Last night, I shared with my wife, Denise, that there are relatively few verses that I am aware of in the Bible where the focus is specifically directed to women. Yes, there are several verses throughout the entire Book of Proverbs, but many of those verses either extol the “Virtuous Woman” in chapter 31, or serve as warnings to men to stay away from prostitutes and such. There are several stories in the New and Old Testament that are centered around women of faith: Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Abigail, Ruth, Naomi, Deborah, Rachel, Leah, Lydia and others, to name a few. The Bible was written in large measure by men, and therefore, does not always give women of faith their due. This does not mean that women are not central in the Bible, but simply that they are often not treated in a similar way to men. For example, many of the women in the Old and New Testament are unnamed.
So, to mess with Denise, my wife, I asked her if she was familiar with the verse where an unnamed woman shouts out from a crowd, in an attempt to not only gain the attention of Jesus, but also to stroke his ego, extolls the virtue of his mother’s womb and breasts? I threatened to preach about “Breasts and Wombs.” Denise became a little indignant and told me she did not think I should preach on this subject. But, I told her, it is in the Bible, so here it is:
Luke 11: 27 While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” 
The response of Jesus to the shouting of the woman is classic: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” I think the woman thought she was doing and saying something nice to Jesus. In a roundabout way she recognized his divinity, lifted up his mother, celebrated her womanhood, motherhood, and role in the almighty plan of God.
Even though the woman extends a blessing upon Jesus, our Lord sees right through her and deftly transposes her shouted blessing to a larger teaching on true blessedness – “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” While I think the woman meant well, Jesus reminds her and those within earshot that lip service is not enough- at the end of the day, what God is looking for is that we incorporate the Word of God into our daily routine. It is one thing to know the Word of God, but doing the will of God is often a challenge, even for the best of Christians. In this passage of scripture, Jesus flips the compliment bestowed upon him by an unnamed woman by challenging her and others to do the will of God.
Questions for Reflection:
- What are your thoughts regarding the response of Jesus to the woman who called out to him?
- What are some of the challenges to “Obeying” the Word of God?
Lord, help me to not only hear your Word, but to follow you Word. Help me to move beyond the temptation to settle for a lazy faith that knows your Word, can quote your Word, boasts in your Word, but is shallow on spirituality, and languishes without love. Lord, help me to not only be a hearer of your Word, but a doer of your Word. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Lk 11:27–28). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.