Jesus Never Hit A Woman – Guest Post

Today’s post is special: a first ever guest post on this blog. And who better to invite over than Tim Fall, who is partly-mostly-almost-completely the catalyst that led to me starting this blog! Tim and his wife are dear friends and faithful encouragers of our family, and as it turns out, many more. Tim has an internet-wide reputation for his multitude of encouraging comments to other writers, especially Christian women writers. I asked the patron saint of female bloggers if he would share a bit about his journey to becoming an encourager. Take it away, Tim!

Q. You know what I like about encouragement? A. It’s so encouraging!

A lot of the blogs I read are written by women. I learn from them, and since I’m a total egalitarian in my doctrine I have no hesitation doing so. These writers are not all egalitarian women, either. I’m an equal opportunity reader when it comes to egal/comp viewpoints. I want good writing, not one-note doctrine.

I’ve been told that showing up and commenting on these blogs encourages the writers. I can understand. I get stoked by the comments people leave on my own blog. Some of the bloggers, though, give me the impression I’m a bit more encouraging than they’re used to, particularly from a man.

Perhaps it’s true. Why might I be so encouraging?

Frankly, I think it might be because Jesus never hit a woman.

Jesus and His Women

The Gospel accounts record a number of interactions between Jesus and women, not casual encounters but meaningful moments that not only brought the Light of the world into their lives but also give us examples of the deep love of God. Despite the expectations of the society around him – expectations that Jesus would disregard women, even shun them publicly – Jesus chose to honor and cherish these women as people made in his Father’s image.

20130922-223545.jpgThere’s the Samaritan woman at the well, an outcast among her own people and a pariah to the Jews. But Jesus engages with her in a lengthy conversation, listening to her words and her heart, showing her that what she’s longed for all her life as she lived with one man after another could be found in him, the One she eagerly awaited as Messiah.

Another time, when snobby religious leaders rebuked Jesus for allowing a woman to caress his feet, Jesus gently honored her, comparing her acts favorably to the shortcomings of his host. The master of the house did not offer water for Jesus to wash his feet, but the woman wet them with her tears and dried them with her hair; he didn’t greet Jesus with a kiss, but the woman never stopped kissing Jesus’ feet; he did not honor Jesus with oil for his hair, but the woman poured costly perfume on Jesus’ feet and massaged it in. And Jesus sends her off with gentle words of peace and forgiveness.

One woman wanted to be with Jesus so badly that she forced her way through a crowd that was hurrying him along to the home of a sick little girl they wanted him to heal. The woman just wanted to touch the hem of his robe, knowing that if she did she would be cured of the bleeding that had plagued her for twelve years. It worked immediately. Jesus stopped, the crowd surging around him. He called her to him, said she was his “Daughter” and he gently blessed her before continuing on his way.

And then there’s the woman who literally ended up owing Jesus her life. Caught in adultery, she’s thrown at Jesus’ feet where her accusers demand the ultimate punishment – being stoned to death – as much for judgment of her sin as to test Jesus’ orthodoxy. The fact he came to her defense might not have surprised her accusers. It’s what they wanted him to do, so they could accuse him in turn. But the way he did it was unassailable:

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Jesus didn’t tell her to clean up her act before he’d forgive her. He didn’t even mention forgiveness with this woman. He just told her she’s free from condemnation.

The Godliness of Encouragement

It’s the way for all of us who belong to Jesus. We are forever free from condemnation.

The world doesn’t always treat women that way. In fact, people in this world are more likely to condemn women to a life of second-class status. And heaven help the woman if she’s a woman of color. How quickly a woman can fall from second- to third-class status or lower, condemned to less than full membership in society.

It’s an ungodly way to treat them.

So why do I spend time at women’s blogs, reading women writers, supporting women’s efforts to bring their insights and wisdom to their work in the kingdom of God? Why do I encourage them?

I’m just following the example of Christ.

Tim is a California native who changed his major three times, colleges four times, and took six years to get a Bachelor’s degree in a subject he’s never been called on to use professionally. Married for over 25 years with two kids (one in college and one graduated, woo-hoo!), his family is constant evidence of God’s abundant blessings in his life. He and his wife live in Northern California. Tim blogs here.

21 thoughts on “Jesus Never Hit A Woman – Guest Post

  1. Superb! This blog moved me to tears, and I do not weep easily, very seldom in fact.

    We all need, and respond to encouragement, so I encourage Tim right now by saying that his writing has made me look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

    I would also like to thank Tim for all the reminders that we all so desperately need.
    To know that we free from condemnation is so truly uplifting that sometimes I can scarcely believe it. I will never tire of hearing, or sharing, this! THANK YOU!

    • Thank you Deirdre. God’s pronouncement that we are free from condemnation, that those whom Christ has set free are free indeed, is such good news I can’t help but smile as I type this out. As you say, who can get tired of hearing that?!

  2. Pingback: Jesus Never Hit A Woman | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  3. Tim,
    I always appreciate your contributions on the Her-meneutics blog when I go on there. It seems there are some fundamentalist/superiorist males who feel it is their duty to monitor the site and try to batter the writers with their out of context Scriptures. IMHO if it were up to me I’d restrict their participation to Read Only status. The good and Ha Ha thing is that they have NO POWER to take our positions away or tell us what to do. When I was a church pastor I used to laugh at a fundamentalist newspaper that was sent to both of the churches I served. There was a section called “Just for Men-not for ladies” and it was theological. Of course I always read it but it reminded me of Fiddler on the Roof with the hawker going through the streets “Holy books for the men, Storybooks for the women!”
    They depend upon keeping women ignorant, only allowing them to hear interpretations of superiorists like themselves. One of the reasons I laughed was because no matter what their opinion was I was a church pastor and preacher and there was nothing they could do about it. That was the decision of the One who called me–and the only One whose opinion and word mattered anyway.

    • The tactics those men followed when sending you those materials saddens me, Carlene. They denigrate the Body of Christ, attempting to reduce it to half its strength. Happily, Jesus is stronger than they are and nothing they do will inhibit the growth of his kingdom. Their efforts are also an attempt to demean you, a servant of that kingdom, even in the choice of language when they use “Men” and “Ladies” as opposed to “Men” and “Women”. (There’s a big difference between the words “Women” and “Ladies”, in my opinion.)

      I’m so glad you are following the road Christ has marked out for you.

      Tim

  4. Tim, you have a great ministry of encouragement (I keep sayin’, “Barnabas of the Blogosphere” — feel free to change your blog title anytime 🙂 ). Thanks for making WWJD more than a bumper sticker!

    And Bronwyn, thanks for having Tim here & for your blog — it is great.

    • One of the great surprises of marriage and parenting for me has been learning how encouragement is far more effective in producing change than criticism is. Truly. Learning to encourage is an adult skill for me, and there is so much to learn from Tim in this 🙂

  5. Brownwyn and Bubba – Thanks so much for this post. Very glad to hear Tim’s perspective. Growing up, other than the special Southern focus on a woman’s appearance, I never thought of myself as “a girl.” I was fortunate to be raised in a home without traditional roles or attitudes, and I didn’t even realize a world existed that demeaned women and placed them in a lower status than men. Bless my mom and dad — I have never felt a lack of confidence based on gender, any inferiority based on gender, or that I have any need to voice any thought or opinion less than men do. It is so odd to me to think of women needing “extra” support in anything they do. Of course, now that I’m all grown up, I see how the world works outside the confines of my parents’ home, and have felt the sting of sexism in the workplace, buying cars, etc. It breaks my heart. It especially breaks my heart for my daughter.

    Anyway, I could go on about that forever, and there’s a little girl waiting on me to help her with making a turkey out of Popsicle sticks (that isn’t gender conformist, is it?) so I will stop and leave it at this: thanks for all the commenting. Please don’t stop! 🙂

    • Thanks Jamie. I grew up in a home like yours, We didn’t have things divided up into women’s work and men’s work, there were no chores reserved for girls and others for boys. And if anyone tried to tell my sisters there was something they couldn’t do, then- as the great philosopher Mr. T would say – I pity the fool.

  6. Tim you are SO SO encouraging. Thank you for being so. And Bronwyn, great choice for a first guest post. Tim, I gotta know..what’s your secret for how you make time to post during the day? I can’t seem to keep up with all the blogs I follow and it’s hard for me to leave comments on each. Method? Formula? Tips? 🙂

    • You don’t think I take the time to actually read the blogs I comment on do you, Lesley?

      Cheers,
      Tim

      P.S. Seriously, though, it’s a matter of just jumping in when I have a spare minute. Which I don’t really have another of right now, as I just finished two lengthy afternoon hearings and still need to finish reviewing tomorrow’s files.

      P.P.S. It’s also a matter of not having little ones any longer. Having a 20 and 23 year old is slightly different than when they are a newborn and a toddler.

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