Never Trust a Woman’s Word!
Jesus shattered the man-made laws and cultural traditions of the Jews that stated that a woman’s word was not trustworthy along with a whole lot of other derogatory things they believed about women. Men never made announcements through women in that culture for this reason. No man would ever accept the word of a woman on face value and women were forbidden from giving their testimony or making statements in a Jewish court.
But you will find nothing in the Torah about a woman’s word being untrustworthy. These man-made laws and traditions were passed down from generation to generation through the scribes and Pharisees.
Josephus, the Jewish historian wrote:
But let not the testimony of women be admitted, on account of the levity and boldness of their sex‘ ~ Josephus Antiquities of the Jews 4.8.15
Philo the Jewish philosopher wrote:
Woman is more accustomed to be deceived than man. For his judgement, like his body,is masculine and is capable of dissolving or destroying the designs of deception; but the judgement of woman is more feminine, and because of softness she easily gives way and is taken in by plausible falsehoods which
resemble the truth ~ Philo (at n. 5) I, 33, p. 20.
Yahweh warned the Israelite’s not to add to His Torah.
Deut 4:2“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
But they did and Jesus was constantly calling out the Pharisees and Sadducees on their man-made traditional teachings (the oral law). He said …
Matt 15: 1-9 Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother’ and by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”
You are Exactly Where You Need To Be
Jesus met with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria. She previously had five husbands and now had a partner who wasn’t her husband.
The Samaritans had similar laws to the Jews and each believed that the other was not worshipping the true religion. This Samaritan woman was an outcast even in her own society. We are not told what happened to her 5 previous husbands. She might have become a widow and was too old now to remarry. Or been divorced many times because she couldn’t conceive. Nevertheless, divorce was allowed so that she could remarry again – but she hadn’t remarried. Survival was tough for women in the patriarchal system of the day and being either a prostitute or living with another man would mean that she at least would have adequate accommodation, food, and clothing.
But not only did Jesus speak with her, but He drank from her water vessel. Both things a Jew would never have done, as under their oral man-made laws that was defilement for each of them.
Jews didn’t see the Samaritans as their neighbors. Samaritans were half-breeds, the scum of the earth, outcasts. The Jews believed that if a Jewish person’s shadow happened to touch a Samaritan’s shadow, it would contaminate the Jew. If a Samaritan woman entered a Jewish village, the entire village became unclean. ~ Spencer Perkins, Priscilla Papers – Who is my neighbour?
Jesus also knew that men in that culture believed a woman’s word was worthless, but He sent her into her city to be his witness and she was believed by many!
John 4:9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
John 4:27-30 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?” So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
John 4:39-42 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Disciples Sit At The Feet of Their Teacher
Jesus came to visit His friend Lazarus and it would have been his sister’s household duty to prepare a meal in the kitchen and be a hostess to Jesus and His disciples. However, Mary decided to sit “at the Lord’s feet” which was not the cultural thing to do in those days. Paul also said in Acts 22:3 that he was someone who had learned from “at the feet of Gamaliel”.
After all, women were not even considered worthy to be taught the Torah. Women rarely attended the synagogue as Rabbis decided that women didn’t need to learn the Torah because their role was to support her husband’s learning. The Rabbi’s negated and ignored those commandments in the Torah that specifically said that not only males were to learn but females too.
Lev 10:11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.
Deut 31:12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law,
But Jesus valued women and taught them. They were in training just like the other disciples!
Luke 10: 38-39 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
To sit at the feet of Jesus was what a disciple would do, willingly submitting to Him, listening and considering what He was teaching.
Jesus said “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Mary had chosen ‘the better’ and instead of being preoccupied like her sister Martha that day. She sat at Jesus’ feet as one of his disciples and she chose to mutually submit to Him so that she could learn more about Him.
I Have Seen The Lord
The first person Jesus revealed Himself to after His resurrection was a woman – Mary Magdalene. Not only that, but He also told her to inform His other disciples.
John 20:16-18 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.
Mark 16:9 He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.
Mary was the first witness and the disciples refused to believe her.
At The Empty Tomb
Luke 24:6-11 Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.
Just like the women in Psalm 68 who spread the good news about Israel’s victories over their enemies, these women proclaimed that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Psalm 68:11 The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host.
But even with more than 3 female witnesses, all recalling the very same event, they were not believed and the disciples treated their story like a load of nonsense. These men had seen many miraculous events as Jesus healed others, raise people from the dead and some had witnessed the Transfiguration … but they still didn’t believe the women!
Jesus Came To Abolish Hierarchy!
He came to abolish the whole coercive structure that men created, which put themselves in charge.
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. ~ Mark 10: 42-44
Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. ~ Luke 22: 25-26
The Curse of The Fall Was For Man To Rule Over HER
The rule of man has only ever come about due to sin and was never Yahweh’s original intent. Jesus restored women to their rightful position of being a co-heir and during the first century, men and women freely shared their spirit-gifted roles as co-heirs within the whole body of the church.
But the co-heir partnership that Jesus established declined over the centuries. As the early Church grew, hierarchy and misogyny from the surrounding culture – a result of the curse infiltrated the church.
- So why do we in the church still want to be in bondage to the curse that Jesus set us free from?
- Surely the church will become more effective when a large portion of its members are freely allowed to use their gifts and abilities as co-heirs/priests in the Kingdom of God?
If you’d like to read more on this topic visit my Yahweh’s Training Zone page.