Less Than?

Author: Hannah Howe — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: September 19, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Less Than?

READ: GENESIS 1:27; LUKE 8:1-3; MATTHEW 27:45-56

Sometimes, when I look at our broken world and I see more and more ways that women have been treated as less than men, I just get overwhelmed. Sometimes I wonder, does God see women as less than men? Are we less?

One day, I was sitting alone in my car and praying, and this question was once again pressing on my heart. And I was reminded of how Jesus interacted with women. Their stories began to soothe the ache in my core. Jesus is God in human flesh. He reveals the way God sees women.

(1) The arrival of the Son of God was announced first to a woman. Her name was Mary, and she lived in Nazareth. The angel Gabriel called Mary “highly favored” and told her that Jesus—who is Immanuel, God with us—would grow in her womb. The Son of God would take His first breath when she gave birth to Him. (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:26-38)

(2) Jesus revealed His identity as the Messiah to a woman. She lived in Samaria, and she was coming to a well to draw water when no one else was there—except Jesus. He asked her for a drink and had a conversation with her, even though, in that society, men weren’t supposed to talk to women, and Jews certainly weren’t supposed to drink from a Samaritan’s water jar. But Jesus treated her with dignity and listened to her questions with respect. When He told her that He is the Messiah, the Savior who God had promised, she ran to tell everyone! And many believed in Jesus because of what she said. (John 4:1-42)

(3) Jesus commended a woman for sitting under His teaching. Her name was Mary, and she lived in Bethany. In a society where girls didn’t receive schooling from rabbis, this woman took the posture of a disciple, and Jesus honored her for it. (Luke 10:38-42)

(4) After Jesus rose from the dead, the first person He appeared to was a woman. Her name was Mary, and she was from Magdala. Then, Jesus sent her to tell others that He was alive! In a society where a woman’s testimony in court wasn’t considered as valuable as a man’s, Jesus entrusted the most important news, first, to a woman. She became the first person to proclaim His resurrection. (John 20:1-18)

These examples and many more from the Bible kindle hope in my heart, because even though our world has been broken by sin and we see injustice in so many ways, when I look at Jesus, I see that God honors women. He made women on purpose, not as an afterthought. He made both women and men in His image. And He loves all of us. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave so that everyone who puts their trust in Him can be part of His eternal kingdom.

I follow Jesus, like many women who came before me. • Hannah Howe

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he [Jesus] had said these things to her. John 20:18 (NIV)

• In what ways have you seen people being treated as less than others? How can knowing that we are all created in God’s image help us see ourselves and each other as God sees us? (Genesis 1:27)

• Have you ever felt less than? You can bring these thoughts and feelings to Jesus anytime. As Christians, we can rest in our true value in Christ. In God’s eyes, we are His masterpiece—all of us. And He equips each of us to be part of the good work of His kingdom. (Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:10)

• Can you think of any examples of women being treated as less than men, either throughout history or in your own life? God invites us to process these things with Him. He grieves alongside us, and He gives us hope. One day, Jesus will return and right every wrong (Revelation 21:1-5). In the meantime, He has promised to be with us through everything we face (Matthew 28:20). How can these truths comfort us when we encounter unfair situations?

• How can looking at the ways Jesus interacted with women affect the way we view women?

• Which of the four examples above stuck out to you the most? Consider taking a moment to read the Bible passage that tells this story, and talk to God about what you notice. (In addition to talking to Jesus, who are trusted Christians you can talk to about these things?)