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Question:

Why was Jesus a guy and not a girl?

 

The answer to this question should be fairly obvious.  Would the society of the New Testament era have accepted a “female” messiah?  Other than the obvious – that it was to be a male child according to prophecy – the Society of Jesus’ time was very harsh to women.  The double standard of Jesus’ day was even greater than the double standard of our own.  Jesus actually elevated the woman’s position.

Indeed, His attitude toward them and His relationship with them were revolutionary. Israel was a patriarchal society in which women occupied a subordinate position and were in many ways treated as social and spiritual inferiors to men.

It's difficult, though, to generalize, because the rabbis differed among themselves on this issue. Fathers too, differed in the upbringing of their daughters. And husbands differed in how controlling and restrictive they were with their wives. Love and personality differences made for great differences in the experiences of Hebrew women.  Yet it is undeniable that generally a woman's lot in that patriarchal society was hard. The prevalent belief in female inferiority found terse expression in the prayer offered by Jewish males: "God, I thank Thee that I was not born a dog. I thank Thee that I was not born a Gentile. I thank Thee that I was not born a woman."

If a wife displeased her husband, he could divorce her, but a wife was not granted the same right (Dt. 24:1-4). If she was suspected of adultery, a wife could be subjected to the frightful water ordeal (Num. 5:11-31), but no such provision was made for testing a suspected husband.

A woman had no property rights. She could not serve as a witness. She could not share equally in worship. Singing and chanting were done by men exclusively while women listened in their own synagogue compartments. As a rule they were not taught the Torah as boys were. Some rabbis went so far as to declare, "Let the words of the law be burned rather than committed to women. . . . If a man teaches his daughter the Law, it is as though he taught her lechery." Ten men had to be present for a service to be held. Nine men plus one woman would not do!

Jesus, however, was sensitive to the needs of all people whether male or female. He exhibited an all-inclusive compassion that broke through the traditional gender restrictions and taboos.

In Jesus' sermon in Nazareth as He inaugurated His public ministry, He referred to a widow (an alien from pagan Sidon) as an object of God's saving grace. That reference, made intentionally not casually, contradicted the prejudices of His audience (Lk. 4:25-26). The Sidon widow was not the only bereft widow whom Jesus used as an example to challenge His contemporaries and present-day readers of the Gospels.

In Jesus' day, men had only a meager knowledge of God and a superficial fellowship with Him. The plight of women was far worse. Therefore Jesus, in defiance of tradition, allowed them to be among His followers and actually engage in the service and support of His itinerant mission (Lk. 8:1-3). Women together with men were being taught about God's grace that rules out gender distinction. With compassion, our Lord told women, individually as well as collectively, the truth about God and His kingdom. He took time to instruct Mary of Bethany (Lk. 10:38-41). Significantly, He gently rebuked Martha the sister of Mary, counseling her that it was better for a woman to learn about God than to be preoccupied with household chores like preparing a meal. In so saying, He was turning the traditional role of women upside down.

Jesus came as a man in order to begin breaking down those traditions for women.

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