Part 2 - Restoring Eve as well as Adam


Let us go straight to our Bibles, and Luke Chapter 13, starting at verse 10  'On a Sabbath and Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for 18 years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.  When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and said to her "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity".  Then He put His hands on her and immediately she straightened up and praised God.  Indignant that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the Synagogue ruler said to the people "there are six days for work, so come and be healed on those days and not on the Sabbath".  The Lord answered him "You hypocrites, doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a DAUGHTER of Abraham, whom satan has kept bound for eighteen long years be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"  When He said this, all his opponents were humiliated but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things He was doing'.


Let us agree that the authority for what we believe doesn't come from society, doesn't come from trends, doesn't come from culture - it comes from the Word of God (interpreted correctly and not culturally).


A famous Steve Bell quote "It is possible to be scriptural without being Biblical" in other words, it is possible to say "The Bible says this" and you quote a scripture - but you quote the scripture without actually interpreting it in the light of all the other scripture, because to be Biblical, you have to interpret scripture by scripture, you cannot just take a scripture out of context.  e.g.In Leviticus 19:19 'Don't wear clothes that consist of 2 kinds of materials.  So then most of us reading this are breaking that scripture! Also the Bible says that 'It is good for a man not to touch a woman'!  So we have to take scripture in the context of other scripture, and not take it out of context. A lot of people would say 'Let women keep silent in the church', just quoting one scripture, so then it may be scriptural but it is not Biblical.  (I will expound on that in a later Part.) Often people read into scripture instead of reading out of scripture.  

In part 1 we spoke about the fall, and what God said would happen after the fall DID happen, and within 6 generations there was ever increasing error. (Man was designed to be in a marriage relationship with one woman, and within 6 generations, Lamech took 2 women, and by Genesis Chapter 6, God saw how corrupt the earth had become, because all the people of the earth had corrupted their ways, and the whole Old Testament simply is a record of the downward spiral of mankind into the labyrinth of sin.)  

The only hope for mankind was the promised deliverer 'the seed of the woman', and 2000 years ago He came - THANK GOD, Jesus came.  This next sentence may sound really tough, and very hard, but I believe it to be true:

The full redemptive power of the Cross of Christ to a great degree has been held back for the last 2000 years from half of humanity (the feminine side) of humanity (the Eve side of humanity).  What a travesty that the full benefits of redeeming grace - the totality of freedom from the curse that Christ came to bring to both men and to women has been held back in many places from women through CULTURAL blindness, or through biased misinterpretation of scripture.

e.g. 'The man is the priest of his house' which is totally unbiblical, but a phrase that has often been used.  In other words this states that he is above the others - the Bible tells me that the woman is the 'priest of her house'  every believer is a 'priest', even the teenage girl is a 'priest' of her house, and the teenage boy is a 'priest' of his house.  We create a hierarchy that IS NOT BIBLICAL.  

In our search to understand how women should be treated in the New Community, the Church, the 'ACTS 2 Community', we must observe the way that the Founder of the church treated women, how the Builder of the church treated women, and before we look into the Gospels to see how Jesus Christ treated women, let us look at how women were perceived in the world when Jesus came 2000 years ago.  It is absolutely VITAL you understand this.

Remember that the Romans ruled Palestine, remember that Greek was the Universal language, and Greek thought had permeated the world, remember that Jews were the first people to whom Christ came.  So you had three cultures overlapping, interfacing, living together when Jesus came 2000 years ago.  You had the Roman culture, you had the Greek culture and you had the Jewish culture.

So I will give a little introduction into each of those cultures so you can understand that when Jesus came, how He actually CONFRONTED three different cultures with the life of God.

1. Roman Culture

It was said that the Romans took the cities, but the Greeks took the minds.  The Romans dominated through their power and took control.  In Roman culture, the husband had ABSOLUTE CONTROL over his wife, total control.  In fact, under certain circumstances, he even had a legal right to kill her.   In Roman culture, Roman girls married at the age of 12 - 14, boys married at the age of 17 - 18.  When a girl married in Roman culture, she even had to give up her religion, whatever gods she worshipped before that (as they worshipped numerous gods), the moment she got married, she then had to worship the ancestors of the family that she married into.  So then the moment she got married, even her religion did not matter, she had to dump her religion to adopt the religion of her husband's family.  The Romans, although they treated women as second class citizens (they did not hate them as much as the Greeks), but they considered women basically evil, and treated them as inferior. e.g. in Roman times, women didn't even have individual names, they only had the families.  Men were given names, but women only had the family names.  If a child was born into a Roman family, if it was a boy it was given a name, if it was a girl it wasn't considered worthy enough to have a name.  In fact, a female meant so little, that it was quite customary and accepted, if a girl was born you could kill her.  That was normal.  In fact, the Romans had to pass a law to make a family keep at least ONE female child, as otherwise they would kill them all. So that is a little bit of how women were considered in Roman culture. SO ROMAN CULTURE SAID WOMEN ARE INFERIOR.

2.Greek Culture

  In Greek culture, girls married at 14, in what was known as 'Athenia', and in other parts of Greece, girls married between 16 & 20 years of age. Men did not get married until their early 30's, so often in Greek culture the man was twice as old as the woman at marriage.  In Greek culture, women had no more legal rights than slaves, and in Greek culture the women were cut off from any significant participation in society.  Education for Greek women was strictly practical - they only taught them what they needed to DO, and not for any other reason.  Many Greek wives never left the house in their entire life!!! In the house, they were restricted to certain sections of the house.  The women NEVER ate with the men, so again in Greek culture the women were inferior.  This is KEY to understanding the Greek culture.  Greek thinking influenced the Western world for nearly 2000 years.

Quotes from some of the Greek Philosophers. 

Aristotle:  He was the teacher of ALEXANDER THE GREAT who conquered the world, and in conquering the world, he spread Greek Philosophy that he learned from Aristotle. This is what Aristotle thought about women QUOTE "female is a monstrosity - a deformed male, a deformity.  The female sex has a more evil disposition than the male, is more cowardly and less honest, the male is by nature more superior, and the female inferior, the male is ruler and the female is subject"!!!!! That was the Philosophers teachings - that men are 'up there' and women are 'down there!'

It is interesting that Aristotle also studied bees, and he came to the conclusion, that because the swarm of bees followed one bee, the bee they followed must be male.  Centuries later of course, they discovered that the bee was a queen that was the leader and NOT a king!!

Aristophanes: He said "Women are a shameless set, the violest creatures going."

Menander:  said "Women are an abominable cast, hated of all the gods."

Demosthenes:  said "Mistresses we keep for the sake of pleasure, concubines for the daily care of our person, but wives to bear us legitimate children."

Pythagorus:  taught that Adam would have remained happy and immortal if Eve had never come along.

Socrates:  said "The male sex is far better than the female, being born a woman is divine punishment, since women are half-way between a man and an animal."

Hippocrates:  known as the father of medicine, you have heard of 'The Hippocratic Oath'.  He taught the inferiority of women.

From many of the Greek Philosophers we got scientific thought that influenced our Society, and that was the background of thinking in the time when Christ came. SO GREEK CULTURE SAID WOMEN ARE INFERIOR.

3. Jewish Culture

 Jesus was born of a Jewish woman, so what was the culture that Jesus was born into regarding women?  In Jewish culture women were considered be so prone to sin that they needed male leadership and headship.  They were marginalised in worship, so that women were segregated, and kept away.  Men were allowed to come near.  Even in Herod's temple, even though there was no Biblical basis to separate the women from the men, they did so.  When it came to the establishment of a Jewish synagogue for Jewish worship you had to have a quorum of 10 men to establish a synagogue, women did not count.  In the words of the Jewish historian 'Josephus' who wrote about that contemporary time when Christ came, "women are inferior to men in every way" and in Jewish society women were treated as second class citizens.  In the differing Talmuds (the oral law of the rabbis), in the Rabbinical writings there is clear prejudice against women.  Let me give you one or two quotes from the Talmud (Jewish oral law) from different rabbis - their statements about women:

Quote "When a boy comes into the world - peace comes, when a girl comes into the world nothing comes"

Another quote from a Rabbi (Jewish leader) "Rather should the words of the Torah (the law, the first 5 books of the Bible, or the pentateuch) be burned than be entrusted to a woman, whoever teaches his daughter the Torah is like one who teaches her obscenity"

Another Rabbi said "All women are nymphomaniacs"

Another Rabbi said "A woman is like a picture full of filth, with its' mouth full of blood yet all run after her"

Another Rabbi said "He who talks much with women brings evil upon himself"

Another Rabbi said "All we can expect of them is that they bring up our children and keep us from sin".

I remind you from Part 1 notes of the Berakhot, the prayer that a Jewish male would pray every morning "Thank you God that I am not a gentile, thank you I am not a slave, thank you I am not a woman". SO JEWISH CULTURE SAID WOMEN ARE INFERIOR.


Into that world Jewish culture, down on women, Greek culture, down on women, Roman culture, down on women, into that world where men dominated in sinful proud arrogance and women were downtrodden and maligned, into that world the Saviour came.  Into that world JESUS came. 

At the beginning of His ministry, after being baptized and receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit upon Him, he went into the Synagogue in Luke Chapter 4, and he read from Isaiah these words 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, He has anointed me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to release the oppressed'' and NONE WERE MORE OPPRESSED THAN WOMEN IN THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST.  I am so thankful that this man Jesus was a different kind of man. 


I will summarize the ministry in 4 ways, how Jesus related to women, and came to restore Eve as well as Adam.  Christ lifted the position of women.  The Gospels are unique in presenting a great variety of situations that involve women. Remarkably, not in a SINGLE CASE is a woman denegrated, reproached, humiliated or cast into one of the lewd stereo-types of the day.  Males, especially establishment types, power-wielding men are often the object of severe castigations, but NEVER women.  Jesus' treatment of women is always solicitous and supportive, as if He were assuming responsibility toward them, for a long history of derogation and compensating for it with an outpouring of DIVINE LOVE.


1.Christ lifted their position

 One of the most amazing incidents lies in the opening passage of scripture.  This is perhaps the most powerful which shows us that Jesus lifted the position of women to equality with men.  It says he was in a Synagogue on a Sabbath day teaching.  If you do not know the background or the culture you can miss the outrageousness of what Jesus did in this passage. It says in verse 12 when Jesus saw her 'He called her forward'. Women were kept at the back behind screens, Jesus called a WOMAN forward, that was outrageous!!!!  Religion was a man's world and the women were out of it, so for Jesus to do this was really outrageous!   He said to her 'Woman you are set free from you infirmity'  and then even WORSE HE PUT HIS HANDS ON HER!!!!!! You didn't do that and particularly not in a Synagogue!!!!  If you touched women, she could be divorced if a man touched her!!  Remember in this culture you never even TALKED to a woman in public, Jesus is doing it IN THE SYNAGOGUE!! AND He heals her, but then comes the most radical words that a Jewish male could ever have heard. (Verse 16) 'Should not this woman a DAUGHTER of Abraham'.  Nowhere is there any record in history of that phrase ever being used before NEVER, it was unheard of in Judaism!!! Men always referred to themselves as 'sons of Abraham' but no-one ever taught women that they were daughters of Abraham, it was an unknown phrase, and when He said that, you could almost hear the gasps from the males in this place.  When Jesus called her a 'daughter of Abraham', He did not just heal her back,He didn't just lift her up physically, He elevated her positionally to that of equality with Jewish men. He made her in that statement an equal heir with her male counterparts of all the blessings of Abraham.  With that statement 'daughter of Abraham' He smashed all inferiority of womanhood and He raised her positionally to the same as men.  In the same phrase He talked to the men, the male rulers of the religion dominating women and He called them 'hypocrites'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The same Jesus wants to do exactly the same thing in His church today.  Even 2000 years later, in several parts of the world, including the U.K., there are still churches where many feel that religion is a man's world, and that somehow women are not entitled to the same privileges, the same opportunities, the same blessings.

I want you to know that the New Testament teaches very very clearly, 'that they that be of faith are the children of Abraham', men and women, both joint heirs with Christ, to every Kingdom promise, to every Kingdom blessing.

2.Christ levelled their playing field

  In the Old Testament there is no verb 'to marry' but men 'took' wives.  From the moment we had the fall, and from what God said would happen as a consequence of the sin, is that the woman would be under the rule of men, so it was.  Men had the power and dominance in marriage relationships.  When we come to the Gospels, there are five cases recorded where Jesus dealt in His teaching with the subject of marriage.  Each time, His language is of mutuality, equality and never subordination or subjugation.  

Mark10:2-12 (Read it yourself) The teaching of Jesus brings equality to marriage for the very first time.  He levels the playing field as the men had a different playing field in marriage than women did. Jesus brings it to a point of equality.  The Pharisees in Mark 10 verse 2 came and tested Him by asking 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife' (the male thing), Jesus said 'What did Moses command you?' they said 'Moses permitted a MAN', Jesus said 'It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law', then notice.  So what did Jesus do to try to show what God's intention was?  Jesus said 'But at the beginning'. At the beginning of creation 'God made them male and female' (see Part 1 on this topic) and brings in the reason - For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh'  so they are no longer two but one - and then Jesus puts this in 'Therefore what God has joined together let MAN not separate'.  Verse 10 (revolutionary) Jesus said 'Anyone who divorces his wife and commits adultery against her, and if SHE divorces her husband and marries another man SHE commits adultery'. We often argue marriage and divorce from this passage but in what Jesus said here is this - He GIVES THE WOMAN THE SAME RIGHTS AS MEN!  The rights of betrothal and divorce were Male rights up to this point, that is how the culture operated.  So in this passage Jesus cut across centuries of Rabbinical teaching, where He puts them both on the same ground.   The Rabbis taught that a man could divorce his wife for almost anything, even is she spoilt the dinner!!! This is taken from Rabbinical writings taught by religious leaders of that day.  If she talked too much, he could divorce her!  If she had bad breath, or he didn't like the size of her bussom, he could divorce her - FACT.  It was a male dominated world where the woman always suffered.  SUDDENLY Jesus with a stroke of his Word gets rid of all the nonsense - brings down to one reason for divorce, and makes it the same for women as for men - INCREDIBLE.  He levelled the playing field and lifted their position.  This was toally revolutionary, so Jesus said in this that the same rules apply to BOTH.

John Chapter 8 - A woman was caught in the act of adultery, which means there must have been a man with her at the time.  Notice SHE and not HE, not THEM, even though they were both guilty.  The law actually said the man and the woman should be stoned, but they didn't operate the law fairly, they always operated the law in favour of the male.  She was dragged to the feet of Jesus.  Jesus challenged the men, basically saying, if you are without sin, cast the first stone, in other words, the law of stoning applies to you also!!!!! as it was a humanity stoning law.

They knew that if they threw stones at others, they would need to be stoned as well.  (My personal belief here is that when Jesus drew in the sand, he was writing their names who also were guilty of the same sin, just a personal belief.)

So adultery had become a female sin only, so Jesus levelled the playing field again.

In Matthew 5 there is another example with the sermon on the Mount - remember in Palestinian Judaism they taught that if a woman showed her face in public she would cause a man to lust after her, so because she might do this, she must keep herself covered up.  A rabbi quoted 'If a man gazes at the little finger of a woman, it is as if he gazed at her secret place'.  Unbelievable!!!  There was one class of Pharisees known as 'the Bleeding Pharisees' as they used to walk around with their heads down so as not to look at a woman, and would bump into things! They thought that women were so prone to sin and so seductive that they wouldn't look even at an eye, as every part of a woman's body was liable to cause a man to lust, so women were not only held accountable for their own sins, but for the lust they awakened in males!  Jesus would have NONE OF IT, HE PUT THE BLAME SQUARELY ON THE MAN! He said if YOU lust in YOUR heart, YOU have committed adultery in YOUR heart. SO JESUS DID NOT GO ALONG WITH ROMAN, GREEK OR JEWISH CULTURE, HE CAME TO SET PEOPLE FREE!

3. Christ loved them publicly

 This should move people deeply how Christ did this.  In the society where women were looked down upon, downtrodden, looked upon as being inferior, inadequate and the cause of all sin, when Jesus came, women of all ranks, and all classes and from all walks of life received His attention.  Married women received His attention, Gentile women received His attention, unclean women, demonic women, prostitutes, it doesn't matter.  In that day, respectable women were never to speak in public, but Jesus IGNORED such taboos.  In those days a woman was never to touch another man, but Jesus was touched by women, and He touched them.  It was outstandingly revolutionary - He ignored the cultural barriers of His day, He loved women publicly in a way that no one had ever, ever, ever, ever seen before!!!!  John Chapter 4 - The account of the woman at the well, the Samaritan woman.  Jesus spoke to a woman (that was bad enough), she was from a despised racial minority (that was bad), He spoke to a woman from a fringe religious sect (that was bad), He spoke to a woman that was immoral! (that was bad), He spoke to a woman that no decent man would ever, ever have been seen with in public, and yet, we have the longest recorded conversation that Jesus had with anybody in the Gospels and it is with that woman.  It's astounding!!!! Even more amazing than that is He engaged that woman in theological discussion.  In the culture they didn't teach women doctrine, because they were considered incapable, it was obscene and a waste of time, but Jesus taught longer with that woman than He did with Nicodemus in the previous chapter.  Not only that, amazingly, Jesus also gave this woman a revelation like this 'God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth' what doctrinal revelation, and he gave it to a 'low-life' of a woman!!!  because Jesus did not see her as a 'low-life' of a woman, He loved women publicly.  Also, she had the revelation, even before Peter got it that He was the Messiah.  A revelation, so you see Jesus did not have a second-rate attitude toward women.  He came to seek and save that which was lost, be it male or female.   When the disciples came in verse 27  'His disciples returned, and were SURPRISED to find Him talking with a woman!'  No-one asked 'why are you talking with her?'.  What happened at that well was HISTORY CHANGING,  Christ gave her such revelation, she was overwhelmed and she became the first EVANGELIST in the New Testament! Yes A WOMAN! People argue about 'should a woman teach?'. She went back and it says these words "Many of the Samaritans of that town believed on Him because of the woman's testimony". Luke 7:36 Simon's house.  Jesus allowed a PROSTITUTE to unbind her hair, which in Jewish culture for a woman to unbind her hair, was in preparation for a sexual act.  She loosed her hair, she spoke to Him publicly, she touched Him publicly, she anointed Him publicly.  This was all unthinkable, and the reaction of Simon and the others was a cultural typical reaction but please read it.  Jesus not only showed her compassion, not only loved her, not only forgave her, but he honoured her with dignity and blessing and used her as an example to a religious man. He turned towards the woman and said to Simon "You see this woman, I came into your house, you did not give me any water for my feet, but she washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman from the time I entered has not stopped kissing my feet, you did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet, therefore I tell you her many sins have been forgiven, for she loved much, but he who has been forgiven little, loves little".  Simon saw this woman as unredeemable, but Jesus saw the religious man as a unredeemable, NOT THE WOMAN. "Your faith has saved YOU, go in peace".  He allowed that, He loved women publicly, this was, until Jesus came something unseen or heard of.

4. Christ loosed them powerfully

 People often refer to the fact that Jesus had 12 disciples and they were all men.  You have the 12 sons of Jacob, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 sons of Jesus, 12 Apostles the foundation of the Church.  However, there were women disciples, even though they may not have been in the twelve.  (It was without precedent for any teacher to have women travelling with them as disciples.  Without historical precedent.  There is no record anywhere of any rabbi ever having a woman disciple - nowhere!)  Then you have that picture in Luke 11 Mary and Martha.  Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus and Martha is trying to get Mary to help.  But Mary sat at Jesus' feet, which in the Greek is exactly the same phrase as Paul sitting at the feet of Gamaliel his teacher.  So you would never have a woman sitting at the feet to be taught it was unheard of, yet here is Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus.  Martha was saying don't let this happen, but Jesus said 'It will NOT be taken from her.'  (She will learn from me.)  Jesus taught women when men thought it obscene.  Look at Chapter 8 of Luke. "After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God", the twelve were with Him, and also some WOMEN who had been cured of demons and evil spirits, Mary from whom 7 demons had come out.  Joanna, a wife (married woman) whose husband was the manager of Herod's household, Suzanna and many others, these women were helping to support them out of their own means.  Women were financing the ministry of Jesus, and serving with Him. The same word that is used in Acts 6 about the male deacons, is used here of these women as well.  We have 7 women deacons in the Gospels as well as the seven in Acts that are men.  In Luke 24:22 on the Emmaeus Road the disciples say "and certain women of OUR company" they had accepted the fact that there were women that belonged in that group of followers of disciples of Jesus.  He LOOSED WOMEN TO SERVE HIM.  He gave them revelation, for example, to whom did He give the revelation that He is the resurrection and the life?  Martha! She confessed in the Greek, exactly the same words as Peter confessed in the Greek that 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God' just in the same Greek phrase as Peter did in Matthew 16. With Jesus when it came to women, there were no double standards, there were no exclusions, there were no limits on their destiny.  In a day too when a woman couldn't be trusted, couldn't be trusted even as a witness to a crime, yet Jesus used women to be the witnesses of the Resurrection!!!!!!!  They were the first witnesses, they were the first preachers, in fact, they were preaching the resurrection whilst men were still trying to comprehend it.  John Stott - one of the foremost Evangelical Christians in Britain, in his book 'Issues facing Christians Today' says this "Without fuss or publicity Jesus terminated the curse of the fall, reinvested women with her partially lost nobility and reclaimed for His new Kingdom community, the original creation blessing of sexual equality"

Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the cradle and last at the Cross, they had never known a man like this man.  When the men had forsook Him and fled, the women were still there at the Cross.  No wonder, as this Man had treated them like no other Man. Here was a prophet and a teacher that never nagged at them, never flattered them, coaxed them nor patronised them, who never made jokes about them, never treated them as 'the women God-helpers', or the 'ladies God-bless'em'. Who rebuked and praised without condescension and took their questions and arguments seriously, who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female, who had no axe to grind with them and no uneasy male dignity to defend, took them as He found them and was completely unself-conscious.  There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its' pungency from female perversity.  Nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything funny about woman's nature. Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam all teach that women are inferior to men. Christianity has no such message. Christ the redeemer recognises no distinction.  Galatians 3:28 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are ALL ONE IN CHRIST'. 


Just to add a postcript here, a very good Minister friend of mine, Thomas Fischer, made a comment which I just have to include on this teaching, it is in relation to a scripture I posted in the third paragraph above.  This is what he said:


Leviticus 19:19-'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material'.-Old Covenant. (type)

Galatians 3:27-...'all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ'. -New Covenant. (truth)