By Kevin Guigou – Associate Pastor
In Part One, Pastor Guigou reminded us that in Genesis, man and woman were each made with the divine image of God and with it came the equally shared responsibility to govern over what he had created.
After the fall, God’s plan of redemption birthed men and women into a new covenant. The Holy Spirit’s infilling became the great equalizer between sexual genders, races, ethnicities, and nationalities.
Even though the two genders were designed with wonderous differences, in the broadest spiritual sense, God doesn’t play favorites between the two sexes.
Pastor Guigou gave examples of the more than 300 ladies or groups of women that are mentioned as being commissioned and energized by God in the Old Testament.
Here he continues with some of the women in the New Testament.
Women of the NT
The influential leadership of New Testament women was also significant in God’s plan of redemption. The weight of history rested on many of these women as God spoke and worked through them:
- Mary, the mother of Jesus, not only had “Christ-in-me” for nine months, but also, along with Joseph, taught and trained the child Jesus to step into his sacred mission. What a leader she was!
- Anna was a prophetess who had special words to speak over infant Jesus (Luke 2:36-38).
- Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna (Luke 8:1-3) traveled with Jesus and the Twelve, also serving as patrons to the work.
Nicodemus talks with Mary Magdalene in this scene from “The Chosen” press photos.
- The Samaritan woman at the well was among the earliest “evangelists” to announce the Messiah’s presence as his ministry began to unfold (John 4).
- Sisters Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) ministered to Jesus in their home. Mary sat like a student at his feet, an act which was normally the role of a male disciple (“learner” and likely future teacher) with a rabbi.
- The first two along with Salome and James’ mother were among the very first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection (Luke 24:1-12, Mark 16:1-7). Several of these ladies had stayed at the foot of the cross to support Jesus till the end.
- Photo courtesy of “The Chosen,” a series based on the life of Jesus.
In Romans 16, Paul mentions nearly 30 people, a third of whom are women who are highly commended in their service to the saints.
- The first is Phoebe (16:1-2), house church deacon and benefactor to many, who is understood to have hand-delivered the original letter and likely reading it to its first audience.
- Priscilla and her husband Aquila (Romans 16:3-5) were prominent figures in the development of the early church. In Acts 18:25-26, Priscilla played a key role in privately teaching and correcting the doctrinal understanding of Apollos, an acclaimed gospel teacher.
- Junia (16:7) is also listed among the apostles of the movement.
Peter’s first sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:17-18) included the prophet Joel’s revelation that God would pour out his spirit on all flesh and that “daughters” and “my maidservants” would be among those who boldly prophesied.
And in 1 Corinthians 11:5, it’s clear that women were publicly praying and prophesying in church gatherings.
Understand the Difficult in Light of the Clear
Any difficult scriptures must be understood in light of clear passages on any subject.
So, when we come across more challenging texts on this topic, like 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:9-15, we must interpret through a filtering lens of more specific, historical, culturally localized circumstances that would explain any “silence” (respectful tranquility) dictated toward women in church gatherings.
For a deeper dive into this subject, watch my Women in Ministry Sunday Morning Fellowship teaching series:
- Women in Ministry: Women on the Front Lines of God’s Kingdom (6/25/23)
- Women in Ministry: Women Be Silent? (7/25/23)
The late Rev. Wayne Clapp also taught on women working in the Kingdom. His three-part audio series Women in Ministry is available on our website.