Jesus Is A Feminist by Catherine Estevez
Jesus is a feminist. No, I am not kidding.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, it’s important that I share a bit of myself.
I was born in Paterson NJ, but my father’s career in the Marines took us all over the south and eventually we settled in North Carolina for a spell. I went to school with lily white children who harassed brown children. I was once chased by a group of Caucasian boys with switchblades- because they didn’t like that I was so smart- To say that I experienced racism, male violence and the terrifying effects early in life is a topic for another essay. Needless to say, school was not something I looked forward to.
Many people think I have been indoctrinated; that my parents have programmed me to believe in a “fairytale”, but honestly, I “programmed” them.
One day, a beautiful, ethereal blond hair blue eyed girl- an angel, walked over to me and asked me, “Do you know Jesus”? Of course, I didn’t know Jesus, my parents were Catholic Ricans who were young and so very “stupid” too busy teaching me “other things” that I really didn’t need to know. Anyway, the beautiful girl invited me to her church. I ran home and asked the parents if I could go. They were so happy to get rid of me. A free babysitter! Hell yea! They sent me, barely 8 years old, alone on a yellow bus to a church they never heard of to be with people they didn’t know; what could go wrong (did milk cartons even exist in 1981)? BUT God was in control. I walked into a small replica of the larger chapel, it was white and beautiful with murals of this guy “Jesus” all over the walls. My eyes settled on the mural where he was ministering to children (I still remember it to this day), I felt this wave of warmth and love wash over me. I fell in love with Jesus that day, before the Sunday school teacher could even utter a word to “program me”. I eventually dragged my parents-those days of free childcare were short-lived. Today, my father is a minister (after years of bumps, trials and disasters) and my family, each of my siblings, is a servant of God.
So, yea, Jesus is a Feminist. In response, you might say, but, but, the Old Testament oppresses women, speaks of “rape”, and is chock full of scripture that can be interpreted as misogynistic. My answer to that is, “you are viewing freedom through the eyes of oppression”.
Women of all races, color and creed have historically suffered oppression from the same oppressor, Man. It is male humanity-the Patriarchy that seeks to oppress, not God. Man has conveniently forgotten what God has commanded them in favor of control and outright tyranny. They have many times over proven that they will use everything at their disposal, even a message of pure love- twist and distort- to get their way.
Gods purpose for woman was not to be beneath man, but to be his helpmate and companion. Women are essential to humanity, family, and society. We are the heart and voice of reason in many situations, the pillar of family and society. God made us to be nurturers, protectors, sound advisors and the bearers of generations to come. Our role is purposeful and crucial, and if you look through heaven’s eyes, you can understand why we are under attack. Remove the pillar and it will all fall.
Now that we have briefly touched on woman’s purpose, it’s important that we talk about Jesus-the new covenant, the way maker, the chain breaker- the feminist. The one who stood against the oppressors; the Pharisees, who represented RELIGION, tyranny, racism, and discrimination. They were wolves in sheep clothing.
If you will let us examine two cases of Jesus in relation to women.
The first: The woman accused of adultery:
The Pharisees wanted to discredit Jesus so bad, if they did, they would remove the threat to their reign. o they entrapped a woman, they caught her “in the act of adultery”, dragged her to Jesus and cited the law of Moses- stating that she should be stoned. See, Jesus was the word, he was there in the beginning, he is the author of the law of Moses-so he saw the trap and easily avoided it-it became a teaching moment for MEN. As the Pharisees accused this woman, Jesus wrote on the ground, one can only guess what he wrote, but I think he was writing the commandments- Thou shall not bear false witness? The law of Moses demanded both parties to adultery be stoned- The Pharisees dragged the woman to justice- but where was the MAN? These Pharisees sought to use the Law of Moses to undermine Jesus and used a woman as their pawn. Jesus in reply to the Pharisees said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Pretty profound and a very clear example of how Jesus and God did not intend for the Law to oppress- Women- and how MEN will use the LAW to oppress and destroy us.
The Second: The woman at the well:
The lowliest of women it seems were the object of Jesus attention. Because even the lowliest, the most reviled is loved and precious to God the creator.
The woman at the well was shunned by her community, she had several husbands, the bible doesn’t go into detail as to why; we could only imagine her “husbands” were abusive low lives, why else would a woman risk being shunned? This shunned, “dishonored woman”, was forced to draw water from a well at the most inconvenient time of the day; during the hottest time of the day. Imagine lugging that bucket of water in the sweltering heat, day after day?
Jesus chose to appear to this woman FIRST- before her community, before the men. He knew her “offenses” and showed her GRACE, KINDESS AND FORGIVENESS. He offered her something that would set her free, she would no longer thirst –in any way.
Jesus gave her mercy, forgiveness and acceptance. ZERO JUDGEMENT! The New Testament refers to sons and covenant and the inheritance of the kingdom with respect to Sons…where do women fit in? Hold on to your wigs…women will inherit like sons, in the kingdom we are all sons, all worthy of the inheritance!
God sent Jesus- he sent the word made flesh. This is not religion- this is relationship. Jesus the new covenant came to offer us all freedom through love.