After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her.
- Mark 16:9-11
A couple months ago I sent a snapchat to my family of me lip syncing to Lizzo’s “Truth hurts” (with a big eyed cartoon voice changing filter of course). The moment I heard the song, the lyrics and melody stuck in my head and the message in my heart.
It’s so easy to get swept up in the female chanting that echoes through our society. It has a way of working its way into our hearts and uprooting God’s truth leaving us bankrupt and in search of something to fill the void.
In the verse above we learn that Jesus chose to appear to women first after the resurrection. During that time period, women were not valued or viewed in high regard. And yet, Jesus intentionally invited women into His ministry and continually treated them with dignity.
An excerpt from a devotional I wrote last year reads:
“If we look closely at the women from Galilee referenced in Luke chapter 23 verses 27, 49, and 55, as well as Luke 24:1, we will notice a consistency among them. It was the women from Galilee that followed Jesus as He walked towards His crucifixion and that watched Him be crucified. It was the women from Galilee that watched as Jesus took His last breath. It was the women from Galilee that watched as Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb. It was the women from Galilee that sought to serve and honor Christ even in His death by preparing spices and perfumes. And, it was the women from Galilee that found Jesus’ tomb empty and then spread the good news of His resurrection.
They never looked away. They consistently kept their eyes fixed on Jesus.
Even when it hurt, even when they didn’t like what they saw, even when grief overwhelmed them and nothing made sense. Even when everything they witnessed made it seem like evil had won, they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus.”
When God created Adam, He looked at all the other things He had created and Genesis 2:20 says “But still there was no helper just right for him.” I mean, God created a lot of things... a lot of magnificent things. And yet, He decided to go back to the drawing board and take a little from the original to create the only thing he saw fit to partner with man. The result? A woman! What. An. Honor.
Two uniquely designed humans that were made distinctly different from one another, but both in the image of God to serve one another. And both are equally loved by Him.
But even at the very beginning both man and woman have questioned and challenged God’s authority and their identity. We weren’t created to work against each other, rather in unison.
But why did Jesus intentionally choose appear first to the female gender rather than the male?
As I sat with the many Scriptures I’d been studying to write this devotional, I couldn’t help but ask myself. What if it had nothing to do with their gender and everything to do with their faithfulness?
The Bible tells us that God doesn't look at the outward appearance, but rather inwardly at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Hear me! Jesus absolutely values women just as much as men! And I am ALL for female empowerment and believe women belong in ministry. I believe that our voices do matter. Just not at the expense of severing the relationship with the one being God designed me to be in partnership with. And certainly not at the expense of putting me before He (God).
In the resurrection story it happened to be the women that were faithfully leaning into God, listening, obeying, following, trusting, grieving, and sharing the gospel with others.
But, in true human form and utter selfishness, we’ve veered off course by focusing on the details that fit our narrative and make us feel better about ourselves. In doing so, we lose sight of the gospel completely. When Jesus looks at us, he’s not looking at our gender, color, or race. He’s looking at our heart and asking us to be obedient.
Instead of debating if men or women are better, let’s work together using the individual giftings He has given us for HIS glory and not our own. This is what we were created for.
Hear me! Women are exquisite creations and adored by God. It’s an honor to be one.
But let’s step aside, lay down our pride, and admit our need for men, each other, and God.
Sisters, let’s rise up and steward our roles well by stepping into the gift that it is to be a woman. Let’s be faithful females that empower one another, continually choosing Jesus, while walking alongside men without belittling or minimizing them.
1. What Biblical truths have helped you understand how God values you as His creation and as a woman?
2. In what ways can you live out your faith boldly as a woman without belittling or minimizing men?
Thank You Jesus for intentionally pursuing me and seeing my value as a woman created in the image of the Father. Please help me to walk out my purpose and bring You glory. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please help me to be faithful to You. In Your name I pray, Amen.
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