Verses 1-3 of Luke chapter 8 can tell us much about the ministry of our Lord Jesus, but the tendency is to rush right past them and into the rest of the chapter, as there is much going on here. But let’s focus for a moment on the women that traveled with Jesus as He went preaching through these villages. Only three are mentioned by name, but Luke says there were many others.
Susanna is one that is not mentioned again in the New Testament, so we only know what Luke tells us here – which is that she was either healed by Jesus of some infirmity or of demons. The same goes for Joanna, except that it is highly probable that she is the same Joanna that in Luke 24:1-11 was one of the women that discovered Jesus’ empty tomb and went to tell the apostles. Joanna was the wife of the manager of the household of Herod Antipas.
The other woman who is mentioned is “Mary, called Magdalene.” Of all the women in the New Testament, she has been given the most unfair extra-biblical treatment – even disregarding the book and subsequent movie, the Da Vinci Code (and we will), which has been more than adequately dealt with in other articles that we can point you to, if interested.
First, there is the false belief that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, which we covered in this previous post about Jesus’ dinner with Simon the Pharisee. Then there is further confusion, as she is sometimes portrayed as the adulterous woman of John 8:3-11 that the scribes and Pharisees wanted to stone. Remember Jesus said “let him who is without sin cast the first stone?” Nope, that wasn’t Mary Magdalene either. In fact, there is not even a single mention of Mary of Magdala in the Bible in the context of sin! Here, we learn that she had seven demons that Jesus cast out – but no mention of sin.
Furthermore, the women that are mentioned along with her in these three verses all “provided for them out of their means” (“them” meaning Jesus and His ministry). So not only was Mary Magdalene not a prostitute, but she was evidently a woman of some means financially, who now devoted her life to the Lord. How did the truth become so twisted in so many ways about this woman? There have been several answers offered, but they all come down to the age-old problem. We often (even innocently) accept the words of men rather than searching God’s word for the truth.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.