In this video, we explore Luke 8:1-3, a passage that introduces us to some of the women who followed Jesus and supported his ministry. We’ll look at the significance of their presence and what it tells us about Jesus’ message of inclusion and empowerment, which was rooted in the good news of the Kingdom of God. Join us as we dive into this inspiring and thought-provoking text and discover how Jesus’ teachings continue to challenge and transform us today. Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more biblical insights and reflections!
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00:00:00:37 – 00:00:32:13
Hey, everybody. Welcome back. Thanks for joining us. As we move into a new chapter, we’ve been in chapter seven for a while, but we’re moving into Chapter eight today. And interestingly, Luke, who has given us a series of kind of weighty stories, even have some links to them. We now move into a short section here. It’s kind of shotgun, rapid fire, as Jesus does several things and as Luke kind of packs them together.
00:00:32:18 – 00:00:55:18
The first thing is a little bit of not exactly housekeeping. We talk more about that. Let me read a few versus here, chapter eight starting in verse one, and we’ll come back to it soon afterwards. Jesus went through the cities and villages proclaiming and bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God. The 12 were with Him as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities.
00:00:55:22 – 00:01:32:04
Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven Demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward, Chaucer and Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources. So maybe we can work backwards here, Michael. First, we could make some comment on the significance that Luke identifies women who are with Jesus, both as kind of followers who travel in this group and as supporters, people who support what Jesus is doing.
00:01:32:09 – 00:01:59:33
Presumably that means financially we see here out of their resources. It’s likely that means that they they took some leadership in helping with the activities, with food, with whatever that looked like. But it is perhaps I don’t want to overdo it, but it is significant. I won’t even say it’s unusual, though. I think maybe that word would be fair.
00:01:59:38 – 00:02:35:48
It is significant that Luke points out that there are several women and specifically that there are women who Jesus had helped or healed in the past. And coming on the heels of Jesus helping a woman, you almost wonder, is she counted among that number, is she not? We don’t know that Luke doesn’t explicitly make that claim, but it is very interesting that Luke takes a moment for us, Michael, to recognize these women and to suggest that they are not just following Jesus around, but but part of this group and part of the ministry.
00:02:35:52 – 00:03:01:57
Yeah. This I think, speaks to Luke’s particular emphasis. We won’t linger here long, but other gospel writers will include the women and children that are following along. We get a sense for the crowds and once they get we have that here. But Clint, to your point, that’s exactly right. Luke wants us to know, the reader, that these women are providing for Jesus out of their resources, that they are contributing.
00:03:01:57 – 00:03:34:58
There’s something positive in this. Along with the other crowd, there’s some diminishment of the 12 disciples. It’s not a diminishment of those others who we know are following Jesus, but it is an addition. It’s inclusion that Jesus has this group that is all contributing to making this ministry and this movement a possibility. And when Luke tells the story, Luke is not going to leave out some of those important characters, and that does not in any way devalue the other gospels or their past perspectives or the stories that they emphasize.
00:03:35:11 – 00:03:58:19
But it is a thing that Luke emphasizes, and we, I think, are we’re blessed to have names like Joanna and Susanna in the story of Jesus. It reminds us of those who are contributing substantially and meaningfully. And it’s great that we are reminded by Luke of their contributions to Jesus’s story and the revelation of who he is.
00:03:58:26 – 00:04:29:35
Yeah, we sometimes, as we read those stories, obviously the 12 disciples come to mind and they have a significant place in the story. But it is good to be reminded that there are many others, some of them permanently. Mary will be with us at the end of the story. I’m not sure that we see much of Joanna and Susanna named again, but some of these characters will remain in important roles even up until the resurrection narratives, and that’s really significant in the gospel.
00:04:29:40 – 00:05:01:36
The other thing, Michael, and we haven’t unpacked this, so maybe today is a good day to do that. We we encounter this phrase that’s easy to run by, but it is perhaps the most significant phrase in the gospels. Soon afterwards, he went through the cities and villages proclaiming and bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God and Kingdom of God is the most really the most important phrase that we run into in the Jesus story.
00:05:01:40 – 00:05:38:00
It’s used more than words like Messiah or Savior. It’s used more than the names of famous people like David or Moses. Kingdom of God is the foundation and the bedrock of Jesus ministry whenever he’s telling parables or stories or preaching. We have these references to Kingdom of God, and in some ways it is probably not a new phrase in his day, but the meaning that Jesus attaches to it and the significance He gives to it.
00:05:38:00 – 00:06:01:19
And really, I don’t know the best way to describe it. Michael It really is the summary of everything that Jesus thinks God is up to in the world. It is a thing that is off on the far horizon that will one day come. It is a thing that is already present in the life of the believers. It is the thing that is now but is not fully present.
00:06:01:24 – 00:06:31:04
It is the thing that believers participate in when they forgive and when they come to faith and when they are gracious and joyful. It is the thing that the world is trying to stop. It is. We could spend weeks, possibly even months, trying to unpack this phrase. Michael and I. And I think we would still fall short. It really is the signature line in the teaching and ministry of Jesus.
00:06:31:04 – 00:06:42:51
And it’s hard to I think it’s hard to appreciate how how desperately, vitally, amazingly, incredibly important this is to Jesus.
00:06:42:55 – 00:07:17:55
This is a difficult thing to get a grasp on. So maybe let’s look at it in the text itself, because I think actually Luke helps us here a little bit. Look here at verse to the work that Jesus is doing. He’s curing evil spirits, but also infirmities. And these things are combined for a very particular reason, because Jesus is not just a mystic who is interested in the spiritual realm, but Jesus is also not just a kind of social prophet who’s interested in the physical realities of the world.
00:07:18:00 – 00:07:43:35
He’s often missed for both of those because he says things along both ways. But Luke wants us to know Jesus is interested in the sicknesses of our soul, that demon possession. Jesus is also interested in healing our bodies, the physical realities of our life, that Jesus is interested in both of these simultaneously. The Kingdom of God is always a tension between what is and what is to come.
00:07:43:48 – 00:08:16:29
The physical and the spiritual God’s work amongst the highest and the least of the thing that is happening and the thing that is going to happen. All of this is bound up in this idea of the Kingdom of God, because Jesus is this unbelievably unrepeatable, never before seen intersection between God, the one who is before creation and Jesus Christ, the one who takes on flesh and is therefore in creation and is created and yet creator.
00:08:16:30 – 00:08:43:35
It’s this mysterious tension that Luke wants us to know is happening whenever Jesus is encountered. And so wherever Jesus goes, the Kingdom of God therefore is advanced. And I just think that that’s an essential aspect of the gospel. Because if we don’t understand that the Kingdom of God is bigger than the boundaries that we create in our own meaning making in the world, we tend to box it in.
00:08:43:35 – 00:09:00:50
We make it either about the spiritual or the physical or some blend of that, but it’s both simultaneously. The kingdom of God is bigger than what we imagine because Jesus is combining these realities in a way that we can’t imagine. And that’s the amazing part of a story like this.
00:09:00:50 – 00:09:23:20
Yeah, this is a massive theological point and we don’t want to beat it into the ground. But when Jesus says Kingdom of God, I think to your point, Michael, he he does have in mind the impact that faith has in the here and now. And he also has in mind the promise that faith offers in the world yet to come.
00:09:23:20 – 00:09:48:27
And we have struggled in the faith, I think sometimes to keep those hand in hand, we we sometimes emphasize one over the other as if faith means just what happens to us after we die, or if faith means only, you know, in the here and now. And it it is it is difficult language theologically, when Jesus says the kingdom of God.
00:09:48:27 – 00:10:22:35
Part of the reason it’s difficult is because it is so massive in the way that Jesus uses it and understands it. And so this is Jesus, you know, He says this earlier, we’ve seen this earlier. Probably we should have unpacked it then. But Jesus said, I must go preach the kingdom of God. That’s why I came. That Jesus understands that his own purpose is to announce the Kingdom of God, the reign of God, the presence of God, the world yet to come, but the God in the world, right in the here and now.
00:10:22:35 – 00:10:58:00
And so if you get anything out of this and again, we don’t want to just overdo it, but if you get anything out of this, I think it would be this. When you see that phrase in the gospel kingdom of God, pause for a second and and simply be struck by how big the concept is, because it’s a it’s a phrase that if we read over and don’t give thought to, we really will struggle to see the depth of what it means in the message of Jesus.
00:10:58:04 – 00:11:20:04
I do want to be aware of the fact we don’t want to go further down this road than what will be interesting and instructive. But I do think look at verse one here. Soon afterwards, Jesus goes through the cities and the villages. And one of the questions that comes with this idea of bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God is whose villages and cities are those?
00:11:20:09 – 00:11:46:28
Because in the world in which Jesus lives, those villages and cities belong to Rome, the kingdom that they pay taxes to, the kingdom that they report to the kingdom that they take censuses from is the Kingdom of Rome. It’s the King leader, authoritative structure. And all of those people that they put in the hierarchy underneath. When Jesus comes, he’s proclaiming a different kingdom.
00:11:46:28 – 00:12:13:46
And so therefore the Kingdom of God is not just a Jesus proclaimed reality, it is actually a reality that is in opposition to the ideas of those who might call themselves kings over these cities and these villages. And, you know, commentaries make a point that as you go through the Book of Luke, Jesus travels out of that story in the beginning where he’s cast out of the Jewish sanctuary, right?
00:12:13:46 – 00:12:38:42
They want to throw him off a cliff so that he will die. Well, he leaves and he continues to make his way further and further through Gentile regions proclaiming this good news. Well, those places are places where the Kingdom of Rome is assumed. And here, when Jesus proclaims the good news is God’s kingdom, which is obviously of a different kind than this other kingdom that the people would claim for themselves.
00:12:38:42 – 00:13:06:57
It’s not ruled by the military. It doesn’t function by how much taxes can be gleaned. It’s an entirely different kingdom. And so that whole point that you just made of slowing down and feeling the force of this is important because it’s a revolutionary idea. It’s not that big of a word, and it’s certainly not a complex theological idea, but it’s a unbelief, wobbly, nuanced, transforming idea.
00:13:06:57 – 00:13:23:49
I mean, a child can in some way understand Kingdom of God, but the idea with the most layers behind their name can’t plumb the depths of what Jesus means by it. And that’s the beauty of a text like this. It includes it. All of the weight of it is here, but we might miss it if we read by too quickly.
00:13:23:54 – 00:13:51:45
Yeah. And it if we revisit a text like Blessed are the poor for yours is the Kingdom of God. You know, again, Luke is always gone. All of the gospel writers are going to connect what Jesus does with this reality of the kingdom. And I think maybe we see that. And I don’t know, I hope nobody feels we’re overdoing this, but this really is important in verse one here, bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God.
00:13:51:45 – 00:14:16:54
If you know a little Greek, the phrase good news is gospel. It literally says proclaiming and bringing the gospel of the kingdom of God. Now we think of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but Jesus thinks of the Gospel of the Kingdom, the good news of the kingdom, which is not something that simply awaits us on the other side of our death.
00:14:16:58 – 00:14:40:19
It’s something that Jesus brings to the world in the here and now. And then, as well. And what are the markers of it? That people are healed, that people are change, that people are called to a new way of life. These are all signs of the kingdom among us. And and to your point, Michael, which is a good one, they stand in stark contrast to the signs of the kingdom of the world.
00:14:40:19 – 00:15:07:19
It is a very different kingdom. It is an upside down kingdom. It is a kingdom of grace and mercy, not power. It is a kingdom where sinners are welcomed and self-righteous or not. It is a kingdom where the poor are celebrated and the rich are warned. It is the opposite of everything we expect it to be from a worldly perspective, and it is the center of of Jesus ministry.
00:15:07:19 – 00:15:30:45
So would. Yeah, as is our typical piece. We’re not making it very far, but I think we would do a disservice to continue to read by that phrase and not try to do a deeper dive on its importance in the gospel because it’s going to continue to come up and we need to be aware of what that means.
00:15:30:50 – 00:15:52:58
So one of the beautiful things that Scripture makes available to us, we sometimes struggle to take advantage of these opportunities. These almost footholds that the text creates is to see a list of names like this. I don’t know about you. My temptation is to see a list of names go into autopilot and get to the next part where there aren’t names because I don’t know these people.
00:15:52:58 – 00:16:16:57
But if we’re able to slow down and to take that as an opportunity to ask the question, oh, am I in this story, my part of this group and the great good news of this, let’s be very clear, is that some of these following Jesus had seven demons come out, that people with real problems, real choices and consequences, real brokenness in their life.
00:16:17:06 – 00:16:40:52
And the great news is there is good news in the kingdom. This kingdom is not one that’s judged by your track record or judged by the worst decision you’ve made in your entire life. This kingdom is, by definition, open by the very grace of Jesus Christ. He is the one proclaiming the good news is the one proclaiming it.
00:16:40:57 – 00:17:09:52
And so this is, I think, incredibly relevant in our lives. This is not the teaching point that Luke is making, but as readers think we can see in the lives of these people, an inspirational call to reflect upon our own lives and to recognize that though sometimes we feel unworthy, we are in good company, that all of those who have received the grace of Jesus in Christ, including those ones who followed Him in his own time, were unworthy.
00:17:10:03 – 00:17:29:42
But this is the nature of the good news that he proclaimed. And so you’re a part of that kingdom, not because you’ve earned it or deserved it, not because you find yourself there by some act of your own will or intelligence, but because Jesus has invited you. So broken. People are not only welcome on this journey, it’s expected.
00:17:29:42 – 00:17:42:04
And that is one of the beautiful gifts Luke gives us because he’s not teaching us that explicitly, but he’s modeling it. He’s showing us that that is the way, and if we are willing to see it will be included in it.
00:17:42:09 – 00:18:21:18
Yeah, if there’s a way to close this conversation, it’s probably that Michael, that when we see the Gospels, what we see in Jesus and what we understand Kingdom means are synonymous that the Christ who heals and welcomes and challenges and changes is doing the work and is initiating the Kingdom of God. And in that kingdom there is a graciousness, there is an unusual illness, there is an oddness when compared to the kingdom of the world, which I think we’ll see tomorrow when I promise we’ll cover more than three verses.
00:18:21:32 – 00:18:43:57
But the kingdom is is a place unlike any other place, because Jesus is a person unlike any other person. And to see the ways in which they define one another is, I think, vital if you’re ever going to have a working understanding of of these texts of the gospels.
00:18:44:02 – 00:18:59:33
Well, that will bring us to the end of our conversation for today. We’re glad that you have joined us. Hope that you’ve been encouraged and challenged in it. Certainly give this video a like if you have found it helpful that helps others find it in their own future. Studies and certainly subscribe if you’d like to join us for future studies.
00:18:59:38 – 00:19:03:03
It’s a joy that we spend time with you each day and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.