Tuesday

6 February 2018

Luke 8:1-3

“Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God.” (v. 1)

Psalm: Psalm 16


Background

Following Jesus’ encounter with the sinful woman at the home of the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-50), Jesus continued to proclaim the “good news of the kingdom of God” throughout the cities and villages of Galilee. Such good news is typically accompanied by Jesus with a call to repent and to follow (Luke 5:27-32). Jesus is the presence of the kingdom as well as its messenger, and those who follow Jesus are drawn into the life of the kingdom.

As well as the 12 apostles, Jesus was accompanied in his in his travels by a number of women – women whose lives had been transformed by Jesus’ healing or deliverance (verses 2-3) – including Mary Magdalene (who had been exorcised of seven demons), Joanna (the wife of Herod’s steward), and Susanna. Such women were early witnesses to the ministry and the character of Jesus, and may well have been known to the earliest hearers and readers of Luke’s Gospel.

And as well as the specific women mentioned, Luke tells us that “many others” followed Jesus, and that the women supported Jesus’ ministry out of their own resources (v. 3). Although Jesus was itinerant with nowhere to lay her head (Luke 9:58), he was also given support by such followers. Late, female disciples were also important in providing for some of the earliest churches (Acts 16:14-15; Romans 12:1-2).

The importance of women is an emphasis in Luke’s Gospel. It is only here that we find Anna blessing the infant Jesus (Luke 2:36-48), Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) and the parable of the woman searching for her lost coin (Luke 15:8-10). Here, Luke reminds us that women were important in Jesus’ ministry too. Knowing the transforming touch of Jesus, such women sought to support Jesus as he proclaimed the kingdom in word and deed.


To Ponder

  • How do you understand the “good news of the kingdom of God”?
  • Who supports you in your life of faith and ministry?
  • Who are the (sometimes hidden) supporters of ministry within your church?

Bible notes author

Ed Mackenzie

Dr Ed Mackenzie is the Discipleship Development Officer for the Methodist Church and an Associate Lecturer at Cliff College. He lives in Derbyshire with his wife Ali and their two sons.