The Gendered Temptation of Jesus by Liz Cooledge Jenkins

As Luke’s Gospel tells it, at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, the devil comes to him in the wilderness and tempts him.[1] First, the devil latches onto Jesus’ hunger after forty days of fasting: “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”[2]  Then, he shows Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world.” He says, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.If you worship me, it will all be yours.”[3] 

I’ve been thinking about this second temptation: all the authority and splendor of the kingdoms of the world. All can be yours. You just have to worship me. Did Jesus find this appealing? Personally, I find it a little hard to relate to. I have zero interest in ruling the kingdoms of the world, however splendid they might be. The whole proposition sounds like too much limelight and far too much stress. Thank you, devil, but I’m good.

Continue reading “The Gendered Temptation of Jesus by Liz Cooledge Jenkins”

“She stood up straight and began praising God”: Luke 13: 10-13 By Theresa A. Yugar

The following is a guest post written by Theresa A. Yugar, Ph.D. Candidate in women studies in religion at Claremont Graduate University.

The gospel story of the crippled woman healed by Jesus of her ailment in the Gospel of St. Luke epitomizes for me the values of a Feminist Liberation theological perspective. For women, Feminist Theology as a discipline has enabled us to claim our dignity and rights as women and “stand up straight” as this woman in the gospel does. In the context of a larger church tradition which has not always affirmed women, Jesus models in his ministry both compassion and respect for the wellbeing of women. For eighteen years, this nameless woman, carried “a spirit that had crippled her,” so much that “she was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight,” (13:11).  Not only does Jesus heal her of her infirmities, but he also defends her dignity as a “daughter of Abraham.”

On a very intimate level I identify with this nameless woman who approached Jesus humbly seeking healing and liberation from the physical ailments that bound her. In my own life I have also experienced the same sense of bondage that this woman in the gospel is healed of. Like many women, I grew up struggling to affirm the dignity I had as a human being. Even though the church I love and grew up in stated that they value both men and women equally, in practice this was not the case. For me and the un-named woman, the relevance of this gospel in relation to Feminist Theology touches on the core of Jesus’ ministry, which was the liberation of all people from the oppressive structures that burdened them.  Continue reading ““She stood up straight and began praising God”: Luke 13: 10-13 By Theresa A. Yugar”

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