Are Women Too Emotional?

In John 11:33, it says that Jesus was “deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled” when he saw Mary weeping over the death of her brother, Lazarus, and that even though Jesus knew he would soon raise Lazarus from the dead, he still entered into Mary’s grief so deeply that the Jews around him remarked, “See how he loved him!” In western culture, where women and their emotions have often been labeled as irrational and hysterical, this seems completely revolutionary. But how would Jesus’ reaction have been viewed in first century Jewish society? What was their perspective on emotions—and more particularly, on women’s emotions—and did it differ at all from other ancient cultures? What does this tell us about how God sees women and what He thinks about human emotion in general? This week on Ask Away, Drs. Jo and Vince Vitale respond to the listener-submitted question, “Is the fact that Jesus was able to join Mary so deeply in her grief—to the point that others were talking about it—as revolutionary to society back then as I imagine it?”

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