20 Times Jesus Spoke Directly to a Woman … and He Never Once Said, “Go Home!”

Y’all, there is a fire burning in me today … and it started on Saturday when I first saw the video of John MacArthur and company at the Truth Matters conference. {Let’s not even get into why the name of the conference is its own brand of irony. Also, I am not going to link the video … you can find it easily enough for yourself.}

I don’t think Beth Moore needs me to defend her. But I do think other women need to see me say THIS IS WRONG! We don’t have license to mock and denigrate each other. It DOES NOT honor Christ and it DOES NOT promote the gospel. Period.

Last night, I spent just a little time looking up what Jesus said directly to women. In my quick perusal of the gospels, I found twenty instances where we see Him talking with a female. Full disclosure, some of these are the same situation, just repeated in multiple gospels. I included them because I think it is important to see that even with different writers sharing His words, they always reflect the same heart.

Also full disclosure, I am not claiming this is an exhaustive list. I was just a quick skimming of the four Gospels and I definitely could have missed something though I tried to be thorough.

20 times Jesus spoke directly to women and He never once said, "Go home!"

It matters how we speak to and about each other.  It matters in our homes. It matters in our social media posts.  It matters in our workplaces.  It matters in our pulpits. It matters in our conversations.  It matters at our conventions. It matters on our videos. And it matters IN OUR HEARTS!

What did JESUS say to women?

  • Matthew 9:22 — Jesus turned and saw her. “Have courage, daughter,” he said. “Your faith has saved you.” And the woman was made well from that moment.
  • Matthew 15:28 — Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was healed.
  • Mark 5:34 — “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction.”
  • Mark 5:41 — Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up”).
  • Mark 7:29 — Then he told her, “Because of this reply, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.”
  • Luke 7:13 — When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, “Don’t weep.”
  • Luke 7:48, 50 — Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” … And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
  • Luke 8:48 — “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
  • Luke 8:54 — So he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!”
  • Luke 10:41-42 — The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”
  • Luke 13:12 — When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, “Woman, you are free of your disability.”
  • Luke 23:28-31 — But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the women without children, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
  • John 2:4 — “What does that have to do with you and me, woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.”
  • John 8:10-11 — When Jesus stood up, he said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
  • John 111:23-26 — “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her. Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
  • John 11:40 — Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
  • John 19:26 — When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”
  • John 20:15 — “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?”
  • John 20:16-17 — Jesus said to her, “Mary.” Turning around, she said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”—which means “Teacher.” “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus told her, “since I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
20 times Jesus spoke directly to women and not once did He say, "Go home!" Click To Tweet

That is nineteen, if you were counting. The twentieth instance where Jesus spoke to a woman is from John 4. This is a longer conversation and I wanted to include the whole thing.

When Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples than John (though Jesus himself was not baptizing, but his disciples were), he left Judea and went again to Galilee. He had to travel through Samaria; so he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well. It was about noon.
 A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
“Give me a drink,” Jesus said to her,  because his disciples had gone into town to buy food.
“How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she asked him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.
 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask him, and he would give you living water.”
 “Sir,” said the woman, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this ‘living water’?  You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.”
 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again.  But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”
 “Sir,” the woman said to him, “give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and come here to draw water.”
“Go call your husband,” he told her, “and come back here.”
“I don’t have a husband,” she answered.
“You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’” Jesus said.  “For you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
“Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
 Jesus told her, “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews.  But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”
The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Jesus told her, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.”

John 4:1-26 CSB

Scripture Gives Clear Instruction on Speaking to Others

When we look at Jesus spoke to women, believers and unbelievers, we see His words were full of compassion and kindness. And He was clear that we are to speak to others in the same manner. What is most heartbreaking about John MacArthur’s words toward Beth Moore is the dismissive and mocking tone. This isn’t how brothers and sisters in Christ speak to or about one another, at least not if we want to reflect His presence in our lives.

Scripture speaks clearly to the way we are to conduct ourselves. Jesus said clearly, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

Do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.

1 John 3:13-18 CSB

This is no small thing — it matters! And we need to act on that reality.

The world is going to come after us, hate us! But we cannot continue to be guilty of hating one another, of murdering the witness of Christ in us!!

It matters how we speak to and about each other. It matters in our homes. It matters in our social media posts. It matters in our workplaces. It matters in our pulpits. It matters in our conversations. It matters at our conventions. It matters on our videos. And it matters IN OUR HEARTS!

It matters how we speak to and about one another. It is no small thing and we must take seriously the call to love one another, not just in word or speech but also in action and in truth. Click To Tweet

My prayer for all of us is that we get convicted of the very real sin in each of us. And that we allow the cleansing of the Spirit to pour over us, the grace of Christ to flow through us, and the love of the Father to come out of us.

I’m actually in the middle of a series on women in the Bible this month — 20 women we all need to know. And by all, I mean men and women. I’m pretty sure this post fits right in to this series, even though it wasn’t originally meant to be part of it.

20 Women in Scripture You Need to Know || Learn about 10 women from the Old Testament and 10 from the New Testament — who they were, how they they were used by the Lord, and what we can learn from them as we seek to grow in our faith.

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. Yes, for the last year I have been studying Jesus’ relationship with the women in his life. He loved, honored, and protected them. He invited Martha out of the kitchen; he did not send her there. He healed women. He used them in parables. Why? So women understood about the kingdom of God–not just the men. He defended them before accusers. And he chose to reveal himself after the resurrection to women–who had remained faithful. This incident of last weekend made me sad. Jesus taught that we should love God and love people. That incident was not borne out of love.

    • Thank you so much! I so wanted to be wise about responding and make sure I wasn’t speaking from emotion but that my words were rooted in Scripture. So, I just went there to see what Jesus said. 🙂

  2. I greatly appreciate this essay. I’m not sure how, but I ran across Dr. MacArthur’s comment randomly, and I watched him make it on a YouTube clip from his conference. I was saddened and shocked. I’ve always greatly respected Dr. MacArthur as a man of God whose main concern was for Biblical truth. Regardless of whether or not he believes Ms. Moore should be teaching men in her conferences, he was not truthful in his dealings w/ her in that he disparaged her publicly, not according to the truth of Scripture in how we are to treat other believers. First of all, such a stupid (so-called) “game” is beneath him and those men who were “playing” with him. In his flippant, unkind remark, he was not showing love towards a fellow believer in Christ. Again, one can view Ms. Moore’s activities as biblical or not and make an “argument” (meaning a case) for that. That is not the issue at hand. He disparaged her publicly, mocking her in laughter, and never apologized to her personally, as far as I can tell. He should take down that link, and go to her in repentance, asking her forgiveness. And down the road, if he disagrees theologically, he could come alongside her in love, explaining from Scripture why he believes as he does. I pray he will do the right thing.

    • Yes, to all of that. It was heartbreaking. There are many words he could have used … not the least of which is image-bearer. Theological disagreements are going to happen. But we need not allow them to become fodder for coarse discussion as we see in so many other areas of our culture. Our call is higher.

  3. I love your sentence of allowing the Spirit to cleanse us, Christ’s grace to flow through us, and God’s love to be in us… but you put it so beautifully. Thank you.


  1. […] 20 Times Jesus Spoke Directly to a Woman . . . And He Never Once Said, “Go Home!” by Teri Lynne Underwood“The world is going to come after us, hate us! But we cannot continue to be guilty of hating one another, of murdering the witness of Christ in us! It matters how we speak to and about each other. It matters in our homes. It matters in our social media posts. It matters in our workplaces. It matters in our pulpits. It matters in our conversations. It matters at our conventions. It matters on our videos. And it matters in our hearts!”  […]

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