Lord God, I arrive in today, lost in wonder, love and praise to You. I want to travel through today rejoicing.
Consider: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28).
In a world where women were regarded largely as possessions and having little value, Jesus again breaks cultural taboos. To make matters far worse, he came into physical contact with ritually unclean individuals (Lev. 15:25-33).
Tragically, misogynist attitudes can still be found today, reflected in dehumanizing practices such as the international trafficking of women and girls, female genital mutilation, abortion of girl babies, girls denied access to education, or women's portrayal as sex objects on the internet and in magazines. It exists in less overt although still damaging forms each time a woman's view isn't taken seriously because she's a woman, or despite her ability is denied workplace promotion because of a glass ceiling. Both women and men experienced profound injustice in Jesus' day and still do, and it was his positive engagement with women that marked him out as particularly controversial. Is there anything in our own attitudes to either women or men generally, or to particular individuals, that needs to change to be more like that of Jesus?
Faith played an important role in these incidents. A Jewish synagogue ruler, a man of considerable influence, "knelt before" Jesus (18). The verb used suggests deep courtesy, a pleading homage before someone in a position to grant a favor. Maybe this faith plea was a last resort, and possibly the woman who touched Jesus' cloak had a tentative superstitious kind of faith, but however inadequate their faith Jesus was moved to action in response to them both. They didn't need to be spiritual giants, and nor do we have to wait until we've somehow got Christian discipleship figured out. Whatever our need, his invitation to us today is to reach out to him.
Here we see that Jesus brings life in the midst of despair. Can you recall an occasion when Jesus did this for you? How did you feel? Is there someone you need to share this experience with?
Lord Jesus, You constantly challenge me with Your view of others. Forgive me for sometimes embracing society's attitude rather than following Your way.