The Heart of God In Equal Measure

The disciples had just returned from a trip to the city to buy food when they saw Jesus sitting and talking to a woman. We are told that the disciples were surprised to find Jesus talking to her, but they didn’t say, “What do you want? or ask Jesus, “Why are you talking with her?” Good choice.
     When their conversation is over, the woman goes back to the town and tells everyone about her meeting with Jesus. If you’ve been a Christian for more than a minute, you know it wasn’t an accident that He spoke with the woman. He knew her heart. He knew that her enthusiasm would change the lives of the people in her town. He knew she would draw people to Him.
     Many of the people from her town came to hear Jesus because of her testimony. They said to her, “We no longer believe just because of what you said. Now we believe because we’ve heard for ourselves, and we know that Jesus is really the Savior of the world.” (Jn. 4:5-30)
     It isn’t a stretch to say that women in their culture were virtually insignificant. They were poor, obviously the wrong gender, ethnically incorrect, their bodies were unclean on a monthly basis, and some women sold their bodies to provide for their families. And yet, Christ consistently challenged the culture of the day—the devaluation of women by the men in society—and He did it boldly and without hesitation. Jesus knew what was happening to women in the culture and He wasn’t having any of it. For Him, a woman would be a joint heir, a full member of the body of Christ.
     The value of women to God, and to the Church, has not diminished since Christ walked on the earth. Women represent the heart of God in equal measure to men. When the Church devalues women, sets them aside as incapable of doing kingdom work or limits their ministry to token tasks, the Church misrepresents Christ’s teachings and practices. Jesus taught women and prepared them for service as disciples. He wanted women to be baptized and recognized as part of the covenant.
     To suggest that the Church is best represented by qualities attributed to men is simply a failure to understand Christ’s vision and message. If you want to know what it’s like to be a bride, you need to ask one. If you want your church to represent the heart of God, you’ll need to add a few chairs at the table and invite some women to share their faith…their wisdom. Open your eyes. The harvest is ready. Everyone needs to role up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.

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