The Seven Women of Jesus

Post #4 in a Tale of Two Covenants

She was a mother of five. But if you asked her where her children were, she couldn’t show you.

She could hear them, though. And see them clearly in her mind’s eye. Or see what she imagined they were- two boys and three girls. It was always better to have more girls. They would look pretty playing dress up, and when they were older, they could even become your friend. It was wonderful when that happened. And everyone would think you were all sisters or something. She always smiled at that thought. The boys were great, too. Everyone needed strong men around so the women could be women. It was perfect.

Except her three girls and two boys would never grow up. They had seen to it…okay, maybe she’d allowed it. But she didn’t have much of a choice then. Not like she had now. Now with the perfect man by her side. They had belonged to each other five years and counting…hmmm…something about the number five…it always had a way of popping up in her life.

Five years ago- a grand wedding- but that’s where the fairy tale had ended.

Now, it was mostly reviewing the same thing over and over again in rooms which curiously looked the same- sterile walls, comforting tones of a specialist who told them the same thing, she couldn’t have any more children.

It made sense when you thought about the five she’d already had. Why should she have more? But it wasn’t fair to him. That is why they kept trying.

And fasting. And praying. And telling God just how sorry she was. And fasting some more.

Until one day, desperate and in the pit of despair, she decided she needed to do one more thing- make a deal with Jesus. A deal He couldn’t resist. But there was a problem- what would that deal look like? What terms would really move the Lord? And no guesses here, it had to be all based on evidence. Not theory, but solid, tried and tested foolproof methods. This was make or break.

So she grabbed her phone and typed “Jesus… and women in the Bible” (she had to start somewhere) and waited eagerly for the results to show up.

The results started with a woman of Samaria. Well, well, well…. this woman had been around. Colourful story indeed…she could almost relate…

And then there was Jesus’ own mother….what sort of conversation was that to have with your own mother…? But if there was someone who would know Jesus, it would be Mary. But right now, she wasn’t looking for any goody two shoes story. Mary was virtuous and all that. She needed something that was not PG 13.

So she moved on. There was the woman who poured like a whole bottle of Chanel Paris-Roma No 5 perfume on his head…okay…this was pretty intense.

And then the desperate woman with the issue of blood who just wanted to be well.

Then there was a woman caught in adultery. That hit closer home.

She read about the bowed down woman who’d inspired the popular ministry- Woman, thou art loosed.

She read and re-read, swapping the Bible app for her worn, hardcopy Bible. Where there were conversations, the conversations were interesting. Conversations you wouldn’t think Someone like Jesus would ever have with messed up women like these.

And then she stopped. Because she realised that none of these women had to give Jesus anything for him to do anything for them. Asking for water from the woman of Samaria was just a conversation starter. The expensive perfume was a free will offering that Jesus said she would always be remembered for and true to His word, more than two thousand years later, she’s still a legend. And the woman with bloody issues, well, she just came and took her healing…on the sly!

The women always left with something, more than they came with. Jesus was the One who gave them something they needed. The only thing close to anything that looked like a deal was… she took a deep breath… the conversation Jesus had with the woman caught in adultery.

“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

It dawned on her that “no one” included the woman herself. Because many times, women were the first people to condemn themselves. 

She read it again. “Has no one condemned you?”

Of all the actors in the story, only one person had the right to condemn her- Jesus. But He did not. In fact, He made her emphasize this truth when she said “No one, Lord.”

And just to be sure the woman would be a hundred percent sure, He added, “Neither do I condemn you.”

And then this is where Jesus made the deal with the woman-Go and sin no more.

A light sparked in her brain.

Jesus made the deal after the woman had received the gift of no condemnation. The woman’s power to sin no more came after she had been given the gift of no condemnation.

Not before.

Not before.

Not before.

So upside down from what she knew and had often heard- Stop sinning and God will forgive you. When actually, the entire sin of the world has been taken away. Now, it was, God has forgiven you so you can stop sinning. All anyone had to do was to receive it.

Her eyes lifted from the Bible…she closed her eyes.

She realised she had to stop trying…and start believing…the truth. That was the deal. She had been fighting a battle that had been already won for her.

God wasn’t punishing her for her past.

God wasn’t even angry at her.

She needed to stop condemning herself because every mistake had been paid for. On the cross.

And not just that…this was where it got scarily insane…

She was, right now, the perfect candidate to receive what she didn’t deserve- five more children- if that’s what she wanted.

Five more children…she whispered.

Five more children…she whispered again, a bit louder.

Five more children…she felt bolder now.

What’s that?

Her husband walked into the room.

She looked up and smiled at him.

Five more children, she said.

What? The poor man was confused.

That’s the deal, she said.

And then she was laughing.

Because that was the deal Jesus made at the cross for her. Every stupid, wicked, messy, even intentional mistake. Wiped out. Gone.

Replaced by indescribable, amazing, grace.

What’s this got to do with the covenant of grace?

Just this: Your mistakes don’t faze God. They don’t scare Him. In fact, because of your mistakes, He wants you to come to Him. As a Christian, to feel guilty is to be under the old covenant. To receive the gift of no condemnation is to be under the new covenant that Jesus died to give you (Romans 8:1-2)!

Missed Last week’s post? Check it out here.

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Stay high on grace my friend.

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