“There is good news here [Luke 20:27-40] about the status of women. Jesus was saying that in the resurrection, there will be no more giving women away as if they are property. Women in the resurrection will be persons, just as men will be persons. Paul picked up on this when he wrote, ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus’ (Gal. 3: 28). Jesus’ response was a call to kingdom thinking—on earth as it is in heaven—and a reminder that all things shall be made new. Jesus’ response is also good news for slaves, for those oppressed by race, class, creed, or any other box in which they have been confined: too big, too young, too slow, poorly educated or learning disabled. Whatever the box, it will not exist in the resurrection. Though the Sadducees did not believe in resurrection, many others believed that eternity would be a continuation of things as they had been on earth. Jesus came to say, ‘No. Open your minds and hearts, because what is coming will be so much greater. . . .’ The Sadducees’ question showed very little sympathy for the sorrow this woman had faced. In two verses, they described a woman losing her husband, then remarrying his brother and losing him and then the next brother, and on and on: seven weddings followed by seven funerals. If Jesus sounded exasperated by their telling of the tale, perhaps it was because they did so without an ounce of empathy. How did the men die? How did she get through it all? Maybe they were all wonderful husbands who cared for her tenderly, and yet she had seven marriages and not a child to care for her after her husbands died. It was all so sad. . . . No one empathized with that woman more than Jesus. The tale unfolded so quickly that just as he might have said, ‘Take me to this woman,’ they announced in their insensitive voices, ‘Oh yes, the woman is dead now too’ (the sense of v. 32).” J. Peter Holmes
“Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be,
since the seven were married to her?”
Luke 20:33 NIV
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Did you ever read this story and feel the heartbreak of this widow? I never did.
- Women have been treated poorly (e.g., like property) for most of recorded history. What would Jesus say?
- Do those who share your faith honor women and advocate for them because of it? Do you?
I can do better Lord. Help me.
For More: Feasting on the Gospels–Luke, Volume 2, by Cynthia Jarvis and E. Elizabeth Johnson
Cynthia A. Jarvis & E. Elizabeth Johnson. Feasting on the Gospels–Luke, Volume 2: A Feasting on the Word Commentary. Westminster John Knox, 2014.
After the Women’s March on Washington D.C., a Texas judge posted: “Just think about this. After just one day in office, Trump managed to achieve something that no one else has been able to do: he got a million fat women out walking.” An Indiana State Senator reposted a meme stating “In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking than Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”
The man who originally posted the meme has since expressed regret: ‘I want to apologize for the insensitive social media post …This represented a momentary lapse in judgment on my part for which I am truly sorry, …This does not reflect my feelings toward women….’
We all make mistakes, and perhaps jokes at women’s expense is one of the most common–and most commonly accepted–ones. In fact, so accepted that many men probably feel it’s a “non-issue.” But think about this:
“Those who have advanced in the Christian life have learned to develop an almost mystical memory that keeps them attuned to the fact that God is always with them … always watching, always caring, always hearing. …do I look at women through the eyes of God? Do I listen to them and hear them as God hears them? Do I think about them as God thinks about them? And do I speak of them as God would have me speak of them? …A man who refrains from lust but who looks at women with condescension and disrespect is not a godly man. His corruption may be of a different sort from the one who undresses women in his mind, but he certainly can’t live a compelling life. Why not? Because he hasn’t learned what it is to truly love.” Gary Thomas
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Men, are you sensitive to how women are often treated “with condescension and disrespect” (or worse) simply because they’re women? Do you notice this in others around you? Do you notice it in yourself?
- Women, have you grown so accustomed to being invisible, powerless or unappreciated that you have come to expect it and settle for it?
- As a Christian, are you putting up with these kinds of attitudes in your political party? …in your church? …in your home?
Abba, teach me what it is to truly love.
For More: Simply Sacred by Gary Thomas
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to regularly share something of unique value with you in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)