The very first mention of Jesus in the Bible includes women – a radical idea at the time.
Like many biographical documents from those days, it starts with a genealogy. Typically, genealogies from that historical moment would not have included women. But Jesus’ family tree lists many women as his ancestors. What’s more, it includes women who many wrongly considered unremarkable and even immoral. It lists a prostitute who betrayed her people, a woman who pretended to be a prostitute in an act of desperation to become pregnant, a widow who wanted to marry to provide for her dead husband’s mother, and a woman whose husband was killed in favor of her own life.
Their inclusion is hugely symbolic of Jesus’ love and respect for women during a time when they were viewed as lesser than. He understood that women were oppressed by men in that society and that they were often faced with unfair dilemmas.
Jesus never treated women as second-class citizens. In fact, he interacted with women in many ways that would’ve been considered unheard of in those days.
Some of Jesus’ closest followers were women. And a handful of wealthy, powerful women from the Jewish aristocracy became some of his biggest financial supporters even though many of their husbands questioned Jesus.