By BGEA Staff • June 1, 2004
On the contrary, women are valued very highly in the Bible’s teaching. In the very beginning, God created both man and woman in His own image with the responsibilities of populating the earth and ruling over it (Genesis 1:27-28).
The gospel narratives present many insights into Christ’s valuation of women, emphasizing His high regard for them as essential members of God’s kingdom. He understood their concerns (John 2:1-9), met their deepest needs (John, chapter 4; Mark 7:24-30), healed them (Luke 4:38-39, Matthew 9:20-22), raised their dead (Luke 7:11-15; John, chapter 11), forgave and restored them to meaningful existence (Luke 7:36-50, John 8:3-11), defended and affirmed their acts of service (Matthew 26:6-13), and instructed them (Luke 10:39).
On the road to His crucifixion, Christ addressed the women of Jerusalem in His final word to the crowds. Then on the cross, undergoing deep agony, He entrusted His mother Mary into the care of His beloved disciple John. Following His resurrection from the dead, the first person to whom Jesus revealed Himself was Mary Magdalene, a woman He had freed from severe satanic bondage (John 20:10-18).
The New Testament church was enriched by the influence of godly women such as Dorcas, Priscilla, and Lydia, to name a few. The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek [nationality, race], slave nor free [status], male nor female [gender], for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
It is true that Bible interpreters and churches vary in their understanding of the proper leadership role of women in the church and home. However, the issue is not about men’s and women’s equal worth to God and the church. In the eyes of God, men and women are equal.
The devaluation of women in so many ways throughout history is a result of sin in the world. Wherever the Gospel has gone the status of women has been elevated. Through Christ, women have experienced the opportunity to live creative, productive, and satisfying lives. This transformation has led to far-reaching contributions by women in areas such as social and political reform, medicine, literature, the arts and sciences, and Christian service and missions.