Archive for the ‘Jesus Knows Best’ Category

“Cute Little Doggies” Is Way Better

March 30, 2020

After exploring the Gospels and discovering Jesus as a “gentle Savior” in his interactions with women, we follow Jesus to the region of Tyre where he speaks with a Gentile (“Syrophoenician” or “Canaanite”) woman. On first reading our whole case goes out the window. What is it with this whole tossing the children’s bread to the dogs metaphor?

If you’re ready to read about something other than coronavirus, let’s back up a bit. For some time, Jesus had been trying to get away with his disciples for a break from the crowds. In Mark 6:30-31, he says to his apostles, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” Instead, he is discovered and ends up feeding a five-thousand-plus crowd.  Jesus then puts the disciples on a boat to Bethsaida and grabs some prayer time on the mountain. Late that night he walks on water to the disciples’ boat, but by the time they get to the other side, the crowds have found him again (6:53-56).

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A Woman’s Identity in Christ

August 20, 2012

Last week I shared a guest post from my friend Lisa, who has been struggling with her identity as a Christian wife and mother. I mentioned in my summary that some of us hold a misconception about wife/mother/homemaker being the role God most wants for women.

This picture of a women’s “place” seems to be based primarily on some statements in Paul’s New Testament writings, such as I Timothy 5:14 and Titus 2:4-5. 

These statements certainly describe some responsibilities for women (specifically, “younger” ones), but read out of context and alone they present an incomplete picture. A fuller image comes into focus when we consider what the Gospels say on the subject. In the Gospels we learn about what Jesus said to and about women. If we believe that Jesus was God in the flesh and the perfect representation of His being, then we must believe that Jesus’ attitudes toward women reflect those of His Father. 

Here are some interesting facts to consider: 

  • Jesus called women to serve him, not only to serve their families as proxies for him. He didn’t call all women disciples to leave their homes, but he did call some women to do that. Women both traveled with him in his ministry and helped support him financially (Luke 8:1-3, Matthew 27:55-56). Some of these women were identified as being married while others were mothers (probably of grown children) and others were neither wives nor mothers. Interestingly, Jesus didn’t send any of the married women home to focus on their families nor did he advise the single women to try to find husbands.  (Read More)

Risky Business

March 31, 2012

What do the following have in common?

Reaching out in a crowd to touch a rabbi’s robe, even though it will make him ceremonially unclean.

Waltzing into a house full of hostile religious leaders who all know about your immoral past.

Sacrificing a year’s worth of wages to a man who didn’t ask for it.

Speaking up first to a Jewish man who knows you only as an assertive Gentile woman.

Risk is what these actions share. For women in first century Palestine, these actions were each inherently risky.  (Read More)

Truth Prompted by an Outspoken Woman

January 2, 2012

As [Jesus] said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28 ESV)

Here is another of those obscure interactions between Jesus and a woman that is easily overlooked but valuable nonetheless. Earlier in Luke 11, Jesus had freed a man from his demon, which amazed the gathered crowd. Then he had faced down the skeptics who said his power came from Beelzebul (the “prince of demons”). 

Obviously impressed by Jesus’ discourse, a woman in the crowd yells out her opinion, “Wow, I bet your mom is really happy to have you for a son! Even her body parts that nurtured your life are blessed.” 

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Our Princess to His Prince of Peace?

November 22, 2011

Not every female grows up with a princess fantasy, but I certainly did. Mine was mostly about prancing around wearing jewel-bedecked dresses with full skirts and long trains. Now that I’m an adult, I realize how incredibly uncomfortable those things would be, but when I was 7, 8, 9 years old, I could not imagine anything better. Of course, the closest I ever got to looking like a princess back in those days was my mother’s old prom dress. This was before Disney figured out that parents and grandparents want little girls to believe they are princesses and will buy lavish costumes at almost any price.

In studying about Jesus in the Gospels, I noticed that he never referred to women as princesses. Have you ever thought about why? (Read More)