Over at the Junia Project site, Gail Wallace writes:
When we view scripture from the 30,000 foot level we see it moving in the direction of a more equal partnership of men and women, defying the convention of the times. The male-female pairings in the book of Luke are one intriguing example of this movement.
I love how Gail uses the phrase “moving in the direction of” to describe the biblical pattern that unfolds concerning the roles of men and women. Often the tone of expression in some of the complementarian-egalitarian literature borders on the shrill, but I truly appreciate Gail’s measured and careful exposition in her article. It is hard not to agree with her conclusion:
Ben Witherington III suggests the male-female pairings in Luke serve as a reminder that men and women are both equal recipients of God’s grace and equal participants in God’s mission. He believes Luke makes an “attempt to present women in a new light, as an oppressed group set free by the fulfillment of Isaiah 6:1-2 in the ministry of Jesus”.
Also consider that this inclusion of women is highly unusual for literature of this time. We can imagine that the women hearing or reading Luke may have questioned whether this good news was really for them or only for the men. The intentional use of gender pairs suggests that Luke wants to make sure women know they are viewed as equal partners in ministry.
The question for each of us: is this reflected in our church life and ministry?