Jesus against the sexism of his time: Martha and Mary

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42)

Two things here are remarkable that we can learn from in the light of the whole sexism-discusion.

* The complete denial of the traditional man and woman roles of the Jewish society: There were strong roles for man and woman in Jesus’ world. It was expected from a woman to take care of the household, like Martha did. That was the normal order. It was also not expected for a woman to become disciple and learn at a rabbi’s feet, which is what Mary did. What she did was against the whole sex segregation of the jewish community: Rabbis didn’t talk with women. Jesus reverses all stereotypes, and praises the odd behaviour of the femminist-avant-la-lettre Mary who sat at her feet to learn from him. which must have been totallyb revolutionary for the people at the time…

*Also noteworthy is that the type of crosss-gender friendship that Jesus has with the 2 women (and with other women throughout the bible) Jesus treats women as every other human, unlike most of his contemporaries. This should also make us think…



6 responses to “Jesus against the sexism of his time: Martha and Mary

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