Jesus bespoke about women thusly Deseret News
Eliza Anderson, Deseret News
Wednesday is International Women’s Day. Here’s a look back at what Jesus said about women in the Bible.
In the canonical New Testament, Jesus has a number of interactions with women. Women are present at every stage of Jesus’ life and he speaks about them positively. While the New Testament has many examples of Jesus speaking about women, there are three prominent tropes: women as disciples, women as witnesses and women who anointed Jesus.
The opening of Luke 8 reads, “Soon afterward he went on through one town and village after another, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered to them out of their own resources.”
Here, Jesus identifies Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and many others as his followers who ministered to people with him.
Jesus identified women as disciples in other places. In Matthew 12:49, the text reads, “And pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’”
Jesus’ message about discipleship was that everyone can follow him.
The gospels include two stories of women anointing Jesus.
The anointing by a repentant woman
This episode only occurs in the gospel of Luke. The gospel author wrote, “And a woman in the city who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment.”
The women then anoints Jesus’ feet and Jesus tells a parable to Simon. After forgiving the woman’s sins, he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
The anointing by the women at Bethany
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