From Eden until now, our greatest longing has been to abide with our God, and to know that His desire is for this mutual fellowship. To know it in heart, soul and mind. In Eden, God created man, male and female, and called them very good. He delighted to walk with them, talk with them, abide with them. Though He created them male and female, He treated them with the same care and love; the same affection and attention. And after the Fall, God gave them the same promise, that He would rescue them–male and female. Though He created male and female with anatomical differences, and different roles in His Kingdom, yet He shows them the same love, same devotion, same faithfulness, same goodness, same mercy.
Jesus’ attitude toward women
One of my graduate professors (from many many moons ago), Dr. Gary Habermas, is known for his expertise in the area of resurrection studies. He taught us well about the attitude Jesus showed toward women–how He was confronting the cultural norms and showing them what was true about God’s love towards women. When Jewish and Roman cultures distrusted and mistreated women, when they classified women as less important than dogs–Jesus did not. Jesus even went so far as to make sure the first eye-witnesses to His resurrection were women. He praised and taught and had fellowship with women.
Yet, He did not undo the created differences between male and female.
We run the risk, as every generation does, of missing this; and either trying to eliminate the differences or creating new and false ones. One recent false one I encountered is the thought that God shows up differently for the different sexes, male and female.
God does not “show up” differently for men and women.
Jesus is “God with us.” The incarnation is a miracle for us all to celebrate and delight in. Jesus is the perfect Mediator for male and female.
God does not answer prayers differently when prayed by a man or a woman. God does not give greater refuge to men, or show greater compassion toward women. He is the only true Helper and Comforter to both male and female. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life for male and female. He is gentle and humble, and the great Teacher of men and women.
His promised Spirit indwells male and female believers alike. He abides in His people. Jesus’ greatest desire, expressed beautifully in John 17, is to bring us home to enjoy His glory, us–male and female. For now, we abide in Him, and He in us, as sons and daughters:
Consider this promise from Ezekiel 37, quoted in 1 Corinthians 6:16-18.
For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.
Once you’ve spent some time considering, meditating, perhaps even memorizing so that you can meditate on it throughout your sojourning days, move on to the “therefore” that follows. A score of promises, and a call, given to male and female. He knows our frame, He listens to our prayers, He is always with us and in us. Male and female.
Be careful not to make a distinction that Scripture does not teach. Be equally as careful that you do not muddle the differences that the LORD created and delights in. Jesus did away with the cultural norms that were opposed to His intentions, but He did not undo His created order–the beauty of both male and female.
Up next week: The Chief End of Womenhood