Monday 23 July 2012

Bible Book:

"The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities." (vv. 1-2)

Luke 8:1-3 Monday 23 July 2012


This is one of the many 'summary texts' found throughout Luke'sGospel and Acts that present brief snapshots of Jesus and hisfollowers. The passage begins with a stress on Jesus' ongoingministry of "proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdomof God" (v. 1). This was good news because God was acting to saveand redeem the world, albeit in ways unexpected by Jesus'contemporaries. Jesus announced this kingdom in word and deed,teaching as well as healing and performing exorcisms.

Jesus was not alone as he travelled, and Luke's Gospel explainsthat he was accompanied not just by "the twelve", but also by "somewomen who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities". Thesewomen provided support out of their resources, enabling Jesus andthe disciples to spread the news of the kingdom.

Three women are mentioned, with Mary Magdelene the mostwell-known. There is no basis for the traditional identification ofthis Mary with the prostitute of Luke7:36-50, but - as this text makes clear - her encounter withJesus led to a profound transformation: exorcised of "sevendemons", she is restored to wholeness. Along with the other women,Mary Magdelene also saw Jesus die (Luke23:49) and was a witness of the resurrection (Luke24:10; Matthew 28:1-10). Her significance as afaithful follower of Jesus, and witness of the risen Lord, leads toher place in the Church calendar today.

Women also crop up elsewhere in Luke's Gospel - it is only thisGospel that includes the story of Mary and Martha (Luke10:38-42), the parable of a woman and her lost coin (Luke15:8-10), and Jesus' praise of a poor widow's charity (Luke21:1-4). These makes it clear that women as well as menillustrate and participate in the good news of God's kingdom.

To Ponder

  • To what extent does "proclaiming ... the kingdom of God"provide the centre of your church's ministry?
  • What 'hidden supporters' are there within your church and howcan they be affirmed? 
Previous Page Sunday 22 July 2012
Next Page Tuesday 24 July 2012