Thursday, October 16, 2008

Street Level Devotions, This Faith Respects Women

Luke 8: 1-3
Soon after this, Jesus was going through towns and villages, telling the good news about God's kingdom. His twelve apostles were with him, and so were some women who had been healed of evil spirits and all sorts of diseases. One of the women was Mary Magdalene, who once had seven demons in her. Joanna, Susanna, and many others had also used what they owned to help Jesus and his disciples. Joanna's husband Chuza was one of Herod's officials.

Over the years I have heard people make comments about Christianity that frankly bothers me, it bothers me because it shows a lack of understanding of the impact Jesus had on society. One of the criticisms often handed out deals with the attitude towards women that some followers of Jesus have, or the perception many have. The truth is, Jesus involved women in his inner circles and gave respect to women. This wasn’t a token move by Jesus, but a reality that changed the attitude given women.

During the time of Jesus, before, and unfortunately for much of the time afterward women were and are treated as second class citizens. Some cultures still carry on those traditions, yet in Christianity, women were critical to the faith, and were heavily involved in the development of Christianity. In cultures where some women must always walk behind a man, or never speak in public, Jesus chose to involve and develop friendships with women from all walks of life, from political leaders to prostitutes, Jesus appreciated women.

What is there to learn from this in today’s world? One is a lesson for men. We as men need to give the same amount of respect to women Jesus did. Married men are told to love their wife in the same way Jesus loves the church. The days of treating women as second class citizens where we lord and rule over them are over. Jesus set the example, and it is an example we should follow.

There is another lesson to learn for women. Unfortunately, many women allow men to lord and rule over them. It is as if God don’t give dreams, aspirations, gifts, vocations and more to women today. Yet, we see a Jesus contradict this concept. Women should strive to discover their gifts and purpose just as much as men. When marriages and families are involved, this journey should take place together, with the full measure of respect given for each other that was given by Jesus to those he loved.

One of my greatest joys is I helped raise a daughter to become a strong woman. She recognizes her gifts, has stood strong, and has refused to be treated as a second class citizen. All fathers want that type of thing for their daughter. I know I did and am glad my daughter turned out the way she did. She has a good husband, is involved in a great ministry, and has had a tremendous impact, even becoming the first female department director within her churches denomination. She is making a difference, Jesus made that possible.

As we go through the day, I hope that men who have made the decision to follow Jesus will treat women with the full measure of respect Jesus did. I hope women will in return see their full potential. The days of being a second class citizen are over, Jesus made that possible.

Thought for the day: God gives gifts to all people, gifts that are to be used for showing others His love and serving those in need. Jesus set the example by showing that women are a part of that plan. May all men and women realize the giftedness provided each of us by the King of kings.

The following is a great song, I encourage you to actually visit the link to see the lyrics to the song. Jesus had a special place for women, this song helps illustrate that. To watch and listen, just click on the video below. Otherwise, click on the link.

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