This post is part of the February Synchroblog “Cross Gender Friendships”. Here’s a list to all the contributions
Jesus liked a lot of people but even a cursory reading of the Gospels will tell you that most of those people were women. He did most of his preaching through women. Along with that The Holy Spirit, whom I consider to be a she, also made sure that women’s stories were positioned front and center in the writing of the Gospels.
People make a big deal out of the fact that Jesus did not choose a woman as one of the Twelve hoping I assume to establish his complementarian credentials once and for all. However, given the cultural limitations within which he operated Jesus took incredible risks advancing the cause of women who were thought of as no better than dogs. Since they were culturally situated at the inverse of power he raised them up.
Men tend to concern themselves with power (who were the twelve?) women tend to focus on serving (who can I help?). In Jesus world serving trumps power every time. Generally speaking in his culture women more closely represented Kingdom servant hood than men did. Which is why he used them so often to make his point.
Dan Brennan is fostering a movement to bring men and women together on Kingdom ground. Instead of defining ourselves by our sexuality we define ourselves as followers of Jesus – the God who established new ground rules for relating with each other. We don’t ignore our sexuality we simply aren’t defined by it.
Dan’s conference invites men and women to explore friendships that are chaste, non-romantic and above all, real. He believes that Jesus set an example for us in his relationship with women. He believes we’re called to pursue the same kinds of relationships with each other.
Jesus clearly had a reason for hanging out with as many women as he did. He loves to be with people who are not in love with power. He is drawn to people who use their power to serve others. That’s why Jesus had a thing for women and so do I.