“Jesus both elevates and underlines the equality of women as co-bearers of the image of God and the creation mandate, and he also redeems the roles given to man and woman at the beginning by inhabiting them, both as servant-head and ‘ezer-subordinate.
“Throughout the gospels, every encounter that Jesus has with women is a positive one. The women understand him before the men do; women are excused their housewifely duties in order to sit and learn with the men (Luke 10:38ff). Women stay with him at the Cross when his male disciples have mostly hidden; it is to women that Jesus shows himself first after his resurrection, and it is a woman, Mary Magdalene, who is for a few moments the entire church: She is charged by Jesus to tell his disciples of his resurrection and his commands — the first Christian, the first evangelist. (John 20:1ff) Jesus’s every interaction with women elevates their status in a culture that very much considered them second-class beings. The early church, having seen the Holy Spirit fall on women the same as on men at Pentecost, adopted such a radical attitude towards women that Paul had to remind women not to adopt a unisex approach to ministry. Even when engaged in the identical ministry as men, they should do it in a way that affirms their female role, rather than denies it. See 1 Cor 11, 14.”
– Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage (co-authored with Tim Keller), at 174 and 266.