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Monday, February 7, 2011

In Praise of Women

And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet, and anointing them with perfume. Luke 7:37, 38 (New American Standard Bible)

The Jewish religious men of Christ’s day would never have allowed a woman known to be ‘unrighteous’ to touch them let alone anoint them with perfume as Jesus allowed. It was astounding to the Pharisee’s when Jesus would show the greatest compassion to the suffering sheep of Israel and especially to women. It seems that Simon, the host of Jesus’ meal in this case, was rather surprised that Jesus did not rebuke the woman for her act. Women had little rights and were considered below second class citizens.

We have much to be thankful to Jesus Christ for what He has done for the human race. One of the things I have been especially keen about is how highly He elevated the value of women. Even today as Orthodox Jewish males begin their day with ‘brochos’ or blessings, one of his prayers to God will be, "Blessed are You for not making me a Gentile, a woman (emphasis mine), or a slave." We can see the levels of disdain women are held in many cultures today. This mindset is society’s precept alone and has nothing to do with Christianity. Ladies, you can thank Jesus Christ for the value He has placed on you and to the great height and honor to which He has elevated you.

Even though there are those within our own society who still treat women with disregard they do so selfishly ignoring the example of Christ’s love. The good news is the worth of women is shown to be exceedingly precious in the eyes of God as evidenced by the example of Jesus Himself. This acceptance is just a little added sparkle to the magnificent gem that is the Christian faith. Christ has made us all heirs and joint-heirs with Him and has marked us for majesty for eons to come. But right now He has crowned women with some of the highest honor and dignity. God truly is the greatest expression of love and He plays no favorites for in Him there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female (Galatians 3:28). Instead those of us who believe in Christ are all Abraham’s offspring and heirs according to promise.