In the time that Jesus lived on the Earth, women were not exactly respected. They weren’t allowed to participate in the activities of holy days, to talk to men outside of their home, to learn many basic things such as to read or even receive an inheritance. Although things aren’t perfect today, women have it much better than they did in Jesus’ time. In that era, women were supposed to be seen & not heard.
Thankfully, Jesus began to change this! I find it so strange how many people think Christianity is oppressive to women, because the Bible is full of stories of how Jesus loved & taught everyone, not only men. Women were among His closest companions. Luke 8 tells of some of them. Luke 8:2 mentions Mary Magdalene. Jesus cast seven demons out of her & she devotedly followed him after that. She was in fact at his trial & crucifixion. Luke 8:3 mentions Joanna & Susanna along with many others whose names weren’t mentioned specifically.
There was also the prostitute who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears during a dinner at the house of a Pharisee. Her story is told in Luke 7:36-50.
Another Mary is mentioned too. She was the mother of one of the disciples of Jesus, James.
John 4:7-30 tells the story of Jesus talking to a very sinful Samaritan woman. At the time, most people wouldn’t have spoken with her, but Jesus did & talked to her with kindness, respect & love.
We also can’t forget the woman caught in the act of adultery. Her story is told in John 8. The scribes & Pharisees demanded she be punished to the fullest extent of the law, yet interestingly, not one of them mentioned punishing the man she was with. He reminded them that they weren’t perfect either. Then He forgave her sin & told her not to sin again. He showed her great mercy when many others would have stoned her to death.
Of course, we can’t forget Mary, the mother of Jesus! She was with Him every possible moment of His time here on Earth.
Jesus loved these women dearly, & always treated them with love & respect. He acknowledged their sins, but didn’t treat them as if that was what defined them. He never talked down to them or treated them as society did, as if they were inferior. He talked to them about anything & everything that interested them or that they needed to hear. He praised their good deeds, such as the poor widow who gave a tiny amount in an offering because she gave all that she had.
One of the best parts of how Jesus was with women is that He transformed their lives. Rather than remaining seen & not heard, they ended up living lives of influence. They made changes in the world around them. That would have been impossible without Jesus!
Ladies, I want to encourage you today to be confident in yourself. You are loved so much more than you know by God! He supports you & wants only the best for you. If you aren’t sure what His purpose for you is, start asking Him to show you. Pay attention to the yearnings in your heart. Start trying some things. You’ll find out pretty quickly what you can & can’t do, what you love to do & what you don’t. It may take a little time, but don’t be discouraged. God has created you with a purpose & with the ability to fulfill that purpose!
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