Jesus sat and talked openly with women. He approached them on his own. Once, when His disciples had gone into town to buy food, He asked a woman for a drink. This simply wasn’t done by a respectable rabbi, and the woman was shocked.
“You are a Jew,” she said, “and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
He was asking her for a drink because He was busy smashing barriers and building bridges out of the rubble.
Naturally, His enemies held this against the barrier-breaking Messiah. When “a certain immoral woman” (Luke 7:37) came to visit Jesus in the house of a Pharisee, His host grew indignant over her worship of Jesus. He thought to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” (v. 39).
Jesus interrupted the religious man’s self-righteous thoughts and told him a story about forgiveness and love. “Her sins,” Jesus concluded, “have been forgiven” (v. 47). Then He told the woman, “Go in peace” (v. 50).
Remember too the story in John 8. A woman had been caught in the act of adultery. (Significantly, the man was not brought before Jesus, only the woman.) The religious leaders wanted to use the occasion to trap Jesus into either condoning the woman’s execution by stoning or letting her go without punishment. Jesus deftly got to the heart of the matter, pointing out the hypocrisy in her accusers and defending the woman’s integrity without compromising the law.
And just days before the Lord’s crucifixion, Mary the sister of Martha anointed Jesus’s feet with expensive perfume. Some of the men were “indignant” at the extravagance (Matthew 26:8), but Jesus said, “Leave her alone” (John 12:7).