God really did have one last joker up His sleeve. Fast forward with me to Mathew, the first book of the New Testament and you see Jesus come into the picture in the least exciting way possible, through the womb of a peasant virgin and in a manger full of smelling sheep with only straw/hay for a bed no less! Who would have thought this was God’s ace, His ultimate expression of his everlasting love and desire to bring us back to His original intentions in all ramifications including the issue of submission?
Twelve years down the line, we realise this kid Jesus isn’t an ordinary kid. Too wise for his age and not afraid to ask the hard questions.. Hmm… What do we make of this? Another eighteen years go by and we see the God-Man Jesus in the beginning of his ministry fulfilling the purpose for which he was sent. What did he have to say about the relationship between the sexes and the issue of submission?
In my little research, (forgive me if it’s not deep enough, I’m neither a bible scholar nor a pastor, I’m just a woman who loves God and his word and still has a lot to learn), I really did not see a place where Jesus directly spoke on submission as a woman’s role. What I did find a lot in Jesus’ teaching was a redefinition of the law on adultery- it stopped being a cardinal sin for women and an acceptable vice for men and it became a sin for both parties, thereby bringing back the equality to the sexes which was in the original plan. See Mathew 5 27-28, Mark 10:10-12
A story that encapsulates this in a way that I love so much is found in the Gospel of John the first eleven verses of the eighth chapter. The gist of the story was that a woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus for a verdict quoting the law of Moses-stoning, and asking for His opinion. What does Jesus say? Wait for it, Wait for it… Nothing! Absolutely nothing. For the first few minutes, Jesus just bends down and writes in the sand and says nothing…we are never told what He wrote, but we have the privilege of knowing what He finally says which is basically, he who is without sin, cast the first stone .With that simple sentence he rewrites the law on adultery forever and lays it down as the only ground for divorce that we ever read directly from the lips of Jesus!
So does that abolish the need for submission in Christian Marriages? How should this whole submission business play out, now that Jesus has evened the playing field somewhat?
More to come! Keep watching this space!