Luke 8: 1 – 3 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 Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
I love this little passage, tucked away here in Luke’s story. We don’t really hear much about these ladies elsewhere in scripture. But apparently, they played a significant role in Jesus’ ministry. They supported him with their own money. They stayed behind the scenes, doing what needed to be done, never seeking recognition. They just served because they wanted to.
This passage tells me something important about these ladies. It also tells me something important about Jesus. You see, during this time in history, women weren’t allowed be educated. They weren’t allowed to sit under the teaching of the rabbi. As a matter of fact, they weren’t allowed to do much at all, besides have babies and take care of their families.
Now, I think that having babies and taking care of family is one of the highest callings a woman can aspire to. But we all know, it is one thing to do something because you feel called to do it. It is an entirely different matter when you do something because you feel forced to do it. Jesus saw these women as real people, with individual gifts and talents and personalities. He saw their needs, and He met them. He saw their potential, and He allowed them to grow and learn and reach for the stars. He created them, and He loved them.
He changed their lives. He cast out demons, healed them, and gave them new starts, and they loved Him for it. They were so grateful for His life-changing touch that they committed their lives to serving Him any way they could. They gave their money, their time, their talent . . . they offered their lives to Him.
He changed my life, too, you know. Without him, I would be no better off than they were. Oh, I may not have been forced into a subservient lifestyle, but I would most certainly be a prisoner to my own selfish, self-centered, destructive desires. Without Him, I would be nothing. I’d be miserable and lonely and lost.
But He has set me free – free to reach my full potential in Him. Free to become all that He created me to be. Free to learn and grow and stretch and use my gifts and talents and abilities for Him.
I wonder . . . am I doing that? He has changed my life and set me free, but am I really laying down my life in gratitude to Him? Am I loving others the way He wants me to love them? Am I giving my time and my money and my talent to serve Him, and to carry out His work in this world?
I don’t know if I am or not. But I want to. I want to be like Mary Magdalene and Susanna and Joanna and the others, and lay my life down in gratitude for His love. He won’t force me to serve Him. And for that reason, I want to be His servant, every single day of my life.
Dear Father, Thank You for seeing me, for loving me, and for allowing me to become all You created me to be. I love You, and I want to do Your work in this world.