"At a time when Jewish men — and especially rabbis — had nothing to do with women in public, even their own wives, Jesus esteemed women, touched women, spoke to women, taught women.... And to top it all off, women ministered with Him." - Christine Caine, Unexpected
There is so much we can learn about Jesus by studying his interactions with women in the Bible! In the first century, women were generally marginalized. They were viewed as inferior to men, excluded from public life, prevented from getting an education, and often seen as the property of their father or husband. Yet, in every encounter Jesus had with a woman, he broke social through social norms and religious restrictions and treated them with respect and dignity.
We see Jesus with women in the Bible:
- Teaching and having spiritual conversations with women
- Healing a woman on the Sabbath
- Welcoming a woman’s interruption of his teaching in the tabernacle
- Receiving and rewarding the touch of an unclean woman
- Making a woman the first witness to his resurrection
Jesus did more to elevate women than anyone else in human history. – Dave Willis, Raising Boys Who Respect Girls
Jesus’ treatment of women was revolutionary for that time and culture, and it’s still a model for us today.
Let’s see what we can learn from Jesus’ interactions with women through Biblical studies of Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, Martha, the Woman at the Well, the Syrophoenician Woman, the Bent Woman, and the Woman with the Issue of Blood.
Watch List: Jesus and Women Bible Study Sessions
At Study Gateway you’ll find Bible studies on women characters found throughout the Bible. Two of our favorite studies are Twelve Women of the Bible and Twelve More Women of the Bible, taught by some leading Christian women Bible study teachers. These different women give insights and draw lessons from the lives of women in the Old and New Testament.
The following watch list curates the specific sessions from these two Bible studies that unpack the experiences of seven of the women who personally encountered Jesus.
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The Wholehearted Student: Jesus and Mary of Bethany
In a world where women were often marginalized and kept from receiving religious training, Mary was a student, hungry to learn and receive the words of Jesus. Mary never took Jesus for granted.
Life Lesson: Make it a top priority to listen to Jesus and be in his presence.
The Busy Doer: Jesus and Martha
Life Lesson: Our identity in Christ is a gift of God’s grace, not a standing that we can earn by hard work and good intentions.
The Marginalized Mess: Jesus and the Woman at the Well
It’s extraordinary. Jewish rabbis in the first century did not trust women, invite them into religious discourse, or even speak to women in public. Yet Jesus looks past her gender, her ethnicity, and her scandalous reputation, to connect her heart with the heart of God.
Life Lesson: Jesus wants to deal with your messes and give you a message.
The Stereotyped Outsider: Jesus and the Syrophoenician Woman
Life Lesson: Take time to go beyond the surface judgments and stereotypes and discover who people really are in the eyes of God.
The Shamed Cripple: Jesus and the Bent Woman
The Suffering Outcast: Jesus and the Woman with the Issue of Blood
This woman broke social norms and religious taboos by touching Jesus, even though that would make him unclean. What seemed like a lifetime of bleeding, loneliness, and social isolation was finally over! Jesus did not scold her, but declared, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Life Lesson: Jesus is with us and never leaves us, even through long seasons of pain and struggle.
The Broken Follower: Jesus and Mary Magdalene
Life Lesson: Jesus mends our broken places, then amazes us with the calling he entrusts us with.
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