Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Headship and Prayer (2)

Understanding the meaning of the word “head” in 1 Cor 11:3 is quite difficult.

I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Paul uses the word head in a variety of ways, and it is not clear which one fits in this passage. Whatever meaning is chosen must also apply to the relationship between Jesus and God, and most suggested meanings don’t. We must be particularly careful that we don’t choose a meaning that makes Jesus subordinate to God, (because we already know that he is God).

I am intrigued that men are more concerned about the meaning of headship than women. I wonder if that is because men begin with a presumption that being the head of the women gives them a power advantage. The desire of disciples to sit at Jesus’ right hand in power has not died (Mark 10:36-37). One thing is certain, headship does not mean that men have power over women.

Jesus headship must be understood in terms of 1 Corinthians 12 where Paul describes the church as a body with many parts. Each part must be fulfilling its role. Paul says that the more unseemly parts of the body should be given greater honour (1 Cor 12:21-26).

A body cannot function without a head, so the head and the parts of the body are inseparable. In the same way, a husband and wife must be inseparable, with nothing being allowed to divide their communication and unity.

I sense that the main thing that being the head of his wife gives a husband is accountability to God. This is clearer in the Old Testament. God sometimes to hold men accountable for the mistakes of their wives (Num 30:10-15). Moses described a situation where a husband must bear his wife’s guilt, in the same way that Jesus carries our guilt.

He shall bear her guilt (Num 30:15).
This suggests that if a woman goes wrong, it is possibly because the husband is the problem. Maybe he is not wise enough or loving his wife enough.

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