A New Future For Women
Luke, a Greek-speaking Christian physician, wrote to non-Jews. For them, talk about Moses and the resurrection of the dead would have been strange. In addition, Luke wrote about people in need, the marginalized, the sick and about Jesus and his attitude towards women.
Reading this text from the viewpoint of women, there is a second important theme. It is the position Jesus took regarding the levirate and the power that this custom gave to men to determine the future of a woman. For women, this was good news. In God’s future she will be more than the property of a man. In God’s future, she can decide about her own future. For women, Jesus promises a future in which they will be empowered to be equal to men in opportunity and power.
Today, as in the past, many women are vulnerable to the power culture and society give men. This is a power that leads to abuse and to violence against women and girls. Practices that amount to nothing more than giving a daughter away, or selling her, do still exist in many parts of the world. In addition, realities such as rape – of women and men – domestic violence, prejudice and stigmatizing based on social roles, are an ugly reality for many.
The future Jesus envisions challenges us to construct a new vision for the world of women. His future holds hope for them and Christians should speak about it. Because, when sick gender roles end, the abuse of power, domestic violence and discrimination against women will also end.
Our hope is to share in this future through Christ. That is why we are working towards the healing of women and their world. We are looking forward to new relationships between men and women, and to new marriages, families, friendships and partnerships. Christ is our hope (Col 1:27). In Him, there is no distinction between male and female (Gal 3:28). Out of reverence for Christ, men and women treat one another with dignity and respect, because we are all image bearers of God and Christ.
Is this an unrealistic dream? I don’t know, but it is God’s future and therefore it is our vision for this world.
To think about or discuss: In what ways can you and your congregation/group work towards becoming a community where men treat women with respect and dignity?