October 2021 | Service of Love

No Male No Female

No Male No Female

Dr. John K. Mathew

In his ‘Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke’, the great bishop J.C. Ryle points out

“It was not a woman who sold the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. They were not women who for sook the Lord in the garden and fled. It was not a woman who denied him three times in the high priest’s house. But they were women who wailed and lamented when Jesus was led forth to be crucified. They were women who stood to the last by the Cross. And they were women who were first to visit the grave, where the Lord lay”.

It is said, there is no instance in the Gospels of a woman being an enemy of Jesus. No woman deserted or betrayed, persecuted or opposed him. But women followed him, they ministered to him of their substance, they washed his feet with tears, they anointed his head with perfume; and new, when their husbands and brothers were hounding him to death, they accompanied him with weeping and wailing to the scene of martyrdom. These women were the first preachers of the resurrection of Christ. How can we believe that our hard world choose women to publish to the disciples this most astounding news, and then later put an embargo on their further publishing the good news?

In the light of above instances how can we understand and interpret the word of Paul in 1 Timothy 2:11? “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man; she must be quiet”. Similar statement is recorded in 1 Cor.14:34-35.  The only satisfactory answer to this issue is to take it and understand it in its context. It is generally believed that Paul wrote there lines in a context that women were over active and enthusiastic in the church, that it came to a point of even disturbing the order of the service. Like it or not, the Bible believes in equality. The Old Testament and the New Testament testify it. Apostle Paul, the same person who seemed to be prohibiting women from public preaching writer in Galatians. “So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God, through faith, for all of you who were baptized in to Christ, have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female for you are all one in Christ Jesus| (3:27, 28).

The ‘Book of Acts’ portrays a number of devout and honorable women of the early church. In Jerusalem, Samaria, Joppa, Damascus, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea and Athens women disciples were among the first member of the churches, and they had a vital part in church activities. Many of these women were persecuted and suffered much for their faith. It is evident in the New Testament and in the writings of the Apostolic fathers that women were assigned official duties in the conduct and ministries of the early church. Let us whole heartedly, recognize and acknowledge this truth.

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