The list could go on and on without end.

So here’s to all of the Mothers who give so much to your families.  God Bless you on this Mother’s Day.