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June 8, 2021 2:00 am
How did Jesus view women? Taking the culture of Jesus' day, Kristi McLelland helps us better understand how Jesus values women through His interactions with women.
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Jesus didn't come to turn things upside down. He came to turn things right side up its back to that restoration and repair renewal. That redemption and is not okay with women being against a wall and Luke seven shows us that makes me cry just that terms is not okay with women being against the wall. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and Andre Wilson and you can find us if we live today.com or on our family life. This is family life today? About smash in our listeners don't know.
It smashes but it's our women's retreat at our church called smash. I'll tell you in a minute.
What that means but you've led smash for decades and something happens to women at smash what happened like that should probably first explain what that is and it really became a women's retreat not just to go and you know it used to be. We just now do crafts and we read the Bible little bit and every women's retreat is different but they're superpowerful and so we decided to name it smash because for 48 hours without smash 48 or smashing the paradigms of what a woman is and so were bringing in. This is what God calls us. This is who we are and it's really teaching of this is what a real woman looks like it's my favorite thing that I do because I look at these women and I sit there and think to feminism thing. It's a God thing. It's like calling out who they are, how God sees them their gifts their strengths there. Women of influence there so gifted and compassionate strong leaders there so many things and yet I see that the enemy of our soul. Satan has diminished them to a point where all they're doing sometimes is comparing themselves to one another feeling so lost and broken and feeling like God can't use them until at the time in a week and that we say we see you and we see these get someone to call them out because God has something for you to do. Maybe it's be married. Maybe it's single maybe it's using your gifts to teach or to serve or to love or there so many different things and it's so amazing. All I know is the on just one gunner church pastor a church and I see these women come back out and dove us. Thousands of men yes couple thousand a year in there there alive and there's an identity that they seem to have been transformed by and so as exciting as as an stillness.
She's looking across the table at Krista McClellan, who is leading, and created a Bible study. Video curriculum called Jesus and women and so I know a lot of what happens at smash although I'm never allowed to go and I can't watch it even saves no metal is that it's sort of you know how Jesus elevates the identity of a woman so Christie thanks for being here welcome to have a name I want to go to smash and I'm to go with you to if you go speak it smash no question this is an invitation right here right now Christie is a speaker she's a teacher she's a college professor. What's your college that your teaching Williams in college. That's right middle Tennessee. He went to Dallas theological seminary you've written a lot, but you have this passion and that passion is one in the middle east walking where Jesus walked. But more than that. Explain what else that passion is. You know, was in Israel that I learned a phrase that changed my life and it goes like this, the living God meets us exactly where we are. He never leaves us there and the last 14 years I been carrying not because sometimes I think here in the last we can carry this idea. I need to clean myself.
I need to get myself together. You know, get back in charge or go to church more just fill in the blank. But the story of the Bible is not man going and looking for guide the story of the Bible is God in relentless pursuit of us and I love to talk about this very famous parable that we have in Luke 15 we call it the parable of the prodigal son. But in the Middle East.
They call it something else. They call it the parable of the running father and the reason is sometimes here in the West we read the Bible and ask what is it teach me about me in the Middle East. They read the Bible and ask what is this teach me about who God is and so if we read Luke 15 sometimes we feel like where the prodigal we call it the parable of the prodigal sign but for now they call it the parable of the running father, so their focus is on the fatherless more than the rebellion of the sun is really different completely different and they would say that God is the point of every story in the Bible. He's the hero of every story. He's the pursuer you even look at like a Hosea to the what the Lord says I'm gonna lure her being Israel into the wilderness into the desert and dare I'm going to speak tenderly to her and it's there in the wilderness you think about the wilderness seasons of your life.
Yeah, you didn't know what to do. Life had broken you in half. You are on the floor you had and you can't see tomorrow you don't know how you're going to get to the next hour and it's in those wilderness seasons that the Lord comes close and says I will speak tenderly to you many goes on to say in Hosea 2, you will no longer call me my master. You will now call me. My husband and you know a rabbi once said God does some of his best work in the wilderness and it's so true it's there that we get really close to him. I think in our brokenness in the quiet of our brokenness. We hear the father. I think were so busy sometimes in our world.
And when things are going well were just running so fast, but in the brokenness in the quiet we call out to what I've realized is God is always there, he's just been waiting maybe in you as you said he's running to pulled up a it's been so long since I've heard the song I should grab my guitar and do it but I won't ever heard the song when God ran know it's really old Josť's words says Almighty God, the great I am, immovable rock, omnipotent, powerful, awesome Lord, victorious warrior commanding the King of Kings mighty conqueror and the only time the only time I ever saw him run was when he ran to me. He took me in his arms held my head to his chest, said said my sons come home again lifted my face, wiped the tears from my eyes with forgiveness in his voice he said, son, do you know I still love you caught me by surprise when God ran it was just as beautiful. Come on here though the title your parable is because we tend to focus on the prodigal son or the elder brother. You know were one of those and we missed the whole significance of the whole story made in a Jewish culture.
Dad is not going to run you could enlighten us a little bit left as there is some of that to you standing there waiting and he runs you know this this honorable father has to leave his home twice, and that story to go get both sons because the younger son takes his inheritance and squanders at the far country, and older brother. By the end of it. He's out in the field, refusing to come in the house to celebrate the younger brother coming home and in that world you know for 14 years of taking team schedule. I have asked both Israeli and Palestinian man. What would you do if one of your sons asked you for your share of the inheritance before you died, and what would you do if one of your sons publicly disrespected you at a feast or a festival or a party out in the yard for everybody to see. And I get various answers but they're all in the realm of he get really bad trouble because in both instances it makes the father looked back and he's embarrassed that that honor shame world. Yet it's very shameful and said this is this benevolent father who takes the shame, and yet runs to go get his sons and to bring them back into the house and this is the story the Bible you know the greatest metaphor that God uses from Genesis to Revelation. To describe his relationship with us is that of the shepherd and sheep, and one of the things I learned while I was studying there is when a sheep gets separated from the flock and recognizes that it's lost when it figures out that it oh I took a wrong turn. It does not turn around and try to come back.
It hungers down and starts crying out to be found. And that's the story of the Bible. It's not about hoops. Let me clean myself up. Let me get it all together. Let me know. Now let me figure it out. It's let me just hunker down in my mess. Let me hunker down in this devastation. Let me hunker down in all of this pain have no idea what's going on. I don't know how to move forward and I'm just gonna cry out like God.
You gotta come find me if I'm gonna make it home. It's going to be because of who you are, not who I am the shepherd leaves the 99 to go after the Wanda usually says that he looks for it until he finds it, and when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and carries it home from while I love the Scriptures to because EC everything happening now is that culture to its very different than the culture of teaching we have today talk about that a little bit because I think it's good. His parents, as were teaching our kids the Bible. What's different you now tell you a great story and Psalm 19. It talks about that the Scriptures are sweeter than honey that honey from the honeycomb and I love Honey bingo Boro Mississippi girl and I like honey and the honeycomb as well and in Israel rabbis will visit little kindergarten classes little kindergarten yeshivas and they'll bring wax paper and honey and in the lay the wax paper down in front of the kindergarten students and the poor. Some honey and they'll invite the little kindergartners to dip their finger in it and taste it. And while there tasting at the rabbi will say this is what the word of God taste like it is good for you eat it. Take it and it will do its work and I think there's a difference in reading the Bible and eating it. Sometimes we read the Bible like in Aristotle, Socrates or Plato you know it's up to our intellect to understand it, it's up to me to dig something out of the word of God to feed myself today, but the posture of the Jewish people is that the Scriptures are the Lord's, and he's the one that breaks them open and breaks them down into bite-size pieces and is feeding it to us and so we can take it and we can let it do its work.
Where is the word of the Lord. The Jewish people would say it's inside of you whom we carry the word of the Lord with us. While I know even the way that I used to try to teach the boys when they were younger we just sit down and read the Bible and I realize I can as I was reading the Gospels. I thought Jesus just taught along the way. If he was in a field he's talking about green or the mustard seed and you can tell that he's talking about what he seen in the moment so I remember like doing things like we have scavenger hunts, where I would hide I would take Scripture and I would hide it, but then I put a little prize with it and I remember saying, like when you discovered when you dig in God's word.
It will be like a prize it will be is the more you dig the more prizes you'll find in God's word will start changing your life, and I thought meant that way of teaching is so much better than just a classroom and I think that Hebrew culture has that kind of teaching in his back to family and it's back to if the Scriptures are like food. If the Bible is like a great male great males are best experienced with great people. Nobody goes to a really great restaurant to eat a really great male all by themselves. The right you want to do it with your people with your family and the families that go to Israel with me. I tell my students at the college eat the Bible with your family eat it with your friends get around the table and everybody just read a passage is not even about always.
What are you getting out of this or what are you getting out because the Scriptures are an excuse if they bind us to one another.
They bind us to the living God they connect us and I love taking families to Israel.
I took a family of seven, one year how mom and dad. Their five children. The children were ages. I think 7 to 16 and sometimes it dinner at night just sitting around with all of them hearing the way the seven-year-old was processing what she had seen that day. The way the 16-year-old and I really talk to them as a family about starting to read the Bible together and I ran into Val about a year ago and they've been doing that, and they talked about just at first it's super weird because what were just gonna sit around and read the Bible together really, but they took the adventure and the Lord just been meeting now as a family and that space is an end that way and we all like great food, so if we can even move from the sense of like reading and studying the Bible, which gives you a sense you can get it wrong. Am I smart enough to have fast enough and not good enough to mend the Scriptures are like a feast that the living God has prepared for us and we get to just get together we get to carry it inside of us and let it do it if we would teach our kids like that the word there like I want to get what's in there. Mean and mean. In some ways, you're just you're just showing us what Deuteronomy 6 of love, the know how you approach that passes the Shema, but a minute says you know you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and with all your might. In these words that I command you today shall be in your heart and then here this is just what this family is doing and you showed him you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in the house and when you walk by the way, when you lied down when you rise, you shall bind them as a sign on your hand to talk about that. That's this beautiful picture of devouring Scripture in a community and in specifically in a family so absolutely or something that's like in that passage that they give their conformists know the idea that the rabbis of givenness in Hebrew. It's called some left some love means to set upon love his heart in Hebrew and what is talking about. As you go along the road just daily, day and day out. The rabbis talk about.
We want to Sam Lal of the Scriptures we want to set them upon our hearts, and a student asked a rabbi you know Rabbi, I thought we wanted the word in our hearts. David said have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
So why don't you say let's hide the word in our hearts. Why do you say Simla that set it upon our hearts and the rabbi responded. He said my signed the human heart can tend to be hard but when life breaks it. If we had set the word on our hearts. The words just fall in the cracks and take their place. That is one of the things that struck me when I was in the holy land. I didn't appreciate or understand the visual of the Hebrew language in the in the really the Hebrew people. It was like everything had a symbol to it. A visual tour that we've lost that I think it's all words and they smell it, see it tasted. Live it.
The Hebrew language. Not only is a letter but it's also a symbol and a number is not true for sure yeah seven is God's number. The number of wholeness and shalom six is man's number so you know rabbis will communicate theology, using numbers well so in the beginning God created the world in seven Genesis 1 entail everything was in Eden in Genesis 3. You have the fall of man. Now were living in six waiting for God to restore seven which happens at Revelation 21 and 22 so it's really fascinating, but just that whole idea of some loving. I think that's the repetitive nobody eats, wants, and they never eat again. No family eats one meal and never eats again. So in the repetitive eating of the word were some letting it or setting it upon our hearts so that is life knocks us around and we've all been knocked around 2020 happened all of us were all trying to get a refund on 2020 Cove it just is. Rearrange the world have not been in Israel in 18 months, and I feel like I'm living in exile here. That's home for me.
New OSHA lightning is home. Yeah. And I think of what we don't buy would Deuteronomy 6, I think it's easy as a father in a family to think I'm to leave my family to eat once a week church and is my job.
I get them to this being the spiritual leader may get my family church which is great is awesome, but if I want them to eat regularly me as the dad and mom. It's like let's do this daily instead of physical food which were going to do spiritual food and nourishment from Scripture. That's my role. That's one way I can leave my family as a say this is this is not nourishment for our soul. We don't eat once a week you'd almost die.
And as you said, and it binds us together.
It pulls us together and even if you have teenagers rolling their eyes to. I remember Dave saying, like if a preacher is boring. It's not because God word is boring is because the preacher isn't doing a good job and that's what you're doing Christie you're bringing Scripture alive and it's exciting for anyone to be around and go back to women. Some because you know your video series is about that and there. So my stories in New Testament that already talked earlier about a young woman at the well and Danforth that I and I know it was go different places I want to go. One of the stories I've loved and it really I think it's it your justice of of lifting a woman out of shame is Luke seven. I've taught it many times, I'm guessing I have no mind out what what's really in there with the sinful woman at Simon's house, walk us through what Jesus did their cement that is a fascinating story I like to call it the woman against the wall and why did you call it that the first century world.
We know historically. Sometimes the wealthy are the wealthy are those with means because there is data, back to righteousness and generosity. Dull invite their friends to come eat at their table, but you also invite the poor and the marginalized, to come to your home but they said against the wall and they get the leftovers. Historically they get whatever's left over, and we think who would do that how disrespectful you could invite me to your house and tell me to sit against the wall. But if you're hungry you'll do whatever it takes to get food to get something to eat.
So the fact that she's there, and Jesus and the rabbis are sitting there the religious leaders at Simon's house and it's interesting because when like were sitting at a table right now you can't see us but 2000 years ago when they're sharing a meal there on a pallet on the floor, always on their left elbow because you eat with your right hand so obviously the head is close to the table. The feet are away from the table. So now we understand why Jesus's feet were the closest thing to her because she sitting against the wall and she loses it on Jesus coming when it says that she starts wiping his feet with her hair and tears, and tears.
This is a moment that's going down and I like to talk about Jesus rearranging that room because by the end of it. She is not against that wall.
He has brought her out of that shame he's restored her. He sends her away. I'll liken it to. Sometimes you don't want to fight in front of your kids and so he completely brings restoration to her sends her away and then he addresses Simon and starts talking about all of these norms of hospitality that are honorable and in honor shame world that you didn't do for me and a site by the end of it, go through some of those Christie so the kiss of welcome when they come in. Jesus mentions on the washing of the feet they would give you olive oil, sort of like soap to sanitize your hands different things like that and apparently Simon did not extend any of those to Jesus, which is him saying to Jesus and that world is very disrespectful not to honor you as an equal, we know you're, like a young pup coming up your new rabbi, you know, Simon's probably much older and so you see Simon Anna hospitality world of honor and shame acting very shamefully and not extending these things to Jesus that he listed Luke seven and we see this woman and a lot of scholars think that what she's doing and the anointing of the feet, as she's trying to recover what Simon wasn't doing she's trying to extend some of those hospitality virtues to Jesus in a very honorable way. And so it's a great story always say Jesus didn't come. Note to turn things upside down. He came to turn things right side up. It's back to that restoration and repair renewal.
That redemption and is not okay with women being against a wall and Luke seven shows us that again. I decried just that term.
He's not okay with women being against the wall I was putting what hit you, I think so many women feel like that and they feel powerless they feel forgotten.
They feel less than an the fact that Jesus lifts us up that he notices that that he calls us out and then sends us along the way.
I love that with John for you know II to see that when he renews someone he offers their hope and their dignity back so soon with two women who might know a little bit of what it feels like to be the woman against the wall with what it is that what's it feel like for a woman, the feel that our guests it's funny when when we are describing that the first thought that came to my mind was my sister whose amazing. She led me and guided me into a relationship with Jesus that she was sexually abused for eight years married. She was really hard. She was bulimic she was anorexic and she was sitting against the wall because she thought I have nothing I'm broken I must be shameful.
I'm unworthy I'm unworthy to be at the table. I'm unworthy to be seen if people really saw me they would be disgusted and I've had a lot of that myself and I cover it all up. You know I'm strong I'm. But honestly, that's that inward part of me as a young teenager like I am trying to be loved, but I don't have anything in me that's lovely enough to be loved and so I think there's so many of us a broken marriage on someone who's been divorced some he's been to abuse somebody who's been abandoned. I think so many of us women are sitting against the wall and Jesus Caesar what he think Christie is the first thing that came to mind when you asked the question was just anything that diminishes us weekends us comes against us. Two of my dearest friends in the world.
Both of them have buried sons in the last 18 months. I think of the loss, the collective loss that we've all experienced since 2020. Loss of income, loss of community loss in being able to go to church broken relationship strained relationships, loss of hope and loss of hope and I think all of those things make us feel like were up against a wall is the things that tempt us to hopelessness is the things that tempt us to believe that God is not everything that he has said that he is one of the things in my own life. When I say the diminishment's it was when life came at me so hard it just knocked the wind out of me.
I think of my dad dying. Suddenly when I was 21 years old and a senior in college and didn't even have the skills to really deal with that kind of trauma and tragedy and loss in a been to counseling now been through a few phases of therapy and counseling and to seek after that wellness and to receive the wellness that the living God had for me but the interesting thing about the woman against the wall and is part of why I think I call it that is.
And I don't know if you would say this but I think every single woman. If you were to ask her that question something would come up inside of me. Yes, I agree. I don't know of a woman that we would ask that question and she would say you know is just always gone my way. Everything always seems to work for me.
I don't know that woman. I don't think she existing she does him, jealous of her right now. You know, so I think it's universal and coming since it's universal. I think it's meant as well. Things that make a man feel like he's up against the wall better gathers the first things that come to my mind and I think in back to that story in Luke chapter 7, you know, one of the things that Jesus says that so powerful as he looks at Simon, who's the Pharisee and the host.
He's that religious guy, the scholar, the bigwig wearing the big branches in the moment and Jesus looks at the one man, and he says Simon do you see this woman and it's kind of a rhetorical question because Simon sees her sitting there that Simon doesn't see.
Yeah Jesus is the one who sees her against the wall and has the sense up. I'm not okay with this outcome, to make up. Come to bring things right side up. By the end of the story, you will be restored and sent away. Angelo, I think to do is I read this story I think that the woman really probably didn't have much, but she gave him what she had in his women. We can feel like I have nothing have nothing to offer you Jesus and we do, we can offer him our lives are gifts.
Like I've said that so many times and I was 18 years old.
The first time I said that I don't have much to give.
But I give you all that I am, I give you my life and I don't know what you're gonna do with that lawyer.
But I'll go wherever you call me to go.
I'll do whatever you call me to do and I could say that because I realize he's a good father. Oh he loves me. I used to think like I'm not doing that. Who knows what he'll do that. I've come to realize he said to the good father and this story of seeing the woman at the wall reminds us of how he sees us.
He knows us and what a sweet thing and offering for us as women to give him whatever we have are gifts, our passion, our dreams, our lives in Galatians chapter 3. The Bible reminds us that in the eyes of God, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, neither male nor female. Certainly those distinctions continue to exist. But the Bible is telling us that in God's eyes all have value and worth and dignity, a great reminder today as we published them to David and Wilson talk with Christie McClellan. Christie is a Bible teacher who has developed a video series called Jesus and women in the first century, and now we have information about the video series available on our firstname.lastname@example.org you can go to our website for more information about the Jesus and women video series and the website is family life to a.com, you know what we listen to today is really a paradigm shift in how we ought to be thinking about our value or worth of our identity. David Robbins was the president of family life is here with us and David.
Whether it's men or women understanding our worth and value in God's eyes really is a game changer run absolutely. We must strive to see ourselves as God sees us. We live in a culture that is so quick to tire value to our performance or title or possessions. What we do or what we don't do, but we are created in his image with ultimate value and dignity, love, love the conversation today talking about how women are created uniquely in his image, and it reminded me of when I was in college.
There was a game changing the perspective that was offered up to me, that continues to apply often in our home is Megan I live life out and seek to have a home that pursues them. Is that so often we base our identity in my performance or dare I say Meg's and my performance and others opinion instead of putting our identity in Christ performance.
In Christ opinion. Our identity is rooted in him, we are valued by him and we we begin to live out of that security, it can really alter the way we go out and seek to be lights to the world and bring light into a dark world that is good. Thank you David for that I want to encourage a listers to be back with us again tomorrow. Have you as a mom never had somebody look at you in the moment with your young kids and say all these are such special days you need to just enjoy every minute you think you know you're not the one give up three of the morning when somebody's with the bed tomorrow. David and Wilson will talk with Becky about women, about some of the crazy things moms here and how we can think biblically about the role of being a mom. Hope you can tune in for that you have our host David and Wilson on Bob p.m. join us back tomorrow for another additional family life today. Family life today is a production of family life ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most