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Man's world

"... Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10.42

In order to appreciate the involvement in, and contribution of, women in Jesus' ministry, it is necessary to acquire some knowledge of the realities of life in 1st century Palestine. It was a nation under occupation by the Roman Empire. The Romans ruled with an iron fist and, with a punitive tax system in operation, most people eked out a marginal existence under constant fear. Society was misogynistic and so women enjoyed even fewer options than men. Notoriously, polygamy was permitted, for those who could afford it, and a man could divorce his wife for as trivial a misdemeanour as burning the dinner!

Yet, as the saying goes, "you cannot keep a good man or a good woman down" and there is evidence that some women were able to assert themselves on account of their high birth, or personal fortune, or through sheer force of character. Indeed there are many examples of the latter throughout the New Testament. How the love of Mary, the faith of the bleeding woman, the loyalty of his own mother, must have gladdened the heart of Jesus. And because they are preserved in scripture, these woman remain an example and an inspiration to this day...



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