Along with many of you, in recent weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed by revelation after revelation of the rampant sexual misconduct of prominent media personalities, actors, directors, producers, politicians and on and on. Every day another trusted figure seems to have abused his power.
I’ve probably watched the video announcing Matt Laurer’s firing five times. Just processing what it means that this person who used to be a part of my morning routine was not who he appeared to be.
I guess you could say I was surprised. From the reactions around the world, I’m not alone.
Yet, our God is not surprised. He sees all. He knows our brokenness. He gave us free wills and choices, and we, human beings, have abused those choices in every way. Yet, even while we were dead in our sin and brokenness, God sent life. He sent hope: His son, Jesus. There’s no more appropriate time of year to reflect on that.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:4-5
Before you dismiss this as just a way to insert the Gospel into today’s headlines, consider that this man God sent into our broken world to save us was also the perfect model for how a man should treat power and women.
Jesus, God’s very son, modeled respect and dignity and love for women in a day when that was not the norm. He talked to the woman at the well (John 4:1-26), despite her standing in society. He offered her not only the water she needed to physically live, but the spiritual hope she needed to live abundantly. For the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) and about to be stoned, he stood before other men and called out their sin. He gave her back her hope and a path for the future.
“Jesus demonstrated only the highest regard for women, in both his life and teaching. He recognized the intrinsic equality of men and women, and continually showed the worth and dignity of women as persons. Jesus valued their fellowship, prayers, service, financial support, testimony and witness. He honored women, taught women, and ministered to women in thoughtful ways,” says James Borland.
So while we grieve the abuse in this world, we do not grieve as people without hope. Our Jesus showed us all how to live. As we celebrate this Christmas season, let’s rejoice that our Savior not only heals our brokenness, but shines a light on how we are to live: With respect, with dignity and love, as a servant to all. He is the hope we have. He is the hope we share.
If you’d like to know more about this man Jesus and how He taught us to live, join in our study of the Book of John in our Encounter group.