Male/Female Parables

Searching His Word
 Seeking His Heart

In a day when men so dominated, Jesus spoke to them but also acknowledged the needs and thoughts of women. Let’s consider some of his parables.

The Pharisees and teachers of the law were picking at Jesus with many complaints. 

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2

This was a left-over complaint from the time Jesus had eaten at Matthew’s house with Matthew’s “sinner” friends. The idea of witnessing to the lost did not seem to be a concern for these law-abiding, self-satisfied leaders.

Jesus told them a parable.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? . . . he says, ‘rejoice with me, I have found my lost sheep’. . . in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons. Luke 15:3-7

Immediately after that illustration, Jesus taught with another parable. This time he addressed the women in the crowd. Imagine how their ears must have perked up.

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and looses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully for it? When she finds it, she says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is rejoicing of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10

On another occasion, some were complaining that while John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples often fasted and prayed, Jesus’ disciples did not fast. Jesus said,

“Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them; in those days, they will fast.” Luke 5:34-35

In other words, no need to put the old ways on the new thing that God is doing through his Son. Think of it this way,

“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins.” Luke 5:37-39

The men were aware that new wine must ferment which makes the skins expand. If you put new wine in old skins that have already expanded, the wine will burst open the old skins. New wine, new skins, new ways.

And for the women in the crowd, Jesus gave another parable.

“No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one.” Luke 5:36

The women knew that the old cloth would easily rip away and certainly wouldn’t match! No, Jesus had come to bring new thoughts, new ways of looking at things, deeper concepts, loving hearts, and they were not to be cluttered with old dictatorial thinking. 

Once again, he spoke to all, acknowledging even the thoughts and concerns of women—elevating them from a place of shame to a place of honor.

And he continues to reach out to us all, male or female, rich or poor, timid or social, plain or beautiful. He brings honor to our servant hearts.

~ Joyce ~

What Is Man?

Searching His Word
 Seeking His Heart

We started Psalm 8 last week, (How Majestic Is your Name), but with my wandering down memory lane, we barely got started. Let’s move forward.

David sat for his quiet time at night on the hillside. His eyes turned toward the spacious night sky. When he considered the majesty of God, he felt like a nobody.

What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:4

David wondered why in the great scheme of God’s creation that He would care about a measly young shepherd boy. Still, he did feel that God cared for him. So much so that God put mankind in charge of his creation.

        

You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Psalm 8:6-8

We are told in Genesis that we are created in the image of God. We’re not talking about external image—hair, eyes, or two legs. No, I believe God created us in the image of His nature. It is His nature to create and then care for what He has created. He gave that task to us as well.

David understood that well as a shepherd. He felt honored to be given the task. To participate, as a subordinate in God’s rule, was a gift, not a right.

You have made man a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:5

How do we think these thoughts through in our day? Most of us do not tend herds, birds or fish. We can do our part in keeping our water ways clean of debris and waste materials. 

But, consider that besides animals, God also created people. He cares for us just as he does the animals, and in His image, He expects us to care for others, too. He desires that we point people to Him. In so doing, others will proclaim along with David…

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9

What is man? Or woman? We are creations of God, made in His image and given the shared task of caring for the world and everything in it including the people He puts in our paths. Who will cross your path today? Be ready with a caring heart.

~ Joyce ~