The first lesson option is from Proverbs 31:10-31
- A capable wife who can find?
- She is far more precious than jewels.
- The heart of her husband trusts in her,
- and he will have no lack of gain.
- She does him good, and not harm,
- all the days of her life.
- She seeks wool and flax,
- and works with willing hands.
- She is like the ships of the merchant,
- she brings her food from far away.
- She rises while it is still night
- and provides food for her household
- and tasks for her servant girls.
Later, in Mark (9:30-37), we hear Jesus say:
"What were you arguing about on the way?" But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all."When you compare the words from Proverbs and these words of Jesus, it could certainly sound like Jesus is saying, "If you want to be my disciple, be a capable wife.
I can't help but think of that small piece of papyrus fragment from the fourth century that was recently found on which it is written, in Sahidic Coptic, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife....'"
That's it. Two little words 'My wife.....'. Not a whole lot to go on but tons of speculation which joins centuries of theories and even a best selling novel about what it might mean.
Here's a link to a picture of the papyrus fragment with translation from the NY Times. It reads:
not (to) me. My mother gave to me li(fe).
The disciples said to Jesus
deny. Mary is worthy of it
Jesus said to them, 'My wife'
she will be able to be my disciple
Let wicked people swell up
As for me, I will dwell with her in order to
It certainly sounds like "Mary" was not only deemed "worthy" by the disciples, but Jesus judged her "able" to be a disciple and to "dwell with" Him.
The capable wife?
I'm sure I don't know what that means.
I just want to know one thing: While that capable wife was doing all those things - seeking wool and flax.... working with willing hands.... bringing food from far away....rising while it is still night to provide food for her household - just what, exactly, was the husband doing?
Maybe writing stuff down on papyrus paper that would cause people - centuries later - to ask, "A capable wife, who can find?".
Sounds like Jesus just may have found one. And, he called her His disciple.