the Mother of God
husband of Mary
whom Jesus loved
Text by Victor
Jesus and Women
It was unusual
for a Jewish teacher to associate so closely with women. Yet Jesus did.
He had none of the prejudices against them common in his time. For him,
women were children of God, not the servants of man. He spoke out for
their rights. When the Pharisees asked him about the Jewish laws of
divorce which notoriously favored men, Jesus took the part of the women.
"From the beginning, God made them male and female. For this reason
a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and
the two shall become one...What God has joined together, let no man
he often used women as examples of faith, in contrast to the well-measured
reactions of the Jewish leaders and his own disciples. As he sat in
the Temple area near the treasury one day, he called attention to a
poor widow, who gave her two small coins as an offering, while others
better off than she gave large gifts. "She put in everything she
had!" Jesus told his disciples in admiration.
At a banquet
in the house of Simon the Pharisee, a woman of the town who was a sinner
came and knelt before him, washing his feet with her tears, drying them
with her hair, kissing them and anointing them with precious oil. The
Pharisee thought this out of place, but Jesus saw how right the woman's
action was. "Her many sins have been forgiven; she has shown great
love", and praising the woman's faith, he told her to go in peace.
Many of Jesus'
parables portray the activity of women, their spirit, their faith and
their courage. He speaks of the woman who searches for a lost coin,
the woman who places yeast in the mass of dough, the woman who pleads
with the unjust judge. The stories reveal a God who does not work only
in the world of men. His teachings show that Jesus viewed women with
respect and admiration. He was not uneasy with them. He did not patronize
or slight them.
was because they sensed how different he was that so many women, like
Mary Magdalen, approached Jesus. He welcomed them as if they were family.
"Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking around at
those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my
brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister
engraving by Doré