Jesus is a feminist



Photo credit: Rosie the Riveter (Modern)


One of the senior contributors of Forbes magazine, Kathy Caprino, said "feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes; the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities; the doctrine advocating for social, political, and all other rights of women to be equal to those of men."

I know some of y'all are thinking. Yes, I agree to what Caprino said, but I DO NOT agree with the statement that Jesus or the Christian faith also believes this. I know some people will pull out the verses in the Bible that says, "wives submit to your husbands" (Ephesians 5:22), or "...the woman as the weaker vessel," (1 Peter 3:7). But if you give me time to express my thoughts, I know I will convince you by the end of this piece that Jesus was indeed a feminist.

First, I want to address the few verses I found that would argue that Jesus does not view women as equal. So let's look at Ephesians 5:22. Submission is actually a very beautiful and powerful thing, and I commit to and will fully submit to my one day husband. *And all the readers gasp is shock and disgust* Lol. Hear me out. So when I think about studying in medical school and residency and I am trying to understand the mechanism that takes place in the body, I must start from the very beginning of that pathway and carry it all the way to the end. If I start studying the pathway at point H meanwhile there were points A-G before H, I will be thoroughly confused and will never fully understand how that mechanism in the body works. In the same way when reading the Bible it's important to grasp the context. So if you see verse 21 (the verse above), it says "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21) So that only let's us know that the husband must also submit to the wife. Next in verse 25-27 it states, "husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless" (Ephesians 5:25-27). Let's break it down. "Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Jesus died a gruesome, brutal, horrific death on the cross to take the place of my punishment so I could be made whole-- holy and righteous before God. [Check out my post on this topic: The Great Exchange]. If my husband is to do that for me--sacrifice, bend over backwards, and bust his butt for my wellbeing-- I can gladly submit to that! People mistakenly believe submission means being oppressed and robbed of freedom. But I can agree with and cooperate with someone who is doing all he can for my betterment.

I often times think about the hierarchy that is set in place in medicine. The attending physician is the leader, next is the senior resident all the way down to the junior resident and then the nurse. The attending is looking out for the best interest of the patient and the entire healthcare team. The attending would not put me in harms way or allow for me to perform a medical error because they are supervising me and I am submitting to that leadership. So ultimately if any wrong takes place the fault will be on them. This hierarchy is not slavery it is actually protection for me and also for the patient to receive the best care. This is the same for wives' submission in marriage.

The next verse up on the chopping board is "...the woman as the weaker vessel," (1 Peter 3:7). And again, context is key here. The entire verse actually says, "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." So again, husbands are not to control, belittle, or abuse their wives but actually respect (and another version of this verse says honor) their wives. Also, the husband is to treat her as a partner or "as an heir with you." So the husband does not dominate the wive but is in partnership. Now to address the part 'as the weaker partner.' I remember in grammar class "as" is a grammatical term called a simile. It's figure of speech where two different things are compared to help make the description more vivid. So women are described as the weaker partner but they are not truly the weaker partner. So when I say, "she is as round as an apple." The person is not legitimately an apple, but just round like one. In the same way the woman is not legitimately the weaker partner, but husbands are to be respectful, considerate etc as though she were weaker. And again would you really want to be running dynasties with a weak link? The husband is later told that the wife is be treated as an heir in life. So to be in partnership the two have to be on similar levels of strength for it to work well.

Now let's look at some boss women in the Bible. I love Queen Esther. So she was a orphaned girl who became a queen. She played an instrumental role in saving the Jews from a major genocide that one of the Jewish haters, Haman, tried to blot. Now tell me she is not a strong woman of God? (Esther 4). Or how about Rahab? So the Israelites were instructed to go conquer the promise land. So the leader, Joshua, told two of his men to go spy out the city. In order to successfully survey the land they needed help from a local-- Rahab. She was a prostitute who hid Joshua's men to from the security guards in her town. If it weren't for Rahab, Joshua's men would have been killed and they wouldn't have been able to conquer that town. Or how about Mary? A young girl who God picked to carry Jesus in her womb for 9 months. I mean God could have easily have allowed Jesus to just appear on the earth or come through a man through some super creepy and weird way, but he used who? A WOMAN!

One powerful woman that I really admire in the bible is this Samaritan woman. So Jesus was walking through cities and since cars didn't exist at that time he was super tired. So he stoped at a well and starts talking to this woman. First off, Jesus is a Jew and this person is a Samaritan. Jews don't normally talk to Samaritans because they think they are above the Samaritans. Second, Jesus was talking to a Samaritan WOMAN (that's a double whammy). Jesus then engaged her in conversation and helped her to realize some broken areas in her life and He gave her solutions on how to fix that problem. And how exactly does He do it? Well he told her who He is and says if you find your hope, your peace, the love your longing for in me you will never live in desperation chasing after men again. (John 4). I know this sounds like God's super basic and routine work of healing people and making them whole, but the thing is this Samaritan woman was the FIRST one Jesus revealed himself to as the son of man. He didn't reveal himself to some big shot Jewish man, not even to his disciples, but to a broken woman who had a lot of issues. WOW!

Now tell me God doesn't see men and women as equal. My God defies what society says should be correct. He uses broken people, whole people, men, but most importantly, powerful, wise, brave, bold, fearless women to accomplish His work of restoring people and setting them free.

Jesus truly is a feminist. He loves men and women alike. He loves them equally; and He loves them unconditionally.

I hope you can come to know and grow in the love of God as I have.

Y'all have an excellent day and week ahead.

XOXO,

Jenn


Fun Moments in Resident







FUN FACTS ABOUT JENN JENN:

I am a total R&B, smooth jams, jazz lover, acoustic. India Arie, Lauryn Hill, Musiq, Anthony Hamilton, Gavin DeGraw, John Mayer, and the list goes on. I've now added this guy to the list. I know I'm late, but whatevs. For my super saved saints, he curses in the song your ear may bleed so get some cotton first ;).



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