Every culture has its differences but the discriminating and chauvinistic behavioral traits remains the same and carries on throughout generations. Prejudice and Sexism can be traced all the way back to the biblical times when women were viewed as non-existent. But according to the article, “Jesus and the Social Status of Women”, the author Caleb Rosado addresses the fact that Jesus broke the cycle of oppression against women. He informs the audience that Jesus accepts everyone with open arms no matter where they were from or their social rank in society.
In the article, Rosado explains how Jesus treated the women that He encounters and His attitudes towards them. During the time of the New Testament, women were ranked at the bottom of the social chain. They were seen only “in terms of sex and motherhood”, along with being a property of their husband. Jesus’ actions and teachings contradicted all of society’s regulations that were held upon women. In fact in Luke 15, several of His parables were about women. He was “comfortable in the presence of women” and even allowed women to travel with Him and his disciples.
Not only did He demonstrate an equality amongst men and women but also reversed the traditional role of the man being the provider. For example, “women provided for the group out of their resources”. The Gospels make it very clear that Jesus adopted a pattern of behavior that implicitly opened the way to a new personal identity and social standing for women. The second main point is that Rosado informs the audience that society’s psychological way of viewing women derives from prejudice and sexism. He provides a vivid imagery of “prejudice” taking place when Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman.
On the exterior, society viewed her as a person “living in sin” due to the fact that she “already had five husbands” and was currently living with a man that was not her husband. But as we take a deeper look into their culture, we must to take into consideration that men could easily divorce their wives and if the woman could not bear any children, she was considered inadequate. After enduring numerous of marital failure, she chose to settle down with a man that is not her husband because she felt that was the only option open to her.
Jesus, however, reached out to her and was not prejudice like the rest of society. Prejudice is the “act of prejudging another person or group and not changing your mind even after evidence to the contrary, so that you continue to post-judge them in the same manner you pre-judged them”. Women were the main target of being prejudged against and have always been viewed as an inferiority to men. This is interrelated to “sexism”. Sexism is “an ideology of supremacy which places a negative meaning on biological differences, resulting in an objective, differential and unequal treatment”.
The main difference between the two is that in sexism the biological differences are merely an excuse for oppression. We live in a world where in order for the alpha male to feel ultimately superior, oppression towards women takes place. Jesus shattered the negative connotations against women and replaced it with a pedestal of dignity for them. The final main point that Rosado reflects on is that Jesus initially set up the foundation for equality during His reign on earth. He led by actions so that others may follow His examples.
According to Romans 2:11, it declares that “for God shows no partiality”. Therefore, everyone should live by the principle of conduct, which state, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. This is also known as the “Golden Rule” or what James called “the royal law”. Jesus clearly demonstrated this while He was on earth. In conclusion, Jesus defied how society portrayed women. Their perspective of women derived from prejudice and sexism. Jesus establishes a foundation of equality for women and demonstrates how to live by the “Golden Rule”.
In this article, I learned how Jesus broke the cycle of oppression towards women during the biblical times. Also, it helped me realized the difference between prejudice and sexism. I believe that it would definitely be a challenge to try to go against our natural impulsive ways of initially prejudging others. Last but not least, I would recommend this article to everyone. It not only provides insights to Jesus and His interactions with women, but also teaches a good moral foundation.