One and All

1 Timothy 2:1-15

1 Timothy 2:1-4 “I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases GOD our savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Paul says he is requesting prayers, intercessions for everyone... even himself, YOU and ME, EVERYONE!

Paul lived in different times. If we were asked to make a list of authority figures in governments how far down the line would kings be? If I was asked to make a list I wouldn’t think of listing a king. They are far and few between and mostly figureheads. Paul lived in different times.

We read what can be a very alienating passage in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds appropriate for women who profess to worship GOD. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over man; she must be silent for Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue with faith, love, and holiness with propriety.”

If there are sides to be taken, if there is an argument to be made, then the first thing I would say is that GOD loves every man, woman, and child on this earth. He created them, he lives in them, and he LOVES THEM! Male and Female!

One of my favorite bible stories is in Matthew 15:21-28 where a Canaanite woman comes to Jesus to get help for her daughter who is suffering. Well, actually she was crying out making a ruckus and truthfully, bothering the disciples (men). Jesus’ disciples came to Jesus asking him to send her away… why? Why didn’t they send her away? Why didn’t they tell her, the Canaanite woman, to be silent? I believe they didn’t send her away, they didn’t tell her to be quiet, because that’s not what Jesus did… that’s not what Jesus does!

Jesus and the woman have some repartee… Jesus says “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The Canaanite woman says “Lord help me.” Jesus says “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” And the Canaanite woman says “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

What do you think the disciples were doing while this was going on? Can you see their mouths open, their faces stunned by a woman talking back to their rabbi, talking back to Jesus? This wasn’t quietness and this wasn’t submission. This was a woman, a Canaanite woman in pain and fear for her daughter. There was strength in her argument. She (a Canaanite) was willing to be talked down to, even to the point of being compared to a dog… “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” And she was not silent, and the disciples heard what she had to say as they recorded this in their writings… and the disciples learned. For Jesus’ reply to the Canaanite, the Canaanite woman was “WOMAN you have great faith! Your request is granted!”… and her daughter was healed.

Paul lived in different times…
We, you and I, live in different times…

So… we can brush Paul off or we can realize we all fall short and we all have prejudices whether they are of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, nationality, religion, social status, or we can just realize… we all fall short.

We… you and I… we live in different times… and the truth isn’t determining the rules or the law, the truth is loving GOD and loving your neighbor as yourself for all the law and prophets hang on these two commandments! (Matthew 23:37-40, Mark 12:29-31, Luke 12:27-28)

Precious Father, Loving God, Holy Spirit I pray for every woman, man, and child on this earth. Help us to realize that times change, but you are the same. Help us to become aware of our prejudices and learn to love your creation, every woman, child, and man on this earth. AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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