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Reform Magazine | May 27, 2024

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Jesus and... Women - Reform Magazine

Jesus and… Women

A series about what we have to learn from Jesus on a range of subjects. This month, Susan Durber looks at Jesus’ attitude to women

Jesus said very little about women, or gender, or sexuality or any of that. But his followers give us vital clues. St Paul, only decades after the resurrection, wrote, ‘There is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus’, setting down an idea that even he found it hard to live up to. The early Christians knew that the old markers of identity, including sex and gender, the things that divide us and cause some to abuse others, are completely overwhelmed by a new baptismal identity in Jesus Christ. Jesus inaugurated a new, redeemed, kind of community in which women and men enter a new life, together. He truly lived by what it says in the very first chapter of the Bible, that God created us male and female, both in God’s image. The Gospels may tell us that ‘the twelve’ were all men, but there were clearly women at the heart of Jesus’ community: as disciples, as witnesses to the resurrection, as apostles even. I think it’s hard to exaggerate how extraordinary this was in those times, and yet how gently and unremarkably it happened…

Susan Durber is the World Council of Churches President from Europe

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This is an extract from an article published in the March 2023 edition of Reform

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