Friday, September 04, 2020

2020.09.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 8:1–3

 Read Luke 8:1–3

Questions from the Scripture text: Through where did Jesus go (Luke 8:1)? How does v1 summarize what He was doing? Who were with Him? Who else, Luke 8:2, were with Him? Which Mary, and what had happened to her? And who else in Luke 8:3? What was Joanna’s husband’s job? Who else is specifically named? How many other women? What did they do for Him? 

Our Lord here gives us a summary of what His work was during the three years of His earthly ministry: preaching. And the evangelist will proceed in the next section to give us some samples of that preaching.

There is an emphasis here upon the diligence and persistence of our Redeemer. He went through every city, preaching. And He did not neglect those who were less impressive in the eyes of the world. He also went through every village, preaching.

And what was He preaching? The second word for the proclamation is actually built out of the word for the ‘gospel’—in all of His proclaiming, the main thing was to announce the good news of the kingdom of God!

This is how the twelve became not just apostles but evangelists. They had been with Jesus (Luke 8:1) for all of this preaching, and in everything they addressed in their preaching, they learned to have at its center the good news of King Jesus and His kingdom. We see this everywhere in their writing, and rejoice that it is Christ Himself who addresses us in the Lord’s Day assemblies (Romans 10:14–15; Hebrews 3–4; Hebrews 12:22–29).

Those who hope that one day they may be missionaries or preachers or elders—or even husbands or fathers, both of whom have the same task—must learn first to attend to Christ’s own proclamation. It is from Him that we learn gospel preaching.

Not everyone can be a preacher, however, so the ladies mentioned in Luke 8:2-3 did what the Lord gave them ability to do. Some had been healed of evil spirits. Others had been healed of sicknesses. Many, undoubtedly, had been healed of both. 

These did what they could for our Lord, as so many members of His “Proverbs 31” bride. In every diligence and frugality that produced some means, they provided for Christ from their substance.

What a glorious opportunity! Many a believing girl or boy (or man or woman!) has learned this privilege: they may not be called (or permitted) to stand in the pulpit or be missionaries, but they may express their thankfulness to the Lord by giving sacrificially. And how great an honor! 

It is wonderful to know that the Holy Spirit noted, in the pages of Holy Scripture, these women who gave sacrificially to help finance Christ’s ministry. He who commands shekels into fish mouths and multiples wine and bread and fish had no need. But He gave them opportunity and memorialized their giving in Holy Scripture.

So also let us exercise diligence and frugality that we may also take such opportunity and lay claim to such honor with those whom our Lord has called to preach His gospel.

What are you learning, whenever you read Scripture or hear it proclaimed? What opportunities have you taken to participate in Christ’s program of proclaiming His gospel? 

Suggested songs: ARP95B “Today, If You Will Hear His Voice” or TPH170 “God, in the Gospel of His Son”

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