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Longing for God Longing for God


In John 2:4, when Jesus referred to his mother as "woman," was He being rude and disrespectful?

I am 65 years old. Frankly, if I could live to be 9 billion years old, I would never address my late mother, Annie Lou, the product of rural Mississippi, as “woman.” At first glance, especially to our 21st-century ears, our Lord’s words seem rude and cutting. But in reality, they are not. In the culture of His day, our Lord’s reference to His mother as “woman” was a term of endearment and profound respect. The Lord valued and honored His mother’s womanhood as a bearer of the image of God (Gen. 1:27). You will not find a trace of sexism or misogyny in the person of Jesus. May we all value, cherish and honor our mothers the way He did His (John 19:25–27).

BY Dr. Winfred O. Neely

Dr. Winfred Neely is Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate School. An ordained minister, Winfred has served churches across the city of Chicago, the near west suburbs, and Senegal, West Africa. He is the author of How to Overcome Worry (Moody Publishers) and a contributor to the Moody Bible Commentary and Moody Handbook of Preaching. Winfred and his wife Stephne have been married for forty years and have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

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