[Read part 3 of the series here]
Fixing our eyes on Jesus calls us to follow Mary’s example and put ourselves under the tutelage of Jesus. Jesus is the best theology professor any of us will ever find, and he still warmly admits women into his school. He doesn’t describe God in the abstract to us. He shows God to us through his own life. Jesus told his disciples plainly, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
The prospect of taking up a thick theological volume or tackling some of those multisyllabic terms (something hopefully all of us eventually will do) may cause some women’s knees to tremble, but theology in the person of Jesus sounds inviting right from the start. When we look at Jesus, heady abstract concepts about God suddenly become less formidable. We want to know Jesus better. And Jesus wants us to know his Father.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus means digging beneath the facts of Scripture to understand his character. What we see in Jesus is true of his Father too. Put yourself in the sandals of the thirsting Samaritan woman who expected insult and rejection but received grace and living water from Jesus. Sit at his feet with Mary of Bethany and hear him defend and affirm your desire to learn and to serve. Reach out covertly in your unworthiness, insecurity, and self-loathing, if only to touch the hem of his garment and hear him publicly call you “daughter” (Mark 5:25–34). Find yourself thrown at his feet with the woman caught in the act of adultery and discover a rich forgiveness that covers all and reinstates wholeness and purpose in your life. Jesus treated those who came to him exactly as his Father treats us now, for Jesus “can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).
Taken from When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James. Copyright (c) 2001 by Carolyn C. James. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com
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Carolyn Custis James (BA, Sociology; MA, Biblical Studies) thinks deeply about what it means to be a female follower of Jesus in a postmodern world. As a cancer survivor, she is grateful to be alive and determined to address the issues that matter most. She travels extensively both in the US and abroad as a speaker for churches, conferences, colleges, theological seminaries, and other Christian organisations. She is an adjunct professor at Biblical Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, blogs on www.whitbyforum.com and Huffington Post / Religion, and is a contributing editor for Leadership Journal.