The disciples had their issues and Christ was showing them how important women were and are. And the women had their issues and Christ was showing them how important the Twelve were going to be going forward in this new movement. He was espousing a healthy male-female interaction. Jesus does not reflect the views of his own era. The gospel writers tell us of women who prayed, who provided financial assistance, who ministered to physical needs, who voiced their theological understanding, and who witnessed to the resurrection of Christ (Luke 24:9). Jesus did not reflect the views of his contemporaries. We see Jesus going out of his way to engage in meaningful public conversation with the Samaritan woman in a public place (John 4:27). This amazed his disciples who, unlike Jesus, reflected the views of their times regarding women. They even initially doubted the women who witnessed the resurrection (Luke 24:11). It was unusual for women to travel with a rabbi. It is a well-documented fact that women were regarded as second-class citizens in Jesus' time. Jewish rabbis did not speak to women in public, nor did they eat with them. Jesus did both.
Men and women were partnered up and working together. This was a radical departure from how things worked! Jesus came announcing good news – for everybody! The message of what He was doing for the world is so big, that gender barriers cannot restrict it. In order to be about what Jesus was about, we have to value men and women.
What Men Want to Say to Women
“Stop treating me as if I’m irrelevant.” Men scratch their heads when the courts favor women in domestic abuse or divorce cases. They can’t figure out how it’s okay for women to have a baby ripped from her womb and somehow she still is a more fit parent than he is.
Men want to say to women: “Why are you so competitive with other women and want to better them? Feeling insecure, and delighting in the imperfections of others? Why do you engage in so much backstabbing, bitterness, and office politics?”
Men want to say: “The last thing a child needs are two mommies. They need a positive masculine presence in their lives; a dad that loves God, loves his wife, and invests in his kids. They need to see and experience the subtle nuances of what it means to be male and to have a dad’s perspective and life approach to complement a nurturing, loving mother.
Men want to say: “If you don’t want to be objectified, why do you present your body the ways that you do, take pictures of it and post it on Instagram?” That begs for objectification; it's not female empowerment!
What Women Want to Say to Men
Women want to say to men: “Why do you date and have intimate relations with so many women? What is so wrong with me that you cannot be satisfied with what we have together?”
Women want to say to men: “Why do you refuse to let me in on your feelings and thoughts? Why are you rude and insensitive to how I feel? I want to know you better, not so I can gossip about you, but to love you.”
Women want to say to men: “Why do you bring up my past all the time? We all have a past, but in Christ aren’t we all new?”
Women want to say to men: “And what’s the deal with pornography? Why do you surrender your moral authority so easily for something so shallow?”
Maybe men and women have something good to say to one another – but like David trying to transport the Ark a few months back, we go about it the wrong way and so we have disaster. Sarcasm is our tool of choice.
Application for Men: The model for men is Jesus. As men, we will do our best to respect you as a woman, treat you with compassion, hold you in high regard, and give to you the dignity that is rightfully yours. And we’ll work hard if we do have something to say, to say it in a way that honors Jesus. You bring a sensitivity, a caring, an insight to the human situations of life (not that men don’t); but you have the makeup to especially thrive in those things. We need you in the body of Christ.
Application for Women: There are several things to guard against in our society today regarding womanhood. Be careful about building walls of bitterness toward men in general because of a few bad men in your life. Be secure enough not to compare yourself to other women. You might be the hidden figure that the entire project turns on and pivots toward a powerful ministry and life.
A popular talk-show host interviewed over 30,000 people and she said the one thing all persons interviewed, both male and female, had in common was to be validated: to feel seen, heard, and like they really mattered.
People matter to God; so they matter to us.