Every now and then, we want to just celebrate Jesus with you; on our front page this month, you may have noticed our feature about Jesus and women. This particular facet of Jesus' ministry on earth was so revolutionary in his day and time, and still, in his 21st century world, accepting woman's equality is a remarkable and daring leap to make for many.
We'd like to call your attention to our front page, and our feature about Jesus and Women. In addition, we would invite you to have a look at the profiles of the Women who Followed Jesus.
In many countries of our world, as you well know, women are ostracized, dismissed, marginalized, shunned, veiled so as to be unnoticed, made to take second-class citizen status, and yes, often killed for minor infractions of so-called religious or societal laws. Young girls are denied education, being raised to be nothing more than slaves supporting male-dominated cultures, their God-given talents wasted, unrecognized, and undeveloped. So many women are never allowed to realize their full potentials as human beings, or as children of God.
It was not so with Jesus. Jesus was a way-shower in so many areas of life. No wonder the revelators tell us that the study of the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it is the "most important" knowledge we can have.
From his earliest days, Jesus recognized these uneven and unequal treatments of women, and in his ministry he made it clear to the apostles and his followers that he would fellowship women and accept them as equals. Not only that, he actually invited women to share his work in the world, doing the kinds of ministry that was theretofore reserved only for men, and among men. The Womens' Corps was - and remains - a bold statement of that equal treatment by the Master...it was indeed, an "emancipation proclamation" for women by the Creator of a universe.
"It was most astounding in that day, when women were not even allowed on the main floor of the synagogue (being confined to the women’s gallery), to behold them being recognized as authorized teachers of the new gospel of the kingdom. The charge which Jesus gave these ten women as he set them apart for gospel teaching and ministry was the emancipation proclamation which set free all women and for all time; no more was man to look upon woman as his spiritual inferior. This was a decided shock to even the twelve apostles. Notwithstanding they had many times heard the Master say that “in the kingdom of heaven there is neither rich nor poor, free nor bond, male nor female, all are equally the sons and daughters of God,” they were literally stunned when he proposed formally to commission these ten women as religious teachers and even to permit their traveling about with them. The whole country was stirred up by this proceeding, the enemies of Jesus making great capital out of this move, but everywhere the women believers in the good news stood stanchly behind their chosen sisters and voiced no uncertain approval of this tardy acknowledgment of woman’s place in religious work. And this liberation of women, giving them due recognition, was practiced by the apostles immediately after the Master’s departure, albeit they fell back to the olden customs in subsequent generations. Throughout the early days of the Christian church women teachers and ministers were called deaconesses and were accorded general recognition. But Paul, despite the fact that he conceded all this in theory, never really incorporated it into his own attitude and personally found it difficult to carry out in practice. ~ The Urantia Book,150:1.3
It is a sad fact that, over the centuries since Jesus walked this earth, womens' status has fallen back so far in so many parts of this world...sadly, in those areas where the Master first proclaimed their equality, and most glaringly, in the churches that bear his name and who claim to be his followers.
"In one generation Jesus lifted women out of the disrespectful oblivion and the slavish drudgery of the ages. And it is the one shameful thing about the religion that presumed to take Jesus' name that it lacked the moral courage to follow this noble example in its subsequent attitude toward women." ~ The Urantia Book, (149:2.9)
The Urantia Book states that woman is the "moral standard-bearer and the spiritual leader of mankind. The hand that rocks the cradle still fraternizes with destiny."
This may still be hard to many to accept, but it was easy for Jesus to accept-and teach. In our modern-day times, we should do no less. It might be a good thing if you would share these teachings about Jesus and women with your friends and family...share these pages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media...send to your friends in foreign lands, too.
We hope that your Autumn season is pleasant and beautiful. Let's celebrate Jesus together as this year goes on, and share his revolutionary teachings with the world. There is still so much work to be done, and no one knows this better than Urantia Book reader/students. Jesus' teachings and his example of a perfected religious life can renew this tired old world, with its tired old beliefs, and make "all things new," especially those teachings regarding the vital role of women in the spread of the Kingdom!