Luke 8 opens with Jesus doing His thing- going from place to place proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The chosen twelve are with Jesus watching and learning - job shadowing if you will. But it's not just Jesus and his peeps..."and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom 7 demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means."
Lets chew on that for a minute or two. In a culture where women had little value, again we find women actively involved with the ministry of Jesus. These women were not cookie cutter converts. All three have been been touched by the healing hand of Jesus in some way, and all three were forever changed. Mary, we know was a delivered sinner, freed from demon possession and passionate about her salvation. No longer defined by the depth of her past sin, she followed and served in full obedience. Joanna was a women of great social standing. We know this because we know to whom she was married. Susanna; we know nothing of her, expect that she had experienced healing and her deliverance prompted her action. Different women with varied stories of deliverance, but they share a Savior. But let's not miss something important here; they weren't delivered and then sedentary. Instead their feet AND their checkbooks were moved to action. They attended to the needs of the ministry. If I close my eyes, I can almost see them in the markets purchasing food for meals, and at camp side kitchens preparing it. Getting laundry done, fetching water. Jesus was focused on his job - preaching - and these women (and others too) made sure all of the other "details" of daily life were addressed so that the ministry could continue without interruption.
Any takeaways for me today? You bet!
Can I honor God with my financial giving? Will combining it with the giving of others in my faith community help advance real Kingdom work that has a real financial requirement? Yep. Can I reduce the temptation that my preachers, teachers, and leaders face to be distracted by "other things" and help them stay focused on spreading the Good News? Oh sure, especially if I am willing to do the types things that others simply don't want to be bothered with. It's not always about a spiritual calling or giftedness. Sometimes, we just need a willing heart to tackle an unglamorous, unseen and perhaps even an unclean job.
God, inspire me to seek out tangible ways that I can serve You and lighten the load of those around me who are called to preach, and teach and share the Good New of the Kingdom of God.