by Christopher Harbin

Jesus and Women, Re-imagining John 4
Christopher Harbin
John 4

Bear with me for a moment. I've heard lots of discussions about how women should not be allowed to preach, hold authority over men, be ordained, or be pastor of a church. On the other hand, I have not heard a lot of discussion regarding Jesus' positions concerning women. If Jesus had been against allowing women it should have affected how he treated women, spoke to them, and spoke of them. We should see clues to how the church should relate to women in Jesus' actions and attitudes.

So, if Jesus' attitudes regarding women were like what so many teach today, we should see them in the gospel texts, above and beyond a few select phrases in Paul's letters. Let's start with a review of what John 4 should have looked like according to many perspectives on women across the centuries of human and church history...

4 1 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more followers than John, 2 although Jesus himself did not baptize people, but his followers did. 3 Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard about him, so he left Judea and went back to Galilee. 4 But on the way he had to go through the country of Samaria.

5 In Samaria Jesus came to the town called Sychar, which is near the field Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there. Jesus was tired from his long trip, so he sat down beside the well. It was about twelve o'clock noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to the well to get some water, but Jesus was thirsty. Before she could taint the water with a jar she had touched, he removed his outer clothing and lowered it into the well in order bring it up wet and drink from it..8 (This happened while Jesus' followers were in town buying some food.)

9 The woman said nothing, as men and women did not speak to one another in public, much less as Jews and Samaritans did not speak to one another.

10 Jesus said to himself, ''If only this were a man, I might explain God's willingne ...

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