Archive for the ‘What Jesus Never Said’ Category

Why Call Jesus a “Gentle” Savior?

January 24, 2015

It has been a long time coming, I guess, but it finally dawned on me that I should clarify the use of the word gentle to describe Jesus on my website and in the Bible study I developed.

I fear that some readers may assume I mean that Jesus had to be gentle with women because he found them too weak, soft, fragile, or unintelligent to treat them the way he might treat men.

That’s not what I have in mind at all.

“Gentle and humble in heart” is the way Jesus described himself in Matthew 11:29. His use of this phrase recalled Old Testament messianic prophecies of God’s king, who was envisioned as the helper of the poor and of those who have been deprived of their rights. Throughout the prophets and wisdom literature of the Old Testament, God positioned himself as a defender of those who are oppressed, cheated, exploited, and defenseless. In fulfilling the messianic prophecies, Jesus took up that role as a humble peacemaker who came to rescue without force (see also Matthew 21:5 and Luke 4:18-19). [a]

What I see of Jesus in the Gospels is not that he handled women with kid gloves but that he recognized what women were up against. He knew the attitudes of the ancient culture at large and the systemic marginalization of women. He knew the double standards and sometimes even cruelty of popular Jewish religious thought. He also knew the specific circumstances faced by some individual women in destitute and distressing conditions, dysfunctional families, abusive relationships, and intolerant communities. (Read More)

Jesus on Women–New Series begins Oct. 4

September 27, 2012

Watch for my new 6-week series beginning on October 4

Each week, I’ll share with you something Jesus said about women in his teachings and conversations with his disciples. You may be surprised at what he said — as well as by what he didn’t say in his patriarchal Jewish cultural setting.

This series will help you gain a better understanding of how Jesus viewed women, their value and their capabilities.

Subscribe now, so you don’t miss a thing!

Jesus in a Patriarchal Age

April 21, 2012

The first-century Middle-Eastern world that Jesus experienced in the flesh was a patriarchal culture several millennia old. Although Jewish patriarchy had been shaped by the Law of Moses early on, its views about women had become distorted over time in its oral traditions, or midrashim, and were often influenced by neighboring cultures such as that of the Greeks.

Women in early first-century Palestine were generally viewed as inherently inferior to men. They were denied a full education, relegated to a secluded life in the household, and ranked just above slaves. Jesus was certainly aware of these cultural values yet did not appear to share them.

My article, “She Is More Than…” appears in the April themed issue of Mutuality on the extreme patriarchy movement in Christianity. Read it on page 12.

What Would Jesus Notice?

December 2, 2011

Talk about a busy ministry schedule, Jesus had one for sure. He was on a three-year mission to seek and save the lost, fulfill the Old Testament law and prophets, and prepare his disciples to turn the world upside down. The crowds were so hungry for both his teachings and his miracles that he could barely find a moment to himself.

Yet, Jesus was never so wrapped up in his mission that he ignored the people around him. He had an amazing propensity to notice individuals and to stop and engage with them. Living as he did in a patriarchal culture, where most men resolved to ignore females in public, the way Jesus noticed women is especially notable. (Read More)

The Words of Jesus to Women

September 24, 2011

This Words of Jesus to Women handout lists most of the significant statements Jesus made to or about women in the Gospels. You can use it in a number of ways:

 1. In conjunction with the introductory lesson of The Gentle Savior, try to guess who Jesus was speaking to or about.

 2. In the final lesson of The Gentle Savior:

– Use it for review, and try to remember whom Jesus was speaking to or about.
– Consider which of these statements you would like Jesus to say to or about you.
– Consider which of these statements the women in your life need to hear Jesus saying to them.

3. Even if you’re not using the Bible study, read through the statements and consider what you can learn about Jesus from his words to women. Now, match up the statements with the women being spoken to or about (Need the answer sheet?).

– What do you learn about Jesus from what said to these particular women?
– What do you learn from what he did NOT say?