In times of war, disaster and famine, it seems to be the women who are left to look after and care for the family. It is often women who see through the folly and mistakes of men, especially when it comes to war, greed and power. According to Christian Aid, women do the most to the farming work in the world, but less than 20% of women own land. In most countries women are paid less than men for the same work. In general women are poorer, disadvantaged and more vulnerable. Christian Aid week this year will be focusing on these issues.
I wonder what the women of Jerusalem were thinking as they watched Jesus struggle on his journey to the cross. They would have heard his teaching, witnessed his miracles and more importantly been allowed to listen to his teaching as women. Usually it would only be men who talked about such things as God and heaven, women would not be allowed into the Temple for the discussions with the great teachers. Jesus was different, he taught in public places where everyone was able to hear what he had to say and see what he was able to do.
The women of Jerusalem knew that Jesus was different, they knew that his crucifixion was to do with the greed and power of men (as well as weakness in the person of Pilate) they knew what was happening was wrong. As women they had no power to change things.
In recent weeks there has been much in the news about the women’s movement and suffrage (the right to vote), women have contributed to society in many ways, from the lowliest of jobs to being the most powerful and recognisable people in the world. Women are not better than men, but are able to make their own contribution to society that compliments that of men. For we are all made in the image of God – both male and female.