The Hemiplegic Bride (part 1)

Handicap sign

The body of Christ in this country is frequently hemiplegic.  Hemiplegia is a medical term used to describe a paralysis of one side of the body, as for example, after a stroke.  The voice of the female half of the army has been silenced. Obviously there are notable exceptions to this, but in general women are not allowed to develop to their full potential within the church. 

It has not always been that way.

In the ministry of Jesus, women played an important part.  Some women traveled with him and helped to support His ministry (Mark 15:41; Luke 8:1-3).  A woman anointed him for burial (Matthew 26:12).  The women did not desert him at His crucifixion (Matthew 27:55).  After his resurrection, the first people Jesus revealed Himself to were not the disciples, but a group of women; He entrusted the message of His resurrection to them (Luke 24:1-11). 

Jesus did not treat women as second-class citizens.  Some of his most strategic conversations were with women.  These were not dumbed-down monologues.  They were deep, theological discussions.  Think, for example, of Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well in John 4, or his dialog about the resurrection with Martha in John 11.  Jesus treated women as valued equals—in a day when most people regarded them as mere possessions.

Women were included in the gathering in the upper room after Jesus’ ascension (Acts 1:14).  Joel’s prophecy in that context specifically mentions that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on both men and women and they will all prophesy (Acts 2:17-18).  Phillip’s four daughters were examples of this (Acts 21:9).

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