Before moving to address this subject, I’ll like to set a background on the nature of the bible.
The bible is the written Word of God. The bible was written by men – flesh and blood like you and I. However this was inspired by the Holy Spirit himself. Hence, this book can be trusted. Now through these stories, Jesus is the focus of the Bible. Through the types and shadow of the old testament, every generation had a part to play in the most epic story of all time – Salvation for man through Jesus. So the Bible contains stories – stories of humans that existed that time, how they related to God and how God related to them. It is therefore unwise to pick a part of the bible that spoke about the frailty of man and run with it as “what the bible said”.
For instance, there is an account of rape in the bible (Amnon and Tamar), however, this does not mean God supports rape.There are accounts of people who treated women unkindly simply because that was the culture at the time, this doesn’t mean that the bible or God approves of treating women unkindly. Click To Tweet
Secondly, God’s nature is revealed in Jesus.
It is important to note that the person and character of God in the old testament was somewhat concealed and mysterious in types and shadows. Such that if you read only the old testament, you would have a funny and incomplete view of God. However, in the new testament, God – His person and nature are revealed in His son Jesus Christ.
There are quite a number of scriptures that explains this. But in this article, I’ll focus on Hebrews 1:3a (TPT) – “The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image!”
This means that if you want to know the true nature of God, look at Jesus. He is God revealed in the flesh. God’s nature can be seen in how Jesus acted and spoke while he lived on earth.If you want to know the true nature of God, look at Jesus. He is God revealed in the flesh. God's nature can be seen in how Jesus acted and spoke while he lived on earth. Click To Tweet
With this background, let’s look at how Jesus treated women:
The very first account I would draw up is the account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-25) Here, Jesus was in Samaria when he met this woman. At this time, the Jews (Jesus’ nationality) saw the Samaritans as foreigners so their interaction with them was limited and quite hostile. Also, the culture towards women was very hostile and men were not expected to be seen in public with a woman who wasn’t your wife or related to you. This wasn’t just peculiar to the Jews, the ancient world was largely patriarchal even people who didn’t believe in God. This was why the woman was alarmed when Jesus reached out to her. Yet, Jesus knowing all these limitations reached out to her with the gospel of peace.
In the story of the woman at the well, Jesus broke down the cultural, racial and gender barriers the society at that time had erected around women. Click To Tweet
The second account I’ll draw up is that of the adulterous woman. Even though according to the law, she should have been stoned, we see how Jesus lovingly rescued her and let her go regardless of her sins or gender.
Also, even though it was uncommon in Jesus’ day to have women teach, He had several women in His ministry (Luke 8:3) Beyond relating with them, He was not ashamed to receive of their ministry or have them serve with Him.
Jesus affirmed the dignity of women and did not treat them lesser than he did his male disciples. As you may already know, Jesus had lots of women disciples even though they weren’t listed as one of the 12. They were with him through his earthly ministry, at the foot of the cross, even at the resurrection (It was a woman who first saw Him in His glorified body)
It is very erroneous to say God or the bible supports misogyny. Even though Jesus never spoke expressly on this subject, his actions and words told us of His stance and God’s too. Click To Tweet
Jesus had always treated people with love both males and females. The way he related to women while on the earth gives us an insight into what God’s heart is on this subject as He is the very reflection of God. This should be our disposition also.
Even before Jesus’ days, we see Deborah, Esther, and even the daughters of Zelophehad (numbers 27). This story is a really interesting story because these women according to accepted practice at that time had business claims and inheritance but not only did God instruct Moses to give them a portion, He also instituted a law to secure women in such circumstances.
Beyond Jesus’ days, in the early church women were active in the church. There was Phoebe who was a deacon in the church at about the 1st century. Priscilla also was a leader alongside her husband Aquila. They were both missionaries and mentioned severally in the new testament. Paul himself that a lot of people assumed to be anti-women worked very closely with women as you can see from his letters to the early church. Some of them include Junia, Lydia, and Syntyche.
I’ll round up with this: Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” We are to see everyone from God’s lens regardless of their tribe or gender or social status. This is how Jesus was on earth. This is how we also as believers should live.