Over at Connexions, there is this fabulous skit by Kim Fabricius on one of those subjects that interest me - women! It is a reminder of just how liberating is the example of Jesus
PETER: Eh . . . Jesus . . .
JESUS: Yes, Peter . . . ?
PETER: Eh . . . er . . . um . . .
JESUS: Come on, lad, spit it out!
PETER: Eh . . . um . . . er . . .
JESUS: So it’s sex, is it?
PETER: How did you know that?
JESUS: An educated guess. Sex and money - what else to people worry about? Have you tried the agony aunt in the Nazareth News?
PETER: No, Jesus, it’s not that kind of sex problem.
JESUS: So, then, what is the problem?
PETER: You, Jesus, you’re the problem. The tax collectors you party with - we can tolerate them. The little street kids you play footie with - they get on our nerves, but we can put up with them too. But all these women! You’re going too far, Jesus; you’re giving them “ideas”.
JESUS: “Ideas”, Peter?
PETER: That Samaritan woman, for instance, the one at the well. Rabbis aren’t even supposed to speak to women in public, yet there you were, in broad daylight, talking with her - talking religion with her! What will people think?
JESUS: You mean when will people think! So you don’t like women theologians, Peter. Anything else?
PETER: That Canaanite woman. First you insult her - you called her a “dog”. And quite right - we all know what “Canaanites” are like. But then you go and heal her little brat. You’d think you were feeling guilty or something.
JESUS: Or something. She exposed a prejudice. She broke down a barrier. And she wouldn’t take “No” for an answer when it came to the health of her daughter. So you don’t like determined women who will stand up for what is right and make any sacrifice for their children. What else, Peter?
PETER: That woman who suffered from . . . from . . .
PETER: Not so loud, Jesus! Have you no shame?
JESUS: None whatsoever. But that woman with the . . . “haemorrhage” . . .
PETER: Yes, Jesus - she almost touched your hand. That’s disgusting! And Mary of Bethany - you let her wash your feet - and wipe them with her hair. That’s obscene! And as for Mary Magdalene . . .
JESUS: Been reading the tabloids have we, Peter?
PETER: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
JESUS: And where there’s fire, look for an arsonist. Come off it, Peter. This isn’t really about women at all, is it? It’s about power, control, jobs for the boys and all that.
PETER: Well, we were here first: God created Adam, then Eve.
JESUS: Perhaps he was only practicing, or didn’t get it quite right the first time.
PETER: But you agree that God is a “he” then?
JESUS: Don’t be ridiculous, Peter: God is not gendered. “He” is a manner of speaking.
PETER: But women are unreliable, Jesus. You can’t trust them. When the chips are down, they’ll leave you in the lurch.
JESUS: Quite unlike your rock-like self, of course.
PETER: Of course!
JESUS: You and the boys will be last at the cross and first at the tomb.
PETER: Absolutely! [Suddenly looking perplexed] Cross? Tomb? You’ve lost me, Jesus.
JESUS: There’s a first! But never mind, Peter. Besides, there’s no time to explain now. Didn’t you say you were supposed to be meeting your wife at eleven? It’s quarter past.
PETER: [Looking at his wrist sun-dial and exiting in haste] Oh my gosh! Ruth is going to kill me!
JESUS: [Calling after him] Peter! . . . Hey, Peter! . . . [Turning to the congregation] There goes your “new male”: a mind like concrete - thoroughly mixed up and permanently set!