Tuesday 09 February 2021

Bible Book:

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

Luke 8:1-3 Tuesday 9 February 2021

Psalm 74: 18-23


No-one would have been surprised that Jesus travelled with his group of chosen disciples. A rabbi was expected to have a close relationship with them. But why did Jesus invite women to join him in his travels? This was just as surprising – and potentially shocking – as the woman’s arrival at a dinner party in yesterday's reading. What was going on?

The goal of Jesus’ mission was proclaiming the kingdom of God. How did he do this? Words were obviously an important part of his communication, but could there have been other strategies too? Did he seek to model the kingdom in the way he lived, this new kingdom in which there is "no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28)? Perhaps the presence of the women is not an optional extra but a vital aspect of Jesus’ proclamation – look, he is saying, this is what a kingdom community looks like.

 We are told the names of a few of these women, and a little of their story. Susanna is not mentioned elsewhere, but Mary of Magdala is there at Jesus’ crucifixion and meets him when he rises from death. Joanna too is part of the resurrection story, and she is married to a high-ranking official. This group – at least as diverse as the 12 disciples – reflect the inclusive nature of God’s kingdom and ‘proclaim’ this new kind of community to all who see them, just as the Methodist classes did in Wesley’s time. Their generosity too is a characteristic of the kingdom. It was unusual for women to have substantial means of their own, as most finance and property was controlled by men. They would probably only have had a very little for themselves, so their support for Jesus and the 12 disciples reflects their commitment to Jesus’ mission. 

To Ponder:

  • What might a kingdom community look like in our own times?
  • What resources do you think are most valuable today in supporting the mission of proclaiming the kingdom?


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