Women in the Bible have so many things to teach us.
In recent weeks, I’ve been doing a deep dive into women’s roles in the Bible. This isn’t the first time that I’ve studied women in the Bible.
I’ve taught on various women, and there is a whole series on this blog about 25 women in the Bible. You can check that out HERE.
We Live At the Best Time To Be a Woman
The truth is, women are currently living in a time where they have more freedom, autonomy, and power than probably at any time in history.
I remember being flabbergasted when my grandmother told me she couldn’t get a credit card in her own name. It had to be in her husband’s – and that was in the 60s which really isn’t that long ago.
Women in the Gospels
This week I just happened to be focusing on women in the Gospels. Of course, that is never really a coincidence. God always has this very cool way of leading me to Scriptures at just the right time. I love that!
And even though I’ve heard the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection many times —after all, I started attending church when I was about a month old, went to a Christian school AND a Christian college—with my lens fixed on women, I saw these events in a whole new way.
That’s another thing I LOVE about the Bible and why I believe it’s called the LIVING Word. No matter how many times I read a story or familiar passage, the Holy Spirit shows me something new almost every time.
Jesus Was a Rebel WITH a Cause
The thing is, Jesus was a revolutionary. Now, we might not see that as much now. We’ve heard the story about Him, and familiarity softens the edges of just how much Jesus turned everything the Jewish people knew (or thought they knew) on its head.
One of the big areas that Jesus did this was in HIs interactions with women. As a rabbi and teacher, nobody expected Jesus to even take notice of women, never mind talk to them or allow them to be His disciples.
A Different Look at Mary and Martha
The fact that Mary was not only allowed but commended for sitting at Jesus’ feet (a typical posture of a disciple, btw) would have been mindblowing to those around Him. It was why Martha was so shocked when Jesus didn’t take her side.
You see, rabbis believed that women couldn’t study and understand the Scriptures. In fact, they were told they couldn’t learn the Scriptures – listen yes, but not actually learn.
But Jesus was different.
He had the 12, but He also had a larger group of people who followed Him as disciples. And women were included in that number.
It’s no wonder the Jewish leaders of the time were perplexed. This man who claimed to be the Messiah was NOT acting the way He was supposed to.
He actually TALKED to a Samaritan woman who would have been considered unclean from the moment of her birth, nevermind her 5 ex-husbands plus the guy she was living with.
But women had a special place in the ministry of Jesus. In all of His interactions, He not only showed incredible compassion and love, but He raised them up. This stood in stark contrast to the society around them which definitely did not!
Women at the Cross
That day, when Jesus was led to Golgotha – His body bruised and battered and broken – it was the women who were there. The only disciple present was John. All the rest had fled, afraid of being identified with a man marked for death.
It was the women who kept watch as He suffered and died.
And it was the women that He talked to first after His resurrection.
Women at the Resurrection
It’s interesting to note that the women who went to His grave that first Easter morning were going to do a very basic task. They were going to bind spices in the linen in which His body was wrapped.
It was considered women’s work.
But it was in the midst of going to do this mundane task that Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James had an encounter with the risen Savior.
I love that Jesus chose to first appear to women while they were engaged in doing “women’s work” which would have been considered lowly and unimportant.
I love that Jesus chose to first appear to women even though, at that time, in a court of law they would not have even been considered qualified witnesses.
I certainly do not mean for this post to in any way denigrate men. I do have two sons, after all, and my husband is one of the good guys.
But, in a society where one rabbi’s opinion (Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus) about women and spirituality was, “The words of the Torah should be burned rather than entrusted to a woman,” Jesus was different.
The religious elite at the time were expecting a Messiah that was wholly different than the One that actually came. And so they missed Him.
But those whom society dismissed as lowly or unimportant or insignificant—they were the ones that truly saw Jesus as who He really was—the Savior who came to seek and save those who are lost.
As a woman, it touches a deep place in my heart that Jesus chose women as the first witnesses to His resurrection.
When God invites you to be His daughter with all the privileges that entails, it isn’t an empty promise. Jesus’s life and death and resurrection prove that. If you are interested in taking Him up on that promise, visit HERE.