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Yeshua/Jesus and the women

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Our “Round Table” series has been using the name “Yeshua” instead of Jesus in most cases. Why? As we know, most of the people who came to live in the lands we call home were not English, but we have English names mostly. That is the mark of a conquered people, to have their names reshaped in their conqueror’s tongue.{{more}} So out of respect and as a way of getting closer to the meanings of the original times, it is the Hebrew Yeshua-Yahweh is salvation that we will use, rather than the conqueror’s Latin -> Greek -> English term, Jesus. While Jesus has an acceptable sound, Yeshua has meaning.

In this week’s Round Table, we reveal that our reporter in Palestine, who is investigating the Yeshua events, is a woman. Her report #4 today breaks the silence around women and Yeshua in the movement to Calvary and beyond.

The Report

From the interviews and stories I have heard, Yeshua the Teacher from Galilee, was a controversial, street smart agent of a new community. He had open contact with border women who other teachers pushed away. He also had a sexual side to him that drew women to him and beyond him, and in his teaching, there was tenderness and toughness. One woman told me that she was totally out of control with years of a bleeding cancer in her uterus. It got so bad that even the doctors had refused to touch her. So, she hid her face so people in the crowd wouldn’t know it was she who was pushing through the crowd on her knees. When she touched Yeshua’s clothes and felt his power enter her, “I start to shake, I never feel so frighten, but I own up in front of the crowd, I tell him is me touch him, with my uncleanness.
 
The way he watch me, I know he loved me. That is how I get healed,” she testified. These border women stories are all over the place. In Syvhar, Samaria, Yeshua, and a pushed aside women started an evangelistic campaign in the community, over a glass of water. There is also the case of a woman who had an adulterous act with a man. A group of leaders brought her hot, hot for Yeshua to condemn her to death. Strange story is when Yeshua spoke to the men, they all excused themselves from bringing the charge of adultery, and Yeshua sent the woman away to reorder her life. One of the persons who seems to have opened Yeshua’s eyes to the mystery of woman’s faith was a non-Hebrew woman with a daughter sick with demons. When Yeshua would have turned her away saying that the food he has is for God’s children, not for dogs, the woman shocked him with her retort that: “Is the crumbs that this dog is asking for.” “Amazing Faith,” said Yeshua. He was touched and he was taught a lesson!

When Yeshua carried out his message around the districts of Galilee, his gospel theme was “Make Room for God’s Community/Reign.” His campaign message, his teaching about righteous relationships, his perspective on the prophets and the Torah, accompanied by his deliverance from suffering and his street fellowship excited the people. They gathered around him, and his openness to women drew them into his movement. It was such a novel momentum that pulled people to join Yeshua, working women and middle class women together made the gospel tours, demonstrating a new type of community/reign where women were not sexual victims or pretty objects of the Empire or perpetual housemaids. The female members of Yeshua’s movement were gospel agents on a mission of renewal and liberation.

What then do we discern about sexual relations in the Yeshua, Son of Man teaching and practice? The women speak of a release from male pressure and a new self-respect. “I feel a new ability to be tender and compassionate towards others without guilt or shame”, was how one woman put it. Another woman tells how Yeshua told the disciples that “to look at a woman with the desire to possess her is already to commit adultery.” His example was not to possess, but to cherish others and that is how we tried to treat him too.

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