A Word, Specifically to Women
May 18, 2023
“This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?” Luke 13:16 NLT
Jesus was in the synagogue on the Sabbath, teaching as rabbi, when he saw a woman who had been bent over double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. She didn’t call to Him—perhaps she didn’t have the courage to do so, even though word of His healing power had spread. But He saw her and called her over. He talked to her tenderly, called her “dear woman” or “daughter” and touched her, saying, “You are healed of your sickness!” Instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!
But not everyone valued her. The synagogue leader immediately called Jesus and the woman out, saying she shouldn’t have come to be healed on Sunday, and Jesus shouldn’t have done it. Jesus boldly labeled them hypocrites, pointing out their lack of value for her—He said they work. caring for their animals on the Sabbath—then He asks a piercing question. “This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”
This short exchange clearly shows Jesus’ value for women. He didn’t come to earth primarily as a male, but as a human. He didn’t see people in terms of gender, age, marital status, race, but in terms of their relationship to God and their need. All were valued. He showed His value of women in many ways, and one of them was by addressing them directly and respectfully in public. He tenderly called her “dear woman,” and then by calling her “a daughter of Abraham,” he equated her spiritual status with that of the men. They found their great worth in being “sons of Abraham.”
The gospel records show that Jesus had the absolute highest regard for women, and His message and actions all bore witness to it. He recognized the equality of men and women bestowed in creation and consistently affirmed the value of women. He welcomed their presence, their service, their prayers, their financial support, and their witness. He trusted them to be the first carriers of the news of the resurrection, even though a woman’s witness was not valued as a court witness. He saw them as valuable on their own, not for their connection to men.
Women responded to the welcome of Jesus and found their highest fulfillment in putting their faith in Him, becoming followers. Today women find the same warm welcome and the same value from Jesus. He is still loving, calling, healing, and using women in His mission.
- Think of a woman you can affirm, and assure her of her value to Jesus and you.