How Jesus Viewed Women

The following is an interesting article I found in the YWAM Associates website.  It is written by one of the directors of this organisation called Peter Jordan.  YWAM stands for “Youth With a Mission” a missionary organisation which focuses on evangelism and mercy ministries.


I never met any of my grandparents. My mother died young (53) from medical neglect due to our family being in a prison camp for 3 1/2 years in China during WW2. She was a woman of grace, serving as a missionary in China for most of her life. I have one sister who is very dear to me; I am blessed with one wife and three daughters, all of whom I love deeply. All these women have played very important roles in my life. Which is not to say that I have respected and honored women the way that Jesus clearly showed me that I should.

Jesus had a lot more to do with and say about women than you might think. The way we men have treated ‘the fair sex’ down through the ages . . . well, it just hasn’t been fair. Nor has it been just.

Let’s start with some questions: How many of Jesus’ disciples were women? When Jesus taught the multitudes and the thousands and the few, how many were women? What group of people comprised Jesus’ financial support team? What was the gender of his disciples who stayed with him at the cross? To whom did Jesus pay what is probably the most profound compliment – of all the encouraging things he ever said – to any individual?

Jesus pioneered a new status toward women, but we men have mostly not ‘got it’ yet. Jesus knew that his mother was blessed among all women – and honored her as such. Mary and Martha were two of his closest friends. He chatted – alone! – with a Samaritan woman . . . and then horror of horrors, he spoke kindly and uncondemningly to an adulterous woman. He allowed a prostitute to anoint him with perfume. He interacted with many more women during his short life.

Yet in all this, he did not sin. Tempted, yes, but he did not sin, even in his mind.

How many of Jesus’ disciples were women? We tend to think of just the 12, but there were at least 500 people who followed him (1 Cor 15:6, The Message). Many, or perhaps most of these would have been women.

We don’t know the gender breakdown of the multitudes who heard Jesus teach, but my guess would be that most of them were women, even though in that culture they had been relegated to a lesser position in life.

Answers to the questions above . . . Did you know that:

Jesus’ financial support team (at least the ones that we know about), included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susannah and many others (Luke 8:2-3).

Only women followers stayed with Jesus at the cross.

And the most profound compliment given by Jesus? Right after a woman poured costly perfume over his head (it was kind of like giving flowers before the funeral), Jesus said of her, “She has done something wonderfully significant for me . . . she did what she could – she pre-anointed my body for burial . . . and you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she did is going to be talked about admiringly.” (Mark 14: 6-9 The Message)

I read somewhere, that thankfully, Jesus was the ultimate rebel! He defended women, revealed truths to them that He had not told another, and appeared to them first after He died. The way He valued women was a concept that shook that culture to the heart. Paul insisted that, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ.” (Gal 3:28) This is a core-essential emphasis. No human being is excluded from service to God. (Writer of this paragraph, unknown.)

Men, let’s treat women the way Jesus did.

Peter Jordan
YWAM Associates


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