You dont decide to be a shepherd, prophet or teacher, youre called
This week we are continuing with the question of last week about a woman’s role in the congregations.
What has developed today is a far cry from the Lord’s intent and this week we are going to look at Yeshua’s attitude toward women and their role in 1st century congregations.
Yeshua offered his friendship to women, praised them and spoke at length to them.
He openly expressed His feelings for a woman in grief, accepted them as students.
He treated the woman caught in adultery as an equal, considered the worth of a woman greater than the Rabbinic laws about the Sabbath and entrusted a woman with the testimony about His resurrection.
He had many contacts with women in the New Testament.
He treated them as people with high value and very capable.
All this teaches us that He put women on equal status as men, felt they were capable and able to learn and to carry out the great commission and had a responsibility to serve G-d, just like the men did.
They were active members of His movement.
Some even traveled with Him, following their teacher wherever He went.
What is interesting about all this is that not one writer of the times ever thought this as being scandalous or abnormal.
The prophet Joel prophesied that the L-rd was going to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, both men and women, and they would function as He directs.
The Messianic congregations and community consisted of male and female believers.
Each was expected to exercise the ministry G-d gave them, empowered by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Ministry is what each believer does because they are a "talmid" or student of the L-rd. It is not just some "job" one decides to do for the rest of their lives.
You don’t decide to be a shepherd or a prophet or a teacher.
Everyone is called to be His servant and the King directs us according to His purposes.
Like when a king has a vineyard, he decides what needs to be done that day, then sends his servants out to get it done.
It is the same with the L- rd and His "vineyard."
One day we need to prune, or cut.
We may need to carry or fill skins.
We may need to transport.
The point is, the servant never decides what he needed to do, and neither do we.
Women had leadership roles in the congregations.
Leadership is different than the ministry we all have.
All are "talmidim" but not all are leaders.
True leaders are called of G-d, is given the skills, is anointed and blessed and then empowered.
Since the 3rd -4th century the so-called leaders in Christianity have often been filling offices with warm bodies rather than true believers.
They prefer politics over the called, skilled, anointed and empowered.
It is very evident in the New Testament that women were used in leadership.
Why would G-d empowered women with the Holy Spirit as countless Bible verses say, then deny them the opportunity to function?
Leadership roles were filled by women as well as men.
Ephesians 4.11-13 describes several leadership functions such as apostles (sent ones), prophets, proclaimers of the good news (evangelists), shepherds (pastors) and teachers.
These roles are to build up the body and to equip, train, counsel and coordinate believers.
Women were very active in all these functions.
Next week we will deal with the functions specifically and how women were used by the L-rd as apostles, prophets.
Evangelists, pastors and teachers.