The Sermon on the Mount & Equality for Women

By Kristen Johnson

Matthew 5:31-32 (The Message): Remember the Scripture that says, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights’? Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are ‘legal.’ Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you’re responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you’re automatically an adulterer yourself. You can’t use legal cover to mask a moral failure.

Our study during this morning’s worship service was about the Sermon on the Mount. Although we covered quite a bit of ground, what really fascinated me was my Pastor’s view that Jesus was talking about equality in marriage during this part of the sermon. During Bible times men had all the power. Anything they didn’t like about a wife could get them out of the marriage. Of course, women had no such rights – they were stuck no matter what the circumstances. Although we’ve certainly come a long way since then, we certainly don’t have the rights afforded to men in a lot of areas even today. Since Jesus saw all people equally, it’s interesting to think that this discussion was about equality in the marriage relationship, and not just morality, which (unfortunately) many “Christians” focus on solely. Instead of allowing the men of the day to divorce their wives because they wanted to move on to someone else, they needed to look past their own lusts and focus on fairness. What a concept.

A little research shows that my Pastor isn’t the only one who sees the issue of equality in these verses. An article at Grace Communion International states: Tom Schreiner writes, “Jesus upheld the dignity of women by speaking out against divorce, which particularly injured women in the ancient world.”[4] James Borland notes, “In his treatment of divorce…Jesus clearly regards women not as property but as persons. They have legitimate rights and should be respected.“[5]

Sadly, many denominations still teach that women are less than men by teaching that we cannot serve in certain positions simply because we are women (among other outdated and inaccurate teachings).

This post will likely get me tarred and feathered by my conservative family and friends. Tough – I like that my Pastor believes that Jesus sees men and women as equals. I think my Pastor is correct.

Serve all with love.

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4 thoughts on “The Sermon on the Mount & Equality for Women

  1. I am not against women’s rights! BUT!
    The man is and always has been the “house” BAND! The man will always be the stronger, and smarter. ALL statistics prove this! Look at all olympic records and men are far more superior then women in physical activity, and there are 2 to 1 geniuses. These are real stats, and MOST of the feminists slobber all over themselves as they try to become men! That will never happen! SORRY! Woman do not have some of the features needed to be men, and I am not talking about genitals!

    The problem lies when the woman usurps the authority of the man. The bible says that women are to be in subjection to their own HOUSE-band, and the husband is to love the wife. When women scream and cry because they want to be pastors when the bible says that women are to keep silent in the church then Christianity has major problems. Christianity left off following God’s word long ago. Every Protestant denomination, and catholics follow their pastor’s interpretation of their denominational traditions NO God’s holy word the KJV bible.

    Women need to get off their high horse and HUMBLY accept the lot that God gave them! You can judge me as harshly as you want to but this is the bottom line for Christianity which today is churchianity!


    1. Hi Jeff. Thank you for your comment. I must say that although your views are pretty normal for just about every denomination (with the exception of Nazarene and Methodist and maybe other I don’t know of) – I of course completely disagree with you and I’ll tell you why.

      Yes – you are correct that the Bible does, in fact, say the things you say it does. It’s in Timothy for sure and some of letters that are attributed to Paul. However, if you do the research (and you should) – most scholars agree that many things in Paul’s letters were later edited. Basically, the men came through it and added and deleted what they wanted to. Also keep in mind that we are reading someone else’s mail from 2,000 years ago.

      Jesus had women in his ministry – as a matter of fact, he did nothing but elevate them (as I mentioned in this article and others on the subject). Paul also elevated women – think about Prisca and Aquila, among others. You should also know that women wrote their own gospels, but of course these writings have been destroyed or not included in Canon, because, of course, the people putting the Bible together were, in fact, all men. It’s clearly to their advantage to disenfranchise half the population.

      I absolutely 100% refuse to “humbly accept the lot that God” gave me. He didn’t give me that “lot.” Yes, it’s true that I can’t run as fast or as hard, but that doesn’t make me less in God’s eyes. Does this mean that you are less in God’s eyes than I am because I can birth a child, and you can’t? I can’t possibly believe that God looks at literally half the population as “less” than the other half.

      I am so pleased that my last 3 pastors were all females – all well-educated, Godly women. I, too, am highly educated. It’s such a blessing that God gave me a brain, in spite of the fact that I’m “only” a girl.


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