The Apostle to the Disciples?

Today is Resurrection Sunday for some or Easter for many. Which ever name you wish to apply to it, may your day be blessed.

It was early morning almost 2000 years ago when Mary went to the tomb and saw the risen Jesus. I would imagine she ran pretty fast back to the other disciples to tell them that Jesus had risen and that she had seen him. It was at the moment that Jesus appeared to Mary, Jesus blew Jewish laws and traditions away forever and brought the equality of women and men into focus in a way that the disciples could not imagine. It is because of their inspired writings that we can now understand some of the uniqueness of the time.

In Jewish laws and customs, women were not to be trusted to tell the truth. Men did not make announcements through women as women could not be believed. If a woman were to testify in a Jewish court of law, she would not be believed unless a minimum of two, and preferably three women, all said the same thing. In the same court, a man would be believed simply on his word. Women were just not believable.

Most Christians accept the view that an apostle is a person who saw and heard the risen Savior and was a disciple during his ministry. It’s a view we developed over the centuries to make it easier for us. When Jesus appeared to Mary, who then told the other disciples who were not very believing at that time, she saw and heard the risen Savior.  She full filled the basic requirement we set to be recognized as an apostle. It was at this moment that Jesus brought women into equal standing with men, something women had never known since the time Adam was expelled from the Garden. He made the announcement that would change the world forever through the most unbelievable of God’s creation, a woman in the eyes of Jewish men. Even though Jesus had chosen twelve men to specifically train to become apostles for taking his message and offer of salvation to a sinful world, it was an “un-trust worthy” Jewish woman to whom he actually made the announcement of his resurrection. It was not any of his eleven remaining chosen male disciples, but a female disciple who was probably with Jesus and his followers during much Jesus’ ministry.

How long will it take for the churches of Christ to realize that women and men are to share in all respects the responsibilities of taking that gospel message to the world and that, as immersed believers in Christ, they stand equal in the church without restrictions placed on them by the same thought processes of 2000 years ago? A very small number of churches have already. The number is very slowly growing. I hope I will live to see the day that the vast majority of churches of Christ are egalitarian in giftedness, worship, leadership, and service without any restrictions because of gender, wealth, or race. If my web site has helped Christians and churches become closer to the how Gal. 3:26-29 describes us, then I am grateful to God for the opportunity to serve him and give him the praise for the growth. It is the combination of each believer’s gifts, with all believers equal in the church, that will cause the church of Christ grow and reach those who do not know Jesus.