My Passage to Womanhood - Volume Seven

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Jesus went to her, even though the others mocked him and said it was too late. When he saw her body, he took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum," which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise! He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat. The widow lived in a remote small town on a hillside in Galilee.

However, the death of her only son left her with little means of support. Jesus gave the command "Arise!

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath and saw a woman who had been "crippled by a spirit for eighteen years". She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. He called to the woman, said "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity", then laid his hands on her body, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. The synagogue ruler, the defender of the Sabbath, was indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath.

Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood

Rather than confront Jesus, he rebuked the woman publicly by saying to the whole congregation, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath". Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham , whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?

Jesus who always kept his covenant of chastity presented women as models of faith to his listeners. In the culture of the day, women were neither to be seen nor heard since they were considered "corrupting influences to be shunned and disdained.

Jesus's Countercultural View of Women

Jesus honors a poor widow who cast "two copper coins" into the Temple treasury. What the widow gave to God was the totality of her belongings. Women had only limited access to the Temple in Jerusalem. There Jesus found the most praiseworthy piety and sacrificial giving, not in the rich contributors, but in a poor woman. In the Parable of the Lost Coin and the Parable of the Leaven , Jesus presents his own work and the growth of the Kingdom of God in terms of a woman and her domestic work.

Joel B. Green writes of the Parable of the Leaven that Jesus "asks people — male or female, privileged or peasant, it does not matter — to enter the domain of a first-century woman and household cook in order to gain perspective on the domain of God. The Gospels describe three miracles of Jesus raising persons from the dead.

In two out of those three incidents the dead are restored to women-to Mary and Martha their brother Lazarus [Jn. He defended the value of women by equating men's lust to adultery, punishable by hell. Jesus expounded upon the Book of Deuteronomy. Regarding men's custom of divorce, he defended the rights of wives by equating unjustified divorce with the guilt of causing the sin of adultery.

After the Resurrection of Jesus , he chose to appear first to a group of women and gave them the privelege of proclaiming his resurrection and communicating his instructions to the Apostles. The canonical Gospels offer only one story about Jesus as a boy—Luke's story about the boy Jesus in the Jerusalem Temple. According to Luke, his parents, Joseph and Mary, took the year-old Jesus to Jerusalem on their annual pilgrimage to the Passover.

Mary and Joseph started their journey home without Jesus, thinking he was somewhere in the caravan with kinsmen or acquaintances.

When his parents found him three days later, Mary said, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you. Mary told Jesus the wine was in short supply. Today his reply may seem curt: "Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour is not yet come. Neither here nor elsewhere does Jesus renounce the mother-son relationship as such, but here, as in Luke , he declares his vocational ministerial independence of his mother.

He has an "hour" to meet, and Mary, though his mother, can neither hasten nor hinder its coming. Most scholars believe that in Jesus' reply to his mother there was no disrespect. According to Matthew Henry's Commentary, he used the same word when speaking to Mary with affection from the cross.

Bechtel disagrees with this reading.

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She writes that the use of the word "woman" in reference to Jesus' mother is "startling. Although it would not be improper or disrespectful to address an ordinary woman in this way as he often does: see John , , , it is inappropriate to call his mother 'woman'" Bechtel , p. Bechtel further argues that this is a device Jesus uses to distance himself from Judaism.

However, Bishop William Temple says there is no English phrase that represents the original "Woman, leave me to myself. We have no corresponding term; 'lady' is precious, and 'madam' is formal. So we must translate simply and let the context give the tone. Jesus, being Mary's firstborn son, took the responsibility of caring for his aging mother's future. Soon before he died, Jesus made arrangements for the disciple whom Jesus loved to take care of her.

Mary Magdalene also called Miriam of Magdala is among the women depicted in the New Testament who accompanied Jesus and his twelve apostles , and who also helped to support the men financially. The New Testament says she saw Jesus laid in a tomb. Mark reports that after his resurrection , Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene.


The New Testament also says that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her. For centuries, Mary Magdalene was identified in Western Christianity as an adulteress and repentant prostitute, although nowhere does the New Testament identify her as such. In the late 20th century, discoveries of new texts and changing critical insight brought this into question. According to Harvard theologian Dr. Karen King, Mary Magdalene was a prominent disciple and leader of one wing of the early Christian movement that promoted women's leadership.

King cites references in the Gospel of John that the risen Jesus gives Mary special teaching and commissions her as an "apostle to the apostles. Later tradition, however, names her as "the apostle to the apostles.


Jeffrey Kripal , Chair of Rice University's Department of Religious Studies, writes that Christian Gnostic texts put Mary Magdalene in a central position of authority, but these texts were excluded from orthodox Biblical canons. Kripal describes Mary Magdalene as a tragic figure who maintained an important role later diminished by the male church leadership Kripal , p. Kripal explains that gnostic texts suggest an intimate, possibly sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, but that Jesus' sexuality is absolutely ambiguous based on the available evidence: "The historical sources are simply too contradictory and simultaneously too silent on the matter".

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Kripal , p. According to Kripal, the gnostic texts "consistently [present] Mary as an inspired visionary, as a potent spiritual guide, as Jesus' intimate companion, even as the interpreter of his teaching". The great Protestant reformer Martin Luther also assumed a sexual relationship between the two, perhaps to give some historical precedent for his own dramatic rejection of Catholic celibacy ". This story, beloved for its revelation of God's mercy toward sinners, is found only in John's Gospel.

Some scribes and Pharisees interrupted his teaching as they brought in a woman who had been taken in the very act of adultery. Their treatment of the woman is callous and demeaning. They stood her before him, declared the charge, reminded him of Moses' command that such women be stoned. More precisely, the law speaks of the death of both the man and the woman involved. If he is lax toward the law, then he is condemned.

But if he holds a strict line, then he has allowed them to prevail in their ungodly treatment of this woman and will be held responsible by the Romans if the stoning proceeds. After a time of silence, Jesus stooped down and wrote with his finger on the ground. It was unlawful to write even two letters on the sabbath but writing with dust was permissible m. The text includes no hint of what he wrote.

The woman's accusers were trying to entrap Jesus, not just the woman. To them she was a worthless object to be used to "catch" Jesus on a theological legal issue.

How Jesus Viewed and Valued Women | Crossway Articles

Finally, Jesus stood up and said to the accusers, "Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone. In his answer Jesus did not condone adultery. No one could pass the test, and they slipped out one by one, beginning with the eldest. When Jesus and the woman were finally alone, he asked her a simple question, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you? Go, and from now on no longer sin. He condemned the sin and not the sinner. While acknowledging that she had sinned, he turned her in a new direction with real encouragement.

Jesus rejected the double standard for women and men and turned the judgment upon the male accusers. His manner with the sinful woman was such that she found herself challenged to a new self-understanding and a new life. John — The in-depth account about Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well is highly significant for understanding Jesus in several relationships: Samaritans , women, and sinners. By talking openly with this woman, Jesus crossed a number of barriers which normally would have separated a Jewish teacher from such a person as this woman of Samaria. Jesus did three things that were highly unconventional and astonishing for his cultural-religious situation:.

The disciples showed their astonishment upon their return to the well: "They were marveling that he was talking with a woman. For a rabbi to discuss theology with a woman was even more unconventional. Jesus did not defer to a woman simply because she was a woman.