28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
When Jesus showed up, everything changed for women. Jesus showed up in a time and place in which women's identity was secured by men and women had no legal rights as individuals. At this time in the story of the people of Israel, a woman's greatest calling was to give birth to a male child and secure her family line and place in the family of God.
Jesus proclaimed a new way for women by engaging them as disciples, evangelists, and people of dignity and worth, not identified by their sexuality and biological function. That's why these verses in Luke are so powerful! Before Jesus, a woman's greatest work was to bear a son to connect her family line to Abraham and secure her family's religious place. After Jesus, a woman's greatest work is to be a disciple!
Today on International Women's Day, I am reminded of Christ's transformative work for women. Being a mother is an incredible and transformative journey, but being a disciple!--this is our deepest and truest calling.
Around the world, many (if not most) women are still identified by their sexuality and their relationship to men as their primary role. And perhaps everywhere, the predominant cultural perspective is that women are known as sexual beings first and foremost. The good news is that Jesus came to set the oppressed free! Jesus came to restore right relationship between women and men. Jesus came to call women to their deepest calling as disciples.
May we follow Jesus as we proclaim a different and deeper story for women than the world!