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lindagray

Women in the New Testament Church. Jesus and women 1

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Jesus and women
As the founder of Christianity, Jesus never taught nor approved of any kind of subordination of one of his followers over another. Instead, he expressly forbade it in any Christian relationship. All three Synoptic Gospels record Jesus teaching his disciples that any subordination of one to another, both abusive and customary, is a pagan practice—not something to take place among his followers. Having issued his strong prohibition against subordination of others, he prescribed the Christian alternative to subordination as being the exact opposite: profound service to others, extending even to making the ultimate sacrifice of giving one's life if necessary:

"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"—Jesus Christ.

His first phrase, "lord it over", described the Roman dictators who wielded ultimate and unlimited power. His second phrase, "high officials", referred to lesser Roman officials who, having some limitations of power, "exercised authority" (not necessarily abusive power) over their citizens. In the nearly identical passages in all three Synoptic gospels, Jesus sternly commanded his disciple that "It shall not be so among you", clearly forbidding both abusive extreme "lording it over" others, and even more moderate, ordinary "exercise (of) authority" over others. Egalitarian Christians consider that this teaching of Jesus to the men who were the 12 Apostles trumps any subsequent teachings of Paul and Peter that Complementarians interpret as establishing "Husband-Headship" requiring "Wife-Submission", or denying women opportunities to serve in any leadership position within the Church.

Authors Marsh and Moyise also understand this teaching of Jesus to forbid any hierarchy in all Christian relationships, even when there is no connotation of abuse of authority.

The New Testament of the Bible refers to a number of women in Jesus' inner circle—notably his Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene who is stated to have discovered the empty tomb of Christ and known as the "apostle to the apostles" since she was the one commissioned by the risen Jesus to go and tell the 11 disciples that he was risen, according to the Gospels.

According to the New Testament, Christ saved a woman accused of adultery from an angry mob seeking to punish her, by saying: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her".

The Gospel of John provides an account of Jesus directly dealing with an issue of morality and women.The passage describes a confrontation between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees over whether a woman, caught in an act of adultery, ought to be stoned. Jesus shames the crowd into dispersing, and averts the execution with the words: "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." According to the passage, "They which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last," leaving Jesus to turn to the woman and say, "Go, and sin no more."

Another Gospel story concerns Jesus at the house of Martha and Mary where the woman Mary sits at Jesus' feet as he preaches, while her sister toils in the kitchen preparing a meal. When Martha complains to Mary that she should instead be helping in the kitchen, Jesus says that in fact, "Mary has chosen what is better".

The story of Mark 5:23–34, in which Jesus heals a woman who had bled for 12 year suggests not only that Jesus could cleanse his followers, but this story also challenges Jewish cultural conventions of the time. In Jewish law, women who were menstruating or had given birth were excluded from society. Therefore, the woman in Mark was ostracized for 12 years. Jesus healing her is not only a miracle, but by interacting with an unclean woman, he broke from the accepted practices of the time and embraced women.

wikipedia.org

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