Rachel Held Evans has asked men to respond to John Piper's claim that "God has given Christianity a masculine feel."
At one of the most pivotal points in the Christian story, Jesus chooses to reveal his resurrected self to Mary Magdalene before anyone else--before Peter, before John, before the rest of the twelve male disciples--according to John's Gospel (20: 1-10).
It was precisely a defining moment in the eschatological clock in the Christian story. All the miracles beforehand had been somewhat dimmed by Christ's death. All the stunning stories of Jesus engaging people had been overshadowed by his death. At this point in time, even his selection of twelve male disciples to follow him had come to an end. He was dead. The male disciples had all but disappeared when Jesus was hanging on the cross. So much for a "masculine feel."
There were women though who stayed around Jesus to the very end. One of them was Mary Magdalene.
According to John, it was Mary Magdalene a woman, who Jesus meets first before anyone else in the defining moment for Christianity. Nowhere else in John's Gospel does Jesus address a woman by her name but here. He knows Mary. She has traveled with him. In the spirit of Ruth's friendship and loyalty to Naomi, Mary went where Jesus went, even to the end in the midst of his violent death.
Jesus revealed himself to Mary while the veil was still over every one of the chosen male disciples. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Cor. 3:17).
"But now go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (John 20:17). Imagine Mary (keeping in mind this male-privileged ancient world) telling the 12 chosen male disciples, "Jesus is alive! He is risen! He's ascending to his Father!"
In John's Gospel, in the most pivotal, defining moment in the Christian story, Jesus revealed himself, his presence to his friend, Mary Magdalene when no one of his male chosen disciples was around. Think about it.