This month is a celebration of women and their contributions to society. Unfortunately, history is replete with incidents of oppression of women, regardless of color. The societal treatment of women has resulted in them being paid less and being the last to secure the right to vote. Many blame the Bible for the unequal treatment of women, because of its patriarchal spin. But Jesus’ ministry reflects God’s interest in women. God validates and empowers women.
In Luke 7, an unnamed woman follows Jesus into a house. She begins to cry and wipe his feet with her hair and she anoints him with expensive oil. The men who were with Jesus referred to her as a nasty girl, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner,” Luke 7:39.
The real reason why they thought the woman was nasty and questioned her character was not the rumors about her or she was Vanity’s Nasty Girl, but it was the fact that she sought to gain power.
In response to the criticism of this woman’s character, Jesus points out that the persons being nastiness and rudeness were they themselves. They did not bother to afford him any courtesies at all, but the woman did. Also, the fact that these men were Pharisees is irrelevant to the sociological issues at stake. This conversation was about gender and power.
The woman entered this house and worshipped Jesus, and she got nasty with her worship. She let it all hang out—her hair, her tears, and her business. This is the kind of worship God wants, and it is the type of praise that breaks yolks. Worship is empowering. It gives each of us strength, and validates who God is and gives us revelation as to just who God has created us to be. Jesus, the one with all power, turns to the men in the room, takes control, and gives power to this woman. \Jesus forgave the ‘nasty girl.’
Jesus is interested in saving nasty girls, forgiving nasty girls, and empowering them to become anything that they want to be. For him to do that, we have to get nasty just as he did. When Jesus Christ went to the cross, it was a nasty scene.
He was lied about, criticized, beaten, nailed to a cross—all the while, bleeding profusely. He suffered so that nasty girls and boys could receive forgiveness.