Just about a hundred years ago in what was then and is still, the most advanced country in the world; the USA, women couldn’t vote. In so many churches till date, women can’t preach or hold leadership positions! And very often whenever women protest about this rather unseemly unfairness, what is thrown at them is not the Constitution of the Country, but the Bible. “Look,” we shout in holy righteousness as we with revered hands open the Bible to 1st Corinthians, “Look where Paul says you women should be!”
And in words loud and clear as if exorcising a ghost with the Holy Book, we throw, shove and push our women back into the closet, or kitchen while mouthing words like ‘Love Jihad’!
As an aside, the Bible was also used by slave owners to tell slaves they were merely obeying the scriptures about keeping blacks in bondage.
But coming back to womenkind: What did Jesus do? Just imagine, in those ancient times, a man going up to a woman at a lonely well and speaking to her so freely!
I wonder what Paul would have said if he’d seen the scene, “Woman don’t speak back to him so impertinently! He’s a man!”
And when Jesus had his body anointed with costly perfume by Mary, who even used her very hair to tenderly wipe His legs, did Jesus admonish her? Did He draw His legs away quickly? Did He shout, “Get thee behind me Satan?”
No, He didn’t! He loved it!
He accepted her fragrant offering, even though the very hair she used to wipe the oil was what Paul had said should always be covered.
I’m sure there are many who’ll say, “Jesus is God!” Of course He is! But remember, when He lived on earth, He lived a man!
So why the difference in what both say about the place a woman occupies?
I believe Paul quite often spoke within the framework of local customs, and Jesus addressed people, with a timeless divine view, as His Father saw it.
A Mary Magdalene followed Jesus wherever He went and blasphemous present-day writers who have no idea about the holiness of the Son of Man, have even linked her physically with Him. I am sure Jesus knew this would happen, and yet allowed her to be with Him. Because He knew that there would finally be many who would understand that the Kingdom of Heaven in a true Christian is when we don’t look at each other carnally, but as brothers and sisters in Christ!
I am sure Paul knew this, but as a student of English Literature, I know that a person’s writing reflect the customs of his or her time, and in Paul’s writing we see the same.
Two thousand years have passed and liberation has taken place, “Yes Paul, women can vote and preach!”
Can you feel Jesus smile, even as I whisper to you, “Where do you keep your women, in a cage or on a stage?”
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7 thoughts on “Jesus, Women and Paul..!”
Yes, women has been given a short shrift all along. Seemingly, they’ve got their rightful place now! Guru Nanak too had said of them: ‘Within a woman, the man is conceived and from a woman he is born. Why call her bad, from whom are born the kings. Without a woman, there, can be none, only the one True Lord, is without a woman.’
Hi! In regards to the LORD God, I believe He is with a woman, because Eve was created out of the ribcage of Adam who was made in the image of God who said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” So as a wife submits to her husband the same way a slave submits to his Master, so is the Church submit to the Lord as His Bride. To be gentle, quiet and humble in heart like Christ who submits everything to his Father in Heaven. For male and female the LORD God created to be equal partners managing the earth.
The Biblical stand on women’s status in society well expounded. Sad that a section of the Church have misunderstood Paul’s teaching and take away the rights God has bestowed on them. Thanks Bob.
You’re welcome Vivek.
God could have just dropped Jesus Christ from heaven like some fiticious movie. But then he made use of a woman to give birth. Jesus always honoured sheltered and admonished women and hence they are to be placed on a pedestal and not behind a purdah. Yet men need to excercise self control when we look at a woman.
The Samaritan woman in fact became the first woman evangelist spreading the good news in her town about Jesus. The very fact that God chose a woman to bring forth His Son into the world shows the honour and respect He accorded women. Thank you Bob for addressing this key aspect and clearing the Scriptural misinterpretation.
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