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Imagine having no rights. No right to control your own property. No right to give a testimony in court. No right to speak to a man in public…if you are even allowed in public! No right to an education or a religious opinion. No right to have conversation with male guests in your own home.
You might have heard of a few countries where these practices still exist. However, the scenario I just presented did NOT come from research about current events. It came from my research into Jewish culture in Jesus’ day. A woman living in Jesus’ time had few, if any, rights. They were seen as property, as less than men. And if the Jewish women didn’t have it bad enough, the Jewish men viewed the Gentile women as even further below them.
It’s hard for my educated, modern-American mind to grasp the inequality! The Greek, Roman and Jewish cultures considered women as insignificant. Yet Jesus challenged their tightly-held traditions. He crossed the taboo boundaries to show women that they WERE significant.
When we read the Gospels through the eyes of American culture, Jesus’ interactions with women don’t seem revolutionary. BUT THEY WERE! He promoted the importance of women like no other! Read more…