Friday, March 26, 2010

Jesus and Gender

As I was reading through the gospels the other day looking for how Jesus related to women I was struck by two sets of verses. They are verses that I had read many times before but this time saw in a different light in regards to gender and how God relates to his people. Moreover the groundwork that Jesus was laying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts. For it is through the Spirit that man and woman become one and equal in Christ.

"Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matt. 12:47-50

"And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it." Luke 8:21

I find it very interesting that Jesus spoke these words after he had been talking about the Devil and spiritual warfare. It where he says "every house divided can not stand"{Matt.12:25}. I have always read these verses to mean that God should be the most important. God should be number one in your life even above your family. And I think that is true. But this time when I read these verses again I heard Jesus speaking out against inequality in gender. Jesus was saying "Be One!".

In the body of Christ there should be no divisions. In the body of Christ male isn't above the female. In the body of Christ female is not above male. In the body of Christ male and female are equal! Not that we just both get to go to heaven. God's kingdom on earth should be as it is in heaven. We should be equal in our relation to one another so that we can be unified in our reaching out to the lost. We are both heirs{male} and we are both the bride{female}. This was ground breaking for the times. This shouldn't need to be ground breaking 2000 years later.

Yet there is still so much gender division in the body of Christ. And I believe that is part of the reason why we are not standing as a light to the lost; both male and female.  Only having respect for women is not the same as seeing them as equal.  People are finding their equality in places other than the church.  That is sad indeed!  This is part of the huge swell of women being drawn to Wicca and the goddess worship we have discussed in other posts.  The church should be the cornerstone of justice and equality of women, not the goddess. The church should be filling the hunger of these women to be healers, prophets and purveyors of the supernatural; not the goddess.

I think part of the reason for that division is that the some of the church is still relating to only God the Father and Jesus his Son as a male driven faith. We have discussed a bit about the masculine and feminine functions of God. God needed to function as a Father in the old testament to create a nation. Jesus needed to function as a Son in the gospels to bring reconciliation between us and the Father. But Jesus was also the bridge that introduced us to the Spirit. I think it is so awesome that one of the first times he speaks of the Spirit is to a woman. And these are the other verses I saw quite differently the other day.

"Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from [His] journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink...

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans...

The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly...

Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know...

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God [is] Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:6,7,9,17,18,21-24

Usually when we think of the woman at the well we think of a sinful woman who had trouble keeping just one husband. She is Samaritan which means she probably knew of the goddess Inanna {click here for that post}. She is used to relationships without intimacy. She is used to taking orders from men. She is used to being used by men. She is defensive at the fact that this man {Jesus} is approaching her and expecting him to make a crass one-liner. She is used to seeking approval from men sexually. She is there at the well in the heat of the day so she won't run into any of the "other" women. So Jesus not being your typical man gives a beautiful analogy of how those who drink living water will thirst no more. But look a little closer and you will see Jesus explain something very needed in our society today.

He tells this woman who has a hard time relating to men "a time is coming when we will worship the Father in spirit...God is a spirit" Why was it important to tell her that? Because this woman who had been so wounded by men could not relate to a patriarchal God. And what Jesus was saying is that you don't have to. God is not a man, God is a spirit. Not only that he is a spirit but that we "MUST worship Him in spirit and truth." See how the Holy Spirit is the inclusion of the female aspect? So does this mean we don't worship the Father or the Son? No! What it means is that we worship all three in one. The masculine and the feminine. And isn't it interesting that those that don't walk in the Spirit are still driven by the patriarchal law and are legalistic. Those that don't include the Spirit are the ones the don't include the equal status of women.  Are we no different that our Muslim and Jewish bothers?  Are we are still going around looking down on the fact that women can't be circumcised in the flesh! That is craziness!  That is cutting the Spirit out of the Trinity.

We need to worship in Spirit folks. When we don't do this the church operates with one hand tied behind it's back. We loose effectiveness and correct testimony. Untie the hands of the women and see the Spirit move. Un-gag the mouth of the woman and hear the Spirit speak. Release the woman and see the Spirit released. When we don't do this we bind women to the law that a man named Jesus fulfilled and crushed. Jesus did not begin His ministry without the Holy Spirit. Hold told his followers{including women} to not begin their ministry without the Holy Spirit. So they waited together in one accord man and woman to be joined in the Holy Spirit. That was the power of the church unified!


  1. Thank you for writing this blog. I have been following it for a month or so now. It must take a lot of time and effort on your behalf but I appreciate it. Thanks again


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