Jesus and Women!

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Jesus’s relationships with women, as depicted in the Bible, were so special, so different from those of the ordinary men of his time and of other religious leaders.

Temple University theologian Leonard Swidler says in his book about women in the Bible that the behavior of Jesus toward women by itself is enough to suggest that a Savior was truly born in Bethlehem. 

Jesus related to women as human equals and treated them with respect and affection, with gentleness and wit, with honesty and concern for their dignity. Jesus genuinely liked women, and they liked him. His erotic reactions to them would differ from those of other men only in that there would be no hint of exploitation, manipulation, or violation. He was a model of sexual maturity in his relationship with women. 

There is not a single incident in the Gospels where Jesus puts down a woman or treats a woman with contempt or speaks slightly of a woman or blames a woman or speaks harshly to a woman. The others called her a whore, Jesus called her a “woman.”

Nor is there a single episode in which one can say Jesus treated a woman as anything less than a full equal. This is behavior that would stand out even in our own time, to say nothing of a time when women were usually no better than slaves. 

Thanks to Fr. Andrew Greeley for pointing all this out and to Eli DeFaria for the picture. 

How are women today still being treated as objects, as servants and as “second-class citizens?” 


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