More on women and the early church …
4. Because salvation confronts prejudices associated with gender, race, etc., Christian women were seen as new creations in Christ and equal in value and significance with men. I’ve read that Jewish men used to pray this prayer: “Blessed art thou, O God, for not making me a Gentile, slave, or woman.” God erased those offensive prejudices when the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” I think it’s pretty clear that Paul intentionally follows the same progression as the Jewish prayer (Gentile/Greek, slave/bond, woman/female) because he wants to show that God is undoing or redeeming the prejudices of the day.
5. Christian women were vital to the advancement of Christianity. See Luke 8:1-3; Romans 16:1,2. And they still are today! I don’t know every Christian woman on the planet but I know a few and the ones who have an observably solid relationship with God seem to me to be relational experts, emotionally intelligent, intellectually brilliant and spiritually in-tune. Thank God for women. Men, the world, and the church desperately need ‘em!
The Church became a powerful force for societal change simply by obeying New Testament teachings. Perhaps this goes to show that if we can get it right inside the Church, God’s influence spreads outside of the Church. Maybe this is the idea behind that mustard seed story (Mark 4:30-32) and that leaven story (Luke 13:20,21)?