Sunday, a day to shuck corn

A tweet this morning caught my attention. “The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His Presence,” Todd Adkins, Director of Leadership at LifeWay Resources (a Southern Baptist entity) tweeted.

When church leaders get hungry enough to feed the gospel to the world, they will shuck corn on Sunday and let women preach in their church.

“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.”  He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?  He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests.  Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless?” (Matt. 12:1-5 NRSV)

I have every reason to believe that Todd  is a man of God, that he loves the Lord and that he cares for the people who do not know Jesus. But he is not hungry enough yet for a famished world to be saved.

He also hasn’t received my letter yet since it was mailed on Thursday last week (2nd time I’ve written Todd), but when he does, this is what he will read.


The climate is changing. Sexual harassment and abuse is now in the news. Christians can either get on board with the changing climate or they can continue to cling to the old ways of male headship.

Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Eric Bolling, and Bill Clinton are the public faces of sexual abuse, but women who are standing up against such atrocities are now becoming the public voice of this climate change.

Baptists, and fundamental and evangelical Christians, continue to teach and laud female submission to husbands and to all males. The church will not make the change, but things hinge on different things. In this particular case, since the church has held vehemently and vocally, on to male privilege and headship, the secular world will make the call.

You can’t stop cultural change. The Amish hunkered down and wear their strange clothes and skirt around modern-day inventions, but they could not stop it either.

Culture is constantly changing, and churches must adapt to that culture. We see that God spoke through each culture, not proclaiming that any one culture was the perfect one.

We live in the 21st century. God is here. He is with us. The problem is, that we are not with Him.

Until women are encouraged to preach the gospel, to lead out in churches, and to live as modern women in this century, we are doomed to self-destruct.

When we as Christians refuse to give women real equality in their church, we are perpetuating the abuse of women. What is taught in churches bleeds out into society and people who do not even go to church, see women as the church does – submissive to all males.

Look around you, Todd. Be a part of the change. Help women live out their Grand Design as fully equal in the church as you yourself recognize they are in the kingdom of God.

Shirley Taylor, street evangelist for women’s equality

It is time to shuck corn on Sunday. You are walking through the cornfield. The world is hungry. What will you do?

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Women drivers (aka women preachers)

A country forbids its women to drive a car; a church forbids its women to be preachers. Both base it on their religious teaching of male headship. The difference is that in 2018, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive, while in America, women will still be banned from “driving” leadership in most churches.

They both want to preserve the image of a pious mother.  Look at the Danvers Statement Concern #4: “The widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women.”

When I first began my ministry of women’s equality, at a Thanksgiving dinner, a male headship older man asked me who drove the car when Don and I went anywhere. As if that mattered. Don always drove because I didn’t want to, but that had nothing to do with equality. But it does in their minds. A woman was not supposed to be behind the wheel in a marriage or in a car.

A few years ago, A Resolution for Men was real popular. In that Resolution which came from the movie, Courageous, men are told to take back the wheel from their wives. The Resolution is speaking specifically about steering the marriage, but as is often the case, a literal car wheel also works with that theology.

If you could muddle through “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism” you would find this statement:

“Second, the pace of technological and social change within post-industrial societies has made us reserved about the answers of previous generations, and our questioning extends to every aspect of society and church life. In addition, various changes in women’s education, the nature of housework, and the involvement of women in work outside the home have raised many new and difficult questions about the nature of men’s and women’s roles in both family and church.”

This misogynous book was published in 1991 and was, and still is, sponsored by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It continues to be a best-seller. The 482 page book is a collection of male headship writings and teachings of various Christians. John Piper and Wayne Grudem edited this book and it is therefore assumed that they agree with its teachings, for why would anybody put something in a book that they do not agree with? And why would anyone use such a book unless they, too, believe it?

If modern day preachers had their way, women would not be driving cars in America. They would not be working outside the home. They would all be stay-at-home mothers. Who would take them to church to volunteer their services is another matter.

Saudi Arabia was the last country holdout in allowing women to drive. The church is the last holdout in allowing their women to “drive.”

It is 2017. What are you doing for Christian women’s equality in your church?

Visit my website for my books on Women’s equality/


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Who am I talking to?

Who is God?

We come to the table for women’s equality from all parts of the globe, from all backgrounds, and with different preconceived theology.  To help us understand who we are and what we bring to the table, work out these questions in your mind.  Certainly there are right and wrong conceptions, but I doubt that a roomful of theologians would agree on all points.

  1. How do you view God?
  2. What is the basis for your faith?
  3. Why do you choose to worship God?
  4. What do you expect of God for yourself?
  5. What do you expect of God for others? Why would it be, or why is it, different from what you expect for yourself?
  6. How does a just God relate to his human creation?
  7. How does a just God relate to his male creation?
  8. How does a just God relate to his female creation? If God relates differently to his female creation than He does to His male creation, why is that?
  9. What justification would God give for making His female creation submissive to males? (Knowing that God does not have to justify anything to us).
  10. What would better benefit the Kingdom of God – Male domination or male/female equality?
  11. Why would God choose to love all mankind in the first place?
  12. Why would God choose to love me? Why would God choose to love you?
  13. Does that look different because you are male? Does it look different if you are female?
  14. Is God male? Is God female? Both?
  15. How do you view God? Has it changed as you thought through these questions?
  16. Did Jesus change God, or does Jesus reflect God?

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Luke 13:34).

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The Nashville Statement and Denny Burk

He said he was going to do it, and he did. Denny Burk, president of CBMW, has issued the Nashville Statement which is a manifesto against same-sex marriage. But Denny doesn’t stop there. He reinforces their heretical theology of man representing Christ in a marriage and the wife representing the church in their marriage.  The Nashville Statement begins this way:

WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

In this one sentence, they say that men and women cannot divorce, are intended to have children (even if they are 60 years old and just got married again?), and that they must be male and female. They also make the heretical statement that they have choroused over and over that the husband represents Christ in the marriage and the wife represents the submissive church. That is unbiblical. It is unChristlike.

Nowhere – nowhere – does Jesus say that after his death, men would represent him in a marriage and the wife would represent the church. He had plenty of opportunity to say it, but he didn’t. Jesus never glorified males over women in any form or fashion.

Denny Burk, recently chosen president of CBMW, reminds me of the Saul before he became the Apostle Paul. Following is a repeat of my post on Burk’s Vision for the future of CBMW:

Many preachers would love to be compared to the Apostle Paul, but few want to be compared to him when he was Saul.

I can’t get Denny Burk’s “My vision for the future of CBMW” out of my mind. If you haven’t read it, you need to do so. He reminds me of Saul who persecuted the first followers of Jesus known as people of The Way.

Just as Denny Burk feels a clear vision about the importance of the Danvers Statement, a clear vision began forming in Saul’s mind as he held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen.  It took Saul to a very dark place where he was willing to go to any extent to carry out that vision.  After the Damascus Road, he suffered the same treatment from the Jews that he sought for people of The Way.

The church in every generation needs to be taught what scripture says about the complementary differences between male and female and how those differences impact family and church leadership. (Denny Burk)

Saul went to the high priest asking him for letters that he could take with him to the synagogues so he could round up anybody they knew who were of The Way.  Then Saul went from house to house, dragging out both men and women and throwing them into prison. Saul stole the letters from those prisoners when they wrote back for help from their families. Now he had names of others whom he could rout out and throw in prison. All because these people were following Jesus who said, “Love your neighbor. Treat others like you want them to treat you.”

Burk wants to renew this war against women with “resources, conferences, etc. in order to equip churches and organizations to face these current challenges.” They already have those resources plus they have locked egalitarian books from being sold in Christian bookstores. What more do they want?

This is what Denny Burk wants. He wants to spread the net further and encompass all gender and sexual identities. He doesn’t seem to understand that even if a Christian has strongly held objections against homosexuals and transgendered people, it is not right to embark on a crusade against your fellow man. Christians should never be complicit in exacting damage to those we disagree with or see as less than ourselves.

Saul’s destruction began with holding the cloak of those who stoned Stephen. Denny Burk is holding the cloak of those who began the destructive Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and who wrote the Danvers Statement in 1987.

I want to thank the CBMW board of directors for their support and for the opportunity to serve an organization that I care so deeply about. I also want to thank my friend and outgoing president Owen Strachan for the faithful labor that he put into this work over the last four years. Owen has built a platform and organization that did not even exist at this time four years ago, and we are the beneficiaries. Truly we reap in fields others have planted, and we give thanks. (Denny Burk)

Saul – now Paul – became a changed man.  Now that he was a follower of Christ, he became the one beaten, jailed, and imprisoned for almost 6 years. Paul was held accountable for his sincerely held belief that he was right and the men and women of The Way were wrong. He staked his reputation and his life on it. In the end, he suffered beatings and imprisonment and death, just as he did to those first Christians.

We look to Paul today for some of the most encouraging, uplifting scriptures to be found in the Bible. He is our hero. But it didn’t start out that way because Saul was wrong in what he thought God wanted.

My prayer is that Denny Burk will see that this rage he has against women and women’s equality, and now homosexuality, is not about what Jesus wants, but is about what Denny wants.

Whose cloak are you holding?

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Rumblings of a new movement

What if every doctrine had to be backed up by at least one scripture where Jesus speaks or acts? If that were the case, the doctrine of male headship would never have seen the light of day. There is a song we grew up with that has these words, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face.” If we Christians would look full in the face of Jesus, no one would claim to have headship over another.

I recently read “Becoming HIS Story: Inspiring women to Leadership” by Mary-Elsie Wolfe.

The author lives in Canada where she and her husband pastor a church. In her book, Mary-Elsie takes us back to basics. It reminds us of why we are Christians in the first place, and who it is that we have chosen to follow and whose name we have committed to.

We see Jesus raising women up out of their culture to something much larger- by his actions along with his words. Mary-Elsie brings us along to see Jesus’ leadership methods as he teaches the different Marys, and Martha, and the Samaritan woman. She encourages us to follow his example as we build up each other.

One part in particular spoke to my heart. Mary-Elsie leads us to consider that “perhaps the last 50 years have already been part of the rumblings to a new movement.”

These rumblings are created by women and men who have decided to follow Jesus instead of elevating men to holy status. It is pastors like Mary-Elsie who will bring this to fruition. Together, across borders, we are reaching out to both and women to look full upon Jesus’ face and to follow his example.

We are privileged to be part of Jesus’ working in our religious culture in this period of Christian history. We are humbled to be HIS story.

Want to rumble? Support CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality)

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We’ve a story to tell to the nations

How can we witness to the world of the saving grace of Jesus, when we deny women in our churches that same saving grace? Oh, women can be saved, but according to current male headship teaching, she is not extended the same grace men are because her Christian service is limited by church tradition and bylaws, and by a patriarchal culture.

Three examples of this that I encountered in the past few days:

  1. Unequal in the church

72% of Christians agree they could worship with a woman pastor but only 9% do! Christian movie provider, Pure Flix, recently discussed this on their blog:

Just today I was talking with a woman who assured me that her church (Assembly of God Cowboy Church – we live in the South), promoted women as equals. The Assemblies of God have male headship as their core belief in a marriage and usually we see that when a woman is the preacher, she is usually the wife of the man preacher in the church, and probably does not have any seminary training. But the fact is that this woman believes women should be equal, and does not see that women are denied equality in her own church. There are obviously many like her.

2. Unequal in the law

A federal appeals court ruled on April 27, 2017, that employers can legally pay women less than men for the same work based on differences in the workers’ previous salaries.  In contrast, a business columnist for the Houston Chronicle, Chris Tomlinson, wrote “Society’s message to women: Don’t work.” Actually he should have headed the article “Churches’ message to women: Don’t work” because that is what male headship teaching is telling today’s modern woman.  Tomlinson was referring to the salary inequity faced by female doctors in Houston. This is an example of what is taught in churches bleeds out into society and laws are made and business owners abide by it.

3. Unequal in the faith

Open Doors (World Watchlist 2017) ranks the top 50 countries where Christians face the most severe persecution for their faith. The United States of America should have been listed for their persecution of the women sitting in their pews each Sunday. Pastors preach from the pulpit, they preach on the airways, in their books, in their blogs, in their conferences, in their seminaries, and write in their by-laws, that women are second class citizens in the kingdom of God. And then they take this message to the world that already persecutes women through their culture, and try to tell them that Jesus came to save them.

I don’t know how they do it with a straight face. “Submit graciously to your husband.” These women live in a culture of complete ownership by their husbands. Shouldn’t Christians be bringing them a new message of Jesus and freedom and hope? Even the Apostle Paul did that. His culture was male headship but look what Paul said to the men. He found it necessary to remind husbands to love their wives. And then he goes one step further and tells them that since they would not give themselves a black eye, not to give their wives one either. He told them to be better than that. He gave them something to strive for – a new way for husbands to treat their wives. No more beatings, and food and care for their wives. But we tell husbands that their wives are to submit graciously.

We tell this story to the nations: Wives, submit graciously. Women, you cannot serve as God calls you because we have decided to limit your service.

It is 2017. 72% of Christians say they could worship with a woman pastor, but only 9% have that privilege. What are you going to do about it?

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How the Resurrection comforts us today

Grief. That overwhelming feeling of loss that comes from the heart and chokes up the throat and brings hot tears to the eyes. We’ve all experienced grief of some sort. Some more intense than others. And more than likely we feel that our grief is far worse than we ever imagined it would be.

We have just come from Resurrection Sunday where the story is so familiar to us, causing us to lose the sense of grief surrounding those days. So, let’s go back because this resurrection story began before Jesus’ death and is actually our story today.

Lazarus, Jesus’ good friend and brother of Martha and Mary, was ill and about to die. Immediately the sisters sent notice to Jesus. Of course they wanted him to heal Lazarus as they had seen him do for other people. Isn’t that what friendship and love is about? I have a need that my friend can fill, but I haven’t heard from him. Did our friendship mean as much to him as it did to me?

Jesus got the message that his friend Lazarus was dying, but he made the decision to not go the Bethany to heal him. He gave some strange reason that fell flat on their ears. He even promised that “this sickness will not end in death.” But Lazarus died.

Then Jesus went to the tomb where he was buried.

In a reversal of roles, Martha ran to meet Jesus while Mary stayed behind receiving friends and neighbors into their home and being consoled. Jesus told Martha to go get Mary. The Teacher had something that he wanted her in particular to see. Martha remembered what he had said about the resurrection, but it was important for Mary to see this.

Running toward the garden where Lazarus was buried, Mary could hardly see because she was crying so hard. She was confused because here Jesus was after Lazarus died, and after her belief that if only he had arrived in time, they would not be here mourning her brother’s death.

“Where have you laid him?” Jesus saw her tears and then Jesus wept.

Those around him said, “See how he loved Lazarus!” But I don’t think that was why Jesus cried. I think Jesus cried because he knew the intense pain that Mary and Martha were going through. Remember, he knew already that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, so why would he cry for Lazarus?

Grief. Jesus could have healed Lazarus and he could have saved Mary and Martha from going through this loss. He knew their prayers, just as he knows our prayers when we are facing a loss. Jesus didn’t have an eternity to show those around the tomb about the Resurrection, so he used the 4 days to signify to us that we will live again – not on earth as Lazarus did, but with God in eternity.

Last Sunday was Easter. Two weeks after my husband died. I went to church. When I got there, I got so choked up that I started crying. There were so many people coming in early and I slipped through the greeters and went to our Sunday school classroom to take back two lesson books I had and realized that I just couldn’t do it. The last time I had been there, Don had sat by the window sipping his coffee and everything was all right. I left and met the young associate pastor in the hall and he just wrapped his arms around me and held me. I told him that I had thought I could do it, but I just couldn’t. As I was leaving, he said, “Don’t forget this Sunday is about the Resurrection.”

Our prayers of healing are never wasted. Jesus wept over Mary and Martha’s grief and I believe he understands our grief when we lose someone we love. And I look to the resurrection story to believe that we will see our loved ones again.

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Stepping into the Christian era

He is Risen and now what? Let’s not be too hasty lest we pack Jesus away with the plastic Easter eggs. In the last chapter Destination, the garden, we saw how Jesus went out of his way to tell women that he was the Messiah. As we will see, there was a reason for this.

Jesus has been called “the new Adam.” That first Adam has been the bane of all mankind and so has Eve. But the Resurrection changed everything. Here was the new Adam – a spirit that gives life.

“So it is also written, The first human, Adam, became a living person, and the last Adam became a spirit that gives life.” (1 Cor. 15:45 CEB). In Bible language, this is what is known as typology. It is a doctrine of theological types; especially one holding that things in Christian belief are prefigured or symbolized by things in the Old Testament.

Let’s look again at that garden.  There is Jesus and there is Mary Magdalene. Since Jesus is the new “Adam,” Mary is the new “Eve.” She is the first to witness this new Adam. He called her by her name, thus naming her. She is a freed woman, no longer to be cursed by manmade rules and restrictions. She is freed of the stigma placed upon her by mankind. But it won’t last. Because whenever humans can place a stigma, they will, and they did.

Just as it was not a coincidence that Jesus told the Jewish Mary of Bethany that she was welcomed into the presence of the Master’s teaching; Jesus told the gentile woman that he had also come to be Messiah of the gentiles which included her; Jesus told the woman at the well that he was the Messiah whom the Samaritans had been expecting (believing that they were the true faith); it was not a coincidence that Mary Magdalene was in the garden to see the Resurrected Christ – the new Adam. Everything was leading up to this.

Genesis begins in a garden. And here we are again, in a garden where the Apostle Paul says “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The new Adam and the new Eve. And just like the original Eve, this woman Mary Magdalene who was cleansed of all her sins, remained under the curse of man. Not God, but man. So do all of us women who have come after her.

There are no more gardens. We have stepped into the Christian era.

(repost from my Lent series in 2016)

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Part 5. The garden

Chaos. Everybody was running here and there. It is no wonder the stories got mixed up. Some thought they saw Peter and John go into the tomb, some thought they had not arrived yet. Some saw angels, or something that looked like angels. Some saw the guards lying facedown and scrambling up with worried looks and making hasty decisions of what to tell the authorities.

“Where is he?” You can hear the determination in her voice as Mary Magdalene confronts someone she thinks is the gardener. “Just tell me where he is and I WILL GO GET HIM!” This is not some weak woman speaking. She has come to the tomb prepared to roll away a heavy stone, but now all she sees is a gaping hole and the body of Jesus is gone. She is crying, yes, but these are tears of frustration and determination. She was going to make this right. Weak people say “help me” while strong people say “I will do it.”

“Tell me where he is! I will go get him!”

Chaos. So many different accounts of this one event. But there was one thing they all were clear on. It was a woman who Jesus first revealed himself to.

There were men around – the guards who were scared half to death – and possibly Peter and John. But they didn’t get the news. It was a woman. Like all of Jesus’ proclamations, male headship played no part in this resurrection story.

So we have finally arrived in the garden and the world has been turned upside down. Where do we go from here? Do we leave Mary and the other women beside an empty grave? Yes, we do. Not as Jesus did, but as pastors and preachers and other women have determined we should do. Mary Magdalene is mentioned 12 times in relation to Jesus’ death and resurrection. After that she is no longer mentioned. Why not? This woman to whom Jesus made a personal appearance – bypassing all the others around the tomb – is left there.

I was sitting in a doctor’s office while both men and women sat around me, using their iPhones or devices. Tears came into my eyes and I wanted to shout to all there “This is the 21st century for both men and women! Why does the church work so hard to keep women in the 1st Century?” Because the Bible says so? Where?

Where does Jesus say that women must submit to their husbands? Where does Jesus say that women cannot be in authority over a man? It is not there, my friends. We are called Christians because we follow Christ and not some 1st century societal customs that empowered men over women.

We have come to the garden by way of Mary of Bethany who was a Jewish woman welcomed to sit and learn from the Master himself. We have come to the garden by way of the Gentile woman who learned that Jesus was the Messiah for gentiles which included her. We have come to the garden by way of the Samaritan woman who believed that hers was the true religion, and here was the Messiah just as they expected. We have come to the garden by way of Mary Magdalene who declared she would go herself and find Jesus until he said her name and she knew he was the resurrected Christ.

We are at the garden. Who is going to stop you from going and telling?

(my blog post published in 2016)

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Lent 4. Destination, the Garden

If the first thing you think of when you remember the woman at the well is “the man you are living with now is not your husband,” then you have missed the whole point of Jesus’ visit to this Samaritan woman.

The Danvers Statement Affirmation #9 says: “With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world.”

No matter what shape the world is in, the writers of The Danvers Statement would never have chosen the woman at the well to be the instrument God used to win lost people to Christ.

But Jesus did.

Everyone knows her story. In fact, hers is one of the longest detailed stories of an event in the New Testament. It was her story. She told it to everyone who would listen. This man she had just met at the well knew that she had had five husbands and was now living with a man who was not her husband.

Jesus was not judging her for that. He was offering her something that no man could offer a woman. He was offering her living water—from a well that would never run dry. And he told her that he was the source of this living water.

This was a woman experienced in the ways of men, and she knew this conversation was different from any she had ever had. She was certainly not the one who would be expected to announce the news that prophecy had been fulfilled and that the long-awaited Messiah had finally arrived. No one would even listen to a woman proclaiming this momentous event, would they? But for some reason, Jesus chose her to reveal his true identity.

She took that message and ran with it.

It was Jesus who brought up the subject of living water. He told her that if she drank from the water he gave, she would never be thirsty again.

She wanted that. She said she did not want to keep coming to the well to draw water. She was probably teasing him at that point as she had no idea what he was talking about. Then Jesus did something surprising. He told her to go call her husband, and then to come back.

Aha! Finally Jesus brings male headship into the conversation! “Go, call your husband and come back,” Jesus said.

The woman answered, “I have no husband.”

Was Jesus was surprised at this? Did he ask her to go call her husband just to embarrass her?  No, its significance is greater than her confession that she was not married to the man with whom she was living. She was worthy in her own right, as a woman, to be told directly by him that he was the Messiah. They engaged in a theological discussion. This woman was not learning in silence. And Jesus did not rebuke her for it. She talked back and told him that she could see that he was a prophet. She declared “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

And he did explain—right then and there—to the woman at the well, a woman who did not have a husband to tell her if what she was hearing was right or wrong. She heard, she accepted, she told.

This story of the woman at the well is found in John 4:4-42 and begins by saying, “Now he had to go through Samaria.” It is best translated that “he purposed in his mind” to go through Samaria, because the Jews had found a way, even though it was inconvenient, to avoid Samaria. They thought they were better than these poor cousins, the Samaritans, and for a Jew to deliberately go through Samaria was unusual.

There was something in Samaria that Jesus needed to do in order to complete his earthly work.

With this story of the Woman at the Well, we see how the picture of Jesus is coming together.

  • The Jewish woman, Mary of Bethany, who Jesus permitted to sit at his feet right beside the men, and learn at a time when learning scripture was forbidden to women
  • The Gentile woman to whom Jesus revealed that he was not sent only to Israel, but to all people, which included her
  • The Samaritan woman to whom Jesus revealed that he was the Messiah, who the Samaritans were also expecting, since they claimed theirs was the true religion of the ancient Israelites.

These are pivotal stories because they show that Jesus gives the voice of the gospel to women just as he gives the voice of the gospel to men. These stories also set the stage for the empty tomb where it was women who first encountered the resurrected Jesus and where the full gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus would unfold. So, yes, Jesus purposed in his mind to go through Samaria, because he had something to complete in Samaria.

The completion of this mission was so satisfying to him that he told his disciples, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” The conversation he had with this woman had an effect on Jesus that was profoundly different from his other encounters with men or women. This is the only scripture passage in the Bible where Jesus said that what had just happened was so meaningful to him that he felt that he had been fed. In other words, mission accomplished.

Verse 42 says “…we no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” These men first heard the words of Jesus from a woman, and then they heard the same message from Jesus himself.

Jesus is headed to the garden tomb and the final meeting with a woman who steps into the Christian era with the news “He is risen!”

It is 2016. What will you do? 

(This is a repost of my Lent series in 2016)

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