Summary: Women, contrary to popular belief, hold a place of high regard with God. This is evidenced by the way God, Jesus, and even the "male chauvanist," Paul treats them.
1. Part of a daily Jewish Prayer (by men):
"Blessed are you, LORD our God, King of the Universe, for not having made me a Gentile."
"Blessed are you, LORD our God, King of the Universe, for not having made me a slave."
“Blessed are you, LORD our God, King of the Universe, for not having made me a woman."
• At first blush this seems to be condescending towards women
• Actually it deals with the domestic distractions and monthly cycle of women
• Men were required to do certain things according to the teachings of Moses
• Women had options and a different set of priorities – domestic duties trumped religious ones; women could do as much as they wanted
• Men did not want to be distracted from GETTING to serve God
2. Women had a big teaching/serving role at home:
My mom taught me so many things, like…
*Spiritual habits - “You’d better pray that comes out of the carpet.”
*How to appreciate a job well done – “If you and your brothers are going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”
*Logic – “Because I said so, that’s why!”
*More logic – “If you fall out of that tree and break your neck, you won’t be going to the mall with me.”
*Justice – “One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!”
3. Think of how often in scripture it is the woman who is the vehicle for ministry.
• Who prompted Jesus to perform His first miracle? A Woman!
• Who ministered to Christ during His public ministry? The women!
• Who anointed the body of Jesus? The women!
• Who stayed with Jesus throughout his trial and crucifixion? The women!
• Who were the first witnesses to the resurrected Savior? The women!
• Who makes up the majority of the population of most churches today? The women!
4. In the final chapter of Romans, Paul sends greetings to numerous people in Rome. Among those are at least 6 women (depending upon translating the names) – Note from Romans 16.1-16
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. 3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. 5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. 11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. 12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.