Could Jesus return as a woman?
(1) In the Old Testament, if her husband died, a woman got into great trouble in Bible time. It lost its economic, legal and social security. If she had no children and her parents were still alive, she could return to them. A remarriage was then expected and desired. Normally, her eldest son had to take the place of the man and take care of the woman. If the woman had no sons with her deceased husband, the brother of the deceased was obliged to marry the woman (so-called "levirate marriage"). The first-born son from this marriage was then legally considered the descendant of the deceased husband.
Widows and orphans are often mentioned together in the Bible. They represent the weak, for whom God himself stands up (Deuteronomy / Deuteronomy 10:18). In the Law of Moses there are therefore specific provisions for their protection (Exodus / Exodus 22: 21-23; Deuteronomy / Deuteronomy 16: 11-14). The prophets in the Old Testament call for widows and orphans to be treated fairly (Jeremiah 22: 3).
(2) In the New Testament: In the New Testament too, widows are among the weak in society (cf. Luke 7: 11-13). A widow is often very poor (Mark 12: 41-44). She must ask for her rights (cf. Luke 18: 3-8). Christians are encouraged to look after widows and orphans. He is their duty to support widows (1 Timothy 5: 3; 1 Timothy 5:16). Jesus warns of the Pharisees who are destroying widows' livelihoods (Mark 12:40).
In the first Christian communities, the status of widows was particularly emphasized. A widow who had done good for others, was at least 60 years old and only married once, could be entrusted with certain tasks by the congregation, e.g. in intercession and pastoral care (1 Timothy 3: 5; 1 Timothy 3:13).
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