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Luke 8





 

AUDIO




 

TRANSCRIPT


How many Star Wars fans do we have today? I think we may have just lost half our audience. But in The Empire Strikes Back, this is a scene when Han and Leia argue in the tunnel. And this guy walks right through their tense conversation in this awkward bad, timing moment.

"Who is that guy?" If you are listening to the podcast, you may have to pull up the youtube video on our website, www.heritageag.org/dwell, to see the picture.


Believe it or not, he has a name and a recently published story about him. His name is Chase Wilsorr, and the fact that a story has been written about him shows that there is no such thing as a minor character in the Star Wars universe. Even someone on-screen for one second can end up having their own story.

The Gospels are filled with people who briefly appear, and yet how many of us know their names, story, or roles? Who is Joanna? And who is Susanna? It is to characters such as this—specifically, female characters—that we turn today in our study of the Gospel of Luke.

Luke shows that Jesus came to save the lost and that the lost means all types of people—not just the Jews. And so his work appeals to gentiles, specifically Samaritans, as well as women and children, meaning, throughout Luke's Gospel, we see women playing a special role. "It is in Luke that we read of Elizabeth, of Anna, of the widow of Nain. ... It is Luke who makes vivid pictures of Martha and Mary and of Mary Magdalene.”


In Luke 8, we are given a very brief image of how Jesus's ministry survived.

How did a man who was constantly on the go receive the necessary means to support himself and at least twelve other individuals? He had help. There were some who supported him financially. That isn't necessarily remarkable or surprising. But what is surprising is that the people listed here as helping him are all women. We may not even notice it today, "It is hard for us to appreciate how revolutionary Luke's picture of Jesus' ministry is." In the Jewish practice of the day, there were even prayers of thanksgiving that God had not made one a woman.

Yet in Luke's Gospel, women show up in important roles repeatedly. Here they are with Jesus as he travels Luke 8:1–2, and they provide for him Luke 8:3.

In these few verses, we also see the broad social stratum that Jesus could appeal to. Some are not socially categorized: Susanna and Mary. But there's also Joanna, the wife of King Herod's steward; her husband was in charge of the household of King Herod; thus, she would have been very well connected to others of the ruling class. Yet here she is by Jesus's side.

When you also consider the previous passage, where Jesus interacts with a woman who is a known sinner (In Luke 7:36–50), something is clearly shown in Luke's Gospel: God's message of salvation is for everyone.

There is a point of application in 8:2 in what Jesus had done for these women: he had healed them. Their service to Jesus was a response to the grace of God in Christ. All of us have been recipients of God's grace. Every day that we wake up and breathe air, we are breathing in the same grace of God. What are you doing to further the ministry of Jesus as a way of showing him your gratitude for his grace?

There is a story attributed to Charles Spurgeon. It goes like this: a gardener presents his king with the greatest carrot he has ever grown. The king is touched and responds by giving the gardener a large plot of land. A nobleman who witnesses this event decides it would be advantageous for him to present the king with his finest horse. He does so, and the king merely thanks him for the horse. The nobleman is confused, so the king explains, "That gardener gave me the carrot. But you were giving yourself the horse.”


We see in the heart of these ladies that their support and giving were not about a blessing in return but rather from a generous heart that He has changed. At times this can be difficult for Christians because we understand that God blesses us as we give, but it should never become a transactional mindset that I will give this to God to get this in return.

Now some of these ladies show up again at the crucifixion, the empty tomb, and even with roles in the early church. They showed up even in moments when the disciples didn't. We see they are known not only for their generosity of their giving but also for their presence.

Today, we need to look to the examples of these ladies whose life was marked with generosity and look for ways to further the mission of God through our support, both financially and just by showing up.

If you are attached to the church in any form or fashion, you have probably heard us say, "everyone has a story," and often it continues with, "and that story begins with your name."


Today is an excellent example of how mentioning these ladies' names has opened our eyes to the story of their life and how they are helping to make a difference in the kingdom of God.


We all have a story, so let's make sure that the story of our life is centered around the work we are doing to make a difference for Jesus.

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1 Comment


dellapietro
dellapietro
Mar 14, 2023

I’m thankful for God’s message of salvation. It didn’t occur to me the special roll these wonderful women played in Jesus’s ministry. What a blessing that these women were not only known for their generosity but also for their presence. They are such a great inspiration for us all. Thank you for another outstanding dwell message. Each day is a new gospel leanings experience.

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