Tuesday, January 02, 2007



As we open up chapter 8 of Luke we come to an interesting inside look at how Jesus traveled and who went with Him. After the notable dinner party at Simon’s home the night before, Jesus set out on a field trip. Let’s look at it:

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

There are three observations I want to make here:
FIRST—Those who went with Jesus on this field trip. They went from one village to another with a fairly large group. First of all, the twelve were with Him. This is certainly what you would expect. The others who went along are interesting.

There was Mary Magdalene. She was from the little village of Magdala on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Magdala was known for its dried fish industry and rabbis of that time were quite critical of the immorality of its inhabitants. Mary was a troubled woman, demonized by seven demons that harassed her. Jesus was instrumental in freeing her from these demonic pests.

She was either a widow or a single woman and must have been from a wealthy family. She traveled with His party throughout Galilee, and was with Him in Jerusalem at His crucifixion and resurrection. She was one of those who followed Jesus because her life had been so remarkably changed by His healing power.

Then there were other interesting women, the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household, Susanna and many others.

SECOND—The message Jesus and the group were proclaiming.
Specifically, Jesus was, as was His custom, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. As we will continue to see, the kingdom is one of Jesus’ primary themes He wanted to make clear to those who were interested.

THIRD—NOTE the role of these women. They were the financial underwriters for the trip. What’s interesting is that women were key to the financing of the early church of Jesus. Usually they were successful businesswomen who had a heart for investing in Jesus’ ministry.

This story speaks to me as to what I continually see Jesus doing. Where we have a tendency to put an emphasis on all of our differences, Jesus unites people from several ends of society—a woman troubled with demons, a woman married to an execute in Herod’s court and Susanna and many others, not to mention the twelve who were made up of a political zealot, several fishermen and a tax collector.

Here’s the principle you will note everywhere you go: JESUS UNITES AND EVERYONE ELSE DIVIDES. Jesus is so irresistible that He resonates with people from every culture. I’ve had more fun lately interacting with Catholics, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, non-Christians, agnostics and atheists just in the past few weeks. Our conversation has nothing to do with religion, but has everything to do with a relationship with Jesus. No one is threatened by Jesus. Why? Because Jesus unites and everyone else divides.

Jesus is still leading field trips today. I urge you to join one with Jesus and His friends.