Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. (Luke 8:1-3 esv)
- I am seeing more clearly how transient Jesus’ ministry was. This chapter begins with him going “through cities and villages”. I certainly believe that God calls individuals to a certain location, a certain ministry, for years and years of service; but he just as easily calls people to changes of focus, location and ministry throughout their life. The necessity in both scenarios is that the individual must be sensitive to the Spirit’s guidance. We, in the Western Church, tend to gravitate toward that which “makes sense”, “is wise”, or “safe”. I want to hold my life very loosely in my hand – Spirit, please in your granting guidance, allow me to interpret it correctly and immediately!
- Jesus’ ministry included “proclaiming” and “bringing” the good news of the kingdom of God. Proclaiming we get pretty easy. Why did Luke add this word “bringing”? “Bringing the good news” is how we would translate the original word used by Luke. I think there is a definite difference between the two. Certainly Christ proclaimed the good news to the multitudes, but brought the good news to a smaller group of people. I am seeing the necessity of both in ministry. Certainly we proclaim, preach and teach the good news of the Kingdom to all people; and then, as we have opportunity, we enter into deeper relationship with others, perhaps just a few, and bring the good news of the kingdom to them. It is relational and practical at it’s greatest.
- Jesus’ ministry included radical changes of lives – Luke devotes two verses just explaining that there were some radically changed people following Christ. People who had been very ill were healed, and people who were demon possessed were freed. Now, having experienced freedom in both their physical and spiritual lives, they follow their Messiah. As I read these two verses, my mind went immediately to Colossians 1:12-14. (http://esv.to/Cs1.12-14) “…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins…”
- Lastly, Christ did not simply rely on the Spirit when it came to matters of physical location. He also entrusted his physical well-being and survival to the Spirit working in others lives. These women who were following Jesus after having been liberated from their previous lives were also providing for him “out of their means”. Father will not guide you to a place where he will not meet your needs for what he has called you to. That is a great reminder. That check that is deposited in my bank account is not my provider…He is. I want to live in radical dependence on the One who owns it all anyway.