Jesus the Feminist
John 8: 1–11
1Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
So, Jesus was generally minding his business, teaching people in the temple before long some Pretenders brought a woman. What I find interesting is that, they caught someone doing adultery, obviously with another person — (a fellow adulterer, or if he were unmarried, then fornicator), — but they brought only the woman to Jesus, and at no point did any of the Pharisees see the irony. Someone tweeted once “Pray for shame today. Say Lord, give me shame in my youth and in old age. Give me right amounts of shame. Open your mouth and pray.” Perhaps, the Pharisees had not said such a prayer at any point in their lives.
Anyway, they interrupted Jesus, hoping to trap him, perhaps they thought to themselves “we don catch am today” and the spokesperson said “we caught this woman in adultery, Moses says we should stone her, what say you?”. And we see one of the most remarkable use of silence ever. Jesus stop his teaching and started to write in the sand, perhaps he was doodling. I’m trying to imagine the thoughts that ran through Jesus’ mind. Maybe Jesus would have said to himself “ok, how do I play this one now?”. He’d have possibly remembered the time he angrily chased marketers away from the temple. Should he draw on his anger at these self-righteous Pharisees; I mean, he could have gone offensive with “Okay, so where is the co-adulterer/fornicator? Or was she adultery-ing by herself?”. I know if I were Jesus, that’s probably the angle I’d take. But he didn’t. When he eventually spoke, he said “okay, the first guy who has not sinned, let him throw the first stone”. And like a hot dagger, the thing he said pierced their hearts, and suddenly they were ashamed. I’d wager that most of the men would have heard “the first guy that has not committed adultery, let him throw the first stone”.
Thankfully, they still had some shame left. So one by one, after feeling naked, and ashamed, they started to leave, meanwhile, Master Jesus was still doodling, abi writing, in the sand, until finally all the (philandering) men who accused her, left. (Parentheses mine)
The reason I love this scripture is that it gives an inkling into how intelligent Jesus is/was. Which is why I am always offended when I see people refer to Christianity as “illogical”. Christian — like Christ, and we know that “we have the mind of Christ” so if anyone has ever told you Christianity is illogical, I don’t know what Christianity that is. God is an extremely intelligent God, he is not omniscient for nothing. That our human minds cannot fully comprehend him, is another matter entirely.
Back to the story, after all were gone, Jesus dismissed the woman, and went ahead with his teaching. If feminism is the “advocacy of women’s right, the basis that which both genders should be treated equally”, this was a classic example of advocating same treatment for the adulteress, and her co-adulterer/fornicator. Ergo, Jesus is/was a feminist.
P.S: All typos are fully regretted.