Wisdom vs. Law: Approaching the Proverbs 31 Woman
- Thursday, May 09, 2013
In a recent sermon, my pastor defined the gospel as everything that the life, death, and resurrection of Christ accomplished for us, and this gospel changes everything. Subsequently, the entirety of the Christian walk is figuring out, for a lifetime, all the things the gospel changes about ourselves and the ways it changes them. This is as true for women as any other demographic in the church.
As we navigate Scripture's instructions to women, we must first distinguish between wisdom and law and second between universal law and law for a specific culture for a specific time. Once we understand the difference in wisdom, Old Testament law, and universal Biblical instruction, we can understand how the gospel equips us to repent when we miss the mark and walk forward in renewed obedience.
One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture is Luke 24 It is a key passage for unraveling how the gospel informs our understanding of all other instructions in Scripture. While it says a lot, it alludes to even more. I would love to know what else was said during the parts of the conversation not recorded in this chapter.
The setting is the dusty road to Emmaus, several miles from Jerusalem. Jesus has died. Someone is spreading a rumor that He has come back to life, but Luke says most received it as an “idle tale” and did not believe it. Two of Jesus' followers are walking along the road discussing all that had happened—Jesus' short but flamboyant ministry, His miracles, their former confidence that He was the one predicted by the prophets to free Israel from oppression, and His crucifixion, which shook everything they thought they understood about Him. They thought Jesus was going to rescue them from Roman oppression and be their King. Wasn't that what the Messiah was supposed to do? Whatever they thought He was going to do, being put to death on the cross by Roman soldiers seemed to unravel everything.
As they talk, Jesus draws near to them and begins walking with them, but they do not recognize Him. He asks them what they are talking about. They look sad according to Luke and start explaining that Jesus was...
a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and ... our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.
Jesus responds to them,
"O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Later Jesus instructs them,
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