Lynn Cohick says that, unusually for his time, Jesus took women seriously.
The role of women in Jesus’ life is a very interesting topic. I think probably the most stunning thing about Jesus and his relating to women that he met is that he treated them like regular people. They had likes and dislikes. Most of all, he could see that many of these women had real religious questions, and he treated them seriously.
It’s remarkable to me that two of the most theologically rich conversations that Jesus has are with women. In fact, one of them is with a Samaritan woman, as they talk about and she asks him questions about Messiah. And at the end he says to her something that would have been really difficult to wrap your mind around in the ancient world, he says to her that soon all people will worship God in spirit and in truth. Now this is a time when everybody goes to temple – whether you’re Jew, Gentile, Samaritan. And you expect to give sacrifices, whether it’s a grain offering or an animal offering, you give sacrifices. And here is Jesus telling a Samaritan woman that, in the coming days, everyone will worship God in spirit and in truth. And she gets it. She runs back to her town and tells everyone I think this is the Messiah.
Another time, Jesus is talking with a woman, Martha, and they’re talking about the resurrection of the dead. And that’s a belief that Pharisees, a group of Jews at this time, they hold it; another group of Jews, the Sadducees, they don’t believe in resurrection of the body. And so it’s a Jewish conversation that’s happening, and Martha knows about it. And Jesus says to her, “I am the resurrection and the life”. That’s an amazing truth! And she gets it. And they have a conversation about it.
I see Jesus giving dignity to women as thinking, feeling, real humans.