In this article, we will explore the story of Tamar from Genesis 38 as a transforming woman from the Old Testament. After her husband dies, Tamar appears to be a helpless woman, but she does not easily give up.
This contextual reading notes that Jesus’s death on the cross, represented by Eve’s offspring crushing the head of the serpent, frees humankind from sin’s consequences and reorders concepts of male dominion for all time.
In churches where men are welcomed as priests and leaders simply because they share the male body of Jesus and the twelve male disciples, we too easily assume that women’s bodies represent, by contrast, an inferiority.
One Sunday, about a year ago, I was visiting a new church. It was December, and the pastor was preaching about Mary. I was surprised by how well he positioned Mary as an equal to the congregation—neither meek nor superhuman.
God called Mary to something much greater than her social location. I find it comforting to note that she was called “highly favored” before she said yes to God. It wasn’t her obedience that made her highly favored.