In taking a look at the Biblical theology of women, it is easy to see that Jesus valued women and their role in the kingdom of God. During Jesus’ ministry, he broke all kinds of cultural norms in society. Women in the Ancient Near East did not get a lot of respect and weren’t allowed to learn the scripture, but Jesus went out of His way to see that women were included. Jesus loved and valued women and had an appreciation for the gifts they brought to His Kingdom.
John, in chapter four, tells us about the women at the well. Jesus was not ashamed to talk to her and did not hold racial grudges that were a societal norm, and he knew her history and sin and did not judge her. Just the opposite, he offered her salvation.
Luke, in chapter seven, reports how Jesus raised the widow’s son. Jesus had compassion for the woman and realized her son was her only means of livelihood. In that culture, women needed a man for all their financial transactions.
Matthew nine, Mark five, and Luke eight report how Jesus treated the woman with the issue of blood. Jesus had great compassion for her suffering, and he healed her and recognized her great faith.
Luke, in chapter eight, states that women traveled with Jesus and were part of the disciples that he taught, and they helped support the ministry. Mary Magadelion, Joanna, the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others.
Martha and Mary were disciples of Jesus when He said something counter-cultural for the times. Previously women were not allowed to learn the scriptures. In this passage, He encourages Mary to sit in the inner circle and listen to his teaching. Not only does He promote it, but he says it is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her (Luke 10:42). Jesus’ Kingdom values women.
Luke, in chapter thirteen, reports that Jesus had compassion and healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath. Jesus showed that He cared more about the women’s suffering than the letter of the law.
Luke reports in chapter 21 tells us about the widow’s offering. Jesus noticed that the widow gave all that she had, and even though it was less than what others gave, she sacrificed more.
John, in chapter eight, reveals to us how Jesus treated the women caught in adultery. He did not condemn her, just told her to go and sin no more. I think he looked at the ground probably because she was indecent and wanted to give her some privacy, which shows he treated her with respect.
Women were the first at the tomb, trying to tend to the Lord’s body. It did not seem to me that they were afraid and scattered like the disciples on the night that He was taken. Jesus appeared to Mary first – He could have appeared to the disciples where they were, but Mary was looking for him. He told her to go and tell the disciples, and she was the first witness to the risen Lord, and she was the first to share the good news!
In Pauls’s letter to the Romans, he shows how women were necessary allies in his ministry. These women weren’t merely opening their homes, baking cookies, and hosting a connect group. Expressions like “Chloe’s people” and “the church in her home “and risked their lives for me” indicate they have more of an active function in the body of believers that meet in their homes.
Phoebe was a deacon of the church, which means that she held a prominent position. She was a benefactor “patron” and used her money to support important causes in the Greco-Roman empire. She was entrusted with the delivery of Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians. (Rom 16:4).
Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for Paul – this event is not recorded in the New Testament, but it seems that it was widely known because all the gentile churches were grateful for it.
Chloe in I Cor. 1:11, Nympha Col 4:15, Apphia Philem. 1:2 – all had churches meeting in their homes. Paul refers to the church that meets in Chloe’s home as “Chloe’s people.”
Lydia, in Acts 16:40, Paul had a vision and went to Macedonia. But when he arrived in Philippi, he found a small group of women praying, God-fearing Gentil women. Paul didn’t inquire where all the manly men were for him to teach and equip. He didn’t move on, looking for the man he saw in his vision. He and Timothy sat down and spoke to the women that were there. Lydia’s heart was changed, and she invited them to her house. She was eager to learn about Christ and became a patron “benefactor” for the ministry. Lydia was the founding member of the church in Philippi.
Andronicus and Junia Rom. 16:7 was in prison with him; she was saved before Paul was. They were outstanding among the Apostles; the word apostle probably meant “accredited messenger,” not one of the twelve. But still, she was outstanding among the 12, according to Paul.
Paul commends Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis for working hard in the Lord or for the Lord’s mission.
Jesus valued women and the role God created them to play. Jesus showed that women were no longer to sit on the sidelines but to be actively involved in serving their Lord and Savior.