Jesus listened to women; why don’t we?

This one is going out to all those who’ve told me they would never listen to a woman or follow a woman because it’s unbiblical, unseemly, or because women’s voices are too high-pitched. Take a breath, folks. Look at what Jesus did. Go and do likewise…

When Jesus walked the earth, gender inequality was so entrenched in Jewish society that an adulteress could be stoned without trial and men could divorce their wives for virtually any reason.

In a nation of God-fearing and moral men, women were considered little more than property. They were servants whose place was in the kitchen or the field.

Some of the religious leaders taught that women were ignorant, yet there was no point teaching them because they had weak minds. Since women were untrustworthy chatterboxes, their testimony had little value in a court of law.

Then along came Jesus.

Jesus encountered all sorts of women, good and bad. Yet unlike the rabbis and the philosophers, he never diminished their humanity. Instead, he treated them with respect and kindness.

By including women in all that he did, Jesus provided us with a prophetic picture of the kingdom come. He showed us the world as it was always meant to be.

As Gene Edwards has said, “To see how Jesus treated women is to understand what God thinks of women.”

Have you ever noticed how Jesus began his earthly ministry by listening to a woman? The woman was his mother Mary and all she said was five words: “They have no more wine.”

Mary and Jesus were at a wedding and their hosts had run out of wine. Mary knew that her son could do something about it.

At first, Jesus seemed reluctant to help. “Woman, why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come.” But Mary turned to the servants with a smile and said, “Do whatever he says” (John 2:1–11).

Jesus told the servants to fill some jars with water, wine came out, and that was the first time Jesus publicly revealed his glory.

It’s a great story. But if all you see is the wine and the wedding, you have missed the significance of the woman.

Look again at how Jesus responds to Mary. He does not say, “I was already planning to make wine,” for that would diminish Mary’s part in the story. Instead, he chooses words that draw attention to both her lowly status and influence. He calls her woman, tells her this is not the right time, and then he does what she suggests.

We are left with the impression that the miracle at Cana was entirely her idea.

It’s like Jesus was saying, “Woman, because you said it, I’m going to do it.” And this at a time when men did not listen to women.

Do you see? By choosing to reveal himself in response to her words, the Son of God effectively made Mary a partner in his ministry. He heeded her. He followed her lead. Then he made sure that John recorded the story so that we would never forget it.

It’s almost like Jesus was trying to tell us something about the new role of women in the church.

Extracted from Paul’s forthcoming book The Silent Queen: Why the Church Needs Women to Find their Voice. Pre-order your copy now.

14 Comments on Jesus listened to women; why don’t we?

  1. Hello Paul , i don’t see how women preachers or women speaking in the church is wrong”. do we live by the freedom and grace that is provided by our Lord or do we go back and follow the letter of law when something or some issue becomes uncomfortable for us”. we have a choice to make. accept our sisters in Christ and allow them to speak what the Lord has put on their hearts and allow them the freedom in Christ that they and “we” have to express themselves and if this bothers some, we also have this same freedom in Christ to not listen.”.

  2. I never saw that before, and have always wondered how to view Jesus saying “Woman, why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come.” Beautiful, and so simple once you see it! Thanks for pointing it out. Love it!

  3. Andrew Farley spoke up for women in the Church recently too in a sermon.

    A bloke at my Dads church very recently was telling the Pastor he was a false teacher etc for allowing women to teach/speak in church and threatening to stand up in church and expose this and other supposed false teachings. The Pastor has a major heart attack and the guy still keeps sending emails etc carrying on about it!

  4. We were taught to obey your parents. Jesus did. by obeying your parents does that give women permission to teach or preach ect? Both elders (also called pastors or bishops) and deacons are noted as official leaders of local churches in the New Testament. What are their qualifications?
    NO MENTION OF WOMEN IN THESES ROLLS???…

  5. When Jesus was 12 He was teaching in the temple and His parents had spent days looking for Him. When they found Him they said, “why did you do this to us?” Jesus was baffled that they did not know He would be about His Father’s business. Years later at the Cana wedding, Mary approaches Jesus with the issue of running out of wine. Jesus sees Mary is starting to get it now, so He’s having a little fun and making a point with her; “what does this have to do with Me?” She confirms that she now understands He must be about His Father’s business and she responds, “do whatever He says”. The point still stands that Mary initiated this miracle, but I just wanted to share what I see happening. Thanks

    • Nice observation, LJP.

    • Hi sorry about caps now I know it means SHOUTING?
      What happened when Adam listened to the first women?
      Are we all “equal” there are kings, pastors, prophets,men, women, unsaved and saved?

      • Galatians 3:28 tells us that gender distinctions are irrelevant in the new covenant. This is why Peter, Paul, etc. repeatedly say “all may prophecy” or “each of you” can bring a word of instruction, etc. Men and women alike are called to proclaim the praises of God however the Spirit moves them. This was radical 2000 years ago. Sadly, it’s still radical in some circles today.

      • The first women was perfect what God made was very Good yet she fell taking Adam with her. Therefore today in the Spirit women still fall and can take men and women down with their preaching and teaching.

      • Dear Lord. It’s hard to tell whether you’re serious for saying such a ridiculous thing!

        Blaming Eve for the Fall is what Adam did. Since you seem to have learned little from Adam’s many mistakes, let us review them: Adam failed to keep the serpent out of the garden; Adam failed to teach Eve what God had taught him; Adam failed to speak up with the serpent spoke his lies. At least Eve tried to confront the Liar. Adam stayed silent.

        But I don’t blame Adam any more than I blame Eve. We can blame the Fall on their partnership which failed in the moment of crisis. God blessed them in their togetherness, but they did not stand together against the enemy. And we, the Body of Christ, will never stand for as long as one half views the other as inferior or subordinate.

  6. Great article and thank you for writing the Silent Queen book. I think the exclusion of women is why the church is impotent, and we look forward to women rising up in the Body.

  7. All are Equal From God’s view We are made Equal as Woman was made this way from Adams’s rob, side by side Help-Mate
    Thanks

  8. Something that seems to go largely missed is that God created man in His own image (“They” actually said, “Let Us make man in Our own image; see Gen 1:26-27) and THEN separated the female form from the male (see Gen 2:18-25). So what does that say about God? For one thing, it implies that the perfectly unified triune Godhead is equally represented by masculine and feminine attributes in harmony. Although I acknowledge His identity as both a Father and a Son (even Holy Spirit is referred to as a “He” in 1 Corinthians 12:11), there is clearly something else to account for in the first two chapters of Genesis. I’m not calling God a woman. But I’m not, not saying He is either. If this incites anyone, let it. Being freaked out by this is only due to conditioning, but we are both commanded and empowered to repent of whatever sets our hearts at odds with our Father’s heart by His divine grace. He is neither offended nor ashamed to identify with His beautiful, powerful and blessed daughters! Why would He be? He’s the One who empowers us, blesses us and has made us beautiful! May we emulate Him well by blessing, empowering and calling out each other’s beauty, too, men and women alike. Amen.

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