The Gentle Savior Contents


Week 1
Life for First-Century Women
Lays the groundwork by summarizing first-century Middle Eastern and Jewish culture and Jewish religious thinking as it related to the women of that era. Supplemental material: The variety of literary styles through which God chose to communicate with humankind. 

Week 2
No Condemnation
John 8:1-11
A woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, and he chose mercy over law enforcement, justification over condemnation. Includes a focus on letting go of the guilt God has forgiven.

Week 3
The Healing Touch
Matthew 9:18-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:40-48; and Luke 3:10-17
Jesus not only healed a woman with chronic bleeding and a woman with a badly crippled back, he set them free. Encourages reflection on God’s sufficient grace through suffering and Jesus’ compassion for the sick and disabled. Supplemental material: What’s in the Gospels? Read an excerpt from this chapter.

Week 4
Women Welcome Here
Luke 8:1-3; 23:26-31, 50-56; 24:1-12; and others
The truth about Mary Magdalene, who was but one of several women who traveled with Jesus, saw to his care, and provided financial support for his ministry. Supplemental material: Why are there four Gospels?

Week 5
The Source of Living Water
John 4:1-30, 39-42

Why couldn’t the woman at the well keep a man around, and why didn’t Jesus lecture her on the evils of divorce and remarriage? Jesus had something better than a scolding: an elixir of life for her thirsty heart. Supplemental material: The various figures of speech Jesus used in his teaching and how they affect our interpretation of his meaning. Read an excerpt from the chapter.

Week 6
Like Father, Like Son
Luke 7:11-15; Luke 21:1-4, Mark 12: 41-44

God was known throughout the Old Testament as a defender of widows, and his Son followed his lead. He raised to life the only son of a widow in Nain and commended the generosity of a widow who gave all she had to the temple treasury. Scripture readings include New Testament passages addressing care for widows and the poor. Supplemental material: Getting the most out of gospel stories by paying attention to context.

Week 7
Jesus Knows Best
Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30; Matthew 20:20-23

Two mothers came to Jesus with supplications: “Heal my daughter” and “Give my sons positions of power.” In both cases, Jesus showed that he understands a mother’s love. Supplemental material: What the Bible says about the mother of Jesus. 

Week 8
Such Devoted Sisters
Luke 10:38-42; John 11:17, 17-43; John 12:1-8
The gospels described three different occasions when Jesus interacted with Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus: when he came to dinner at Martha’s house, when Lazarus died, and when Mary washed feet of Jesus. Jesus clearly wanted to engage the minds of both of these women in understanding who he was and what he was about. Review this chapter.

Week 9
A Tale of Two Sinners
Luke 7:36-50
A prostitute crashed dinner at someone else’s house to weep at the feet of Jesus, yet it is the self-righteous host to whom Jesus directed his teaching. Includes some Bible history related to prostitutes, statistics about the life conditions of prostitutes in the U.S. today, and some reflection on a statement Jesus once made to the Jewish religious leaders that “the tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”

Week 10
What Jesus Never Said
This culminating chapter reviews the women Jesus spoke with and the varied life situations in which he found them. It encourages reflection on the things Jesus said to these women but then turns to what he did not say in a section listing “The Top Ten Things Jesus Never Said to a Woman.” Jesus never scolded, lectured, condemned, or ridiculed any of these women, not even the adulteress or the prostitute. We can learn much from these stories about God’s attitude toward us women. We should learn much, as well, about the way we are expected to treat other women.

Leaders Guide
Discussion questions for group studies.