Luke 8:1 – 3 “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”
Although I love every Gospel in God’s word, I especially love reading and continuously learning from the book of Luke. Being a detail-oriented person myself, I notice this characteristic in Luke the physician, and I am not surprised at all that God chose to inspire him to pen Books in His Word.
Luke includes five events involving women that are not mentioned in the other Gospels. In doing this, he shows the special care that Jesus has for women, and how Jesus overcame the roadblocks women faced in His days and still does today. Men looked upon them as second-class citizens with hardly any of the rights that they had, and women most certainly were not allowed to learn from rabbis. Jesus, our rabbi, lifts women from the state of degradation and servitude to one of fellowship and service. He considers all people, men and women, as equal reflectors of God’s image and of great value to Him.
I find it interesting that God led Luke to include that “certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities,” traveled with Him, letting us know that Jesus did not look down his nose at these women. He considered them lost and dying souls who needed healing and salvation. But He did not just deliver them and say, “Well there ya go…” He allowed them to go with Him and get to know Him, and as a result they grew into strong, Godly women.
We read that Jesus delivered Mary Magdalene of seven demons. As I reflect on my past and where I was when Jesus found me, I believe that she and the other women felt that they owed Jesus a great debt of gratitude for the unconditional love, healing and deliverance that He freely gave them. I know that there would be nothing of this earth that could stop me from hanging out with such a profound teacher as the Son of God. I would feel honored and elated to do whatever possible to walk beside Him in His teaching journey, with a burning desire to know Him more.
They “ministered unto him of their substance.” This tells me that they were in a position to substantially support Jesus and His disciples in their work by providing food and lodging, as well as clothing for the group. They saw a need, had the resources to fulfill that need, and were happy to do so, much the same as we give to the mission field today.
These women disciples most probably did not preach as Jesus and the men did, but I feel certain that Jesus lovingly included them in His group of disciples. They were followers of Jesus who believed in and helped to spread His doctrine. How did they do this? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that where ever they went, there were throngs of women, suffering the same infirmities as they had, and crying out for help. They were able to reach out to those hurting souls and genuinely say, “I understand; Jesus helped me, He can help you…” in a way that the male disciples could not. I believe it was their God-given appointment to encourage, counsel, and instruct lost and wounded women.
God gives us all opportunities to do His work for the growth of His kingdom. It makes no difference to Him about our past once we have come to Him by placing our faith in Jesus. I have experienced the most healing in my life through others who have gone through the same kinds of trials as my own. I also find it very therapeutic for me to reach out and share what God has done in my life, with certain ones He leads me to.