March 8 is International Women’s Day. It was in 1977 when the United Nations began celebrating that day.
What can we learn from the Bible with regards to the stories of women?
God did not allow that the stories of women were not recorded in the Bible. It is up to us to see these stories and learn from them.
Without a doubt, the Bible was written from a patriarchal perspective. God is described in the Old Testament as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Using another lens, we can also call God the God of Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel. Their stories of faith in God are also written in the Bible.
In the New Testament, the stories of women were also prominent. If you look at it a little closer, you can see that the writers had the chance to erase the stories of women but they did not. The Gospels were written about 30 years after the events happened. The writers could have changed the narrative but they chose not to. This non-omission actually gave credence that what was written were true stories.
The writers could have written that the men were the first to know about the resurrection of Jesus. But they did not. No matter how shameful that may be, they told the truth that it was two Marys who were the first to know, and told everyone about it. They could have also written that Jesus was financially supported by men only. But they did not. They wrote the truth that Jesus was financially supported by Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna.
The book of Acts could have omitted that the first person who accepted Jesus Christ in Europe was a woman named Lydia. But Luke did not do that. It was the truth. Phoebe was also mentioned by Paul to be treated with respect befitting a saint. Against all odds, she was the one who hand-carried the letter of Paul to the Christians in Rome. Paul entrusted it to her and because of that, we have the book of Romans to read now.
The Bible is full of stories of men, as well as women, whom God used mightily. God did not allow the stories of women not to come out. It is up to us to seek it out and learn from it.
Happy International Women’s Month!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on