Lesson 133—October 9, 2016
Audio commentary by David Daniel
Who’s That Following Jesus?
Scripture: Luke 8:1-3
Lesson Goal: To learn of and better understand Jesus’ ministry and those who are following Him.
Introduction: Following His visit in the Pharisee Simon’s home, Jesus and the twelve disciples began another ministry and mission journey through Galilee. During this second of three such journeys or tours Jesus made in Galilee, He will encounter the accusations and hostilities of the Pharisees and religious rulers. This is a very busy time for Jesus. In fact, several of our coming lessons will focus on one day in Jesus’ life and ministry. This one day has been called the “Busy Day” by biblical scholars (Roberson).
In these verses, we find Jesus once again going into the villages and cities sharing the good news of the Kingdom of God.
J.D. Pentecost writes these words concerning verses 1-3:
Christ now embarked on another tour of the region of Galilee. He was accompanied by the Twelve, who ministered the message of the Kingdom along with Him. They were joined by some women of means who had been brought to faith in the person of Christ and who supported Him and His disciples during their itinerant (traveling from place to place) ministry. These women not only supported Christ materially but could be called on as witnesses. They could testify that when they took Christ’s yoke on themselves, they did find their burden of sin had been lifted, for they had been delivered from bondage and brought into a glorious liberty.
Warren Wiersbe offers us some tremendous practical insight concerning these verses:
One of the major themes in Luke 8 is how to get faith and use it in the everyday experience of life. In the first section, Jesus laid the foundation by teaching His disciples that faith comes through receiving the Word of God into an understanding heart. In the second part, He put them through a series of “examinations” to see how much they had really learned. Most of us enjoy
Bible study, but we wish we could avoid the examinations that often follow the lessons! However it is in the tests of life that faith really grows and we get closer to Christ. The Christian believer has put his faith in Jesus Christ, and he bases that faith on the Word of God.
(v. 1) The Lord Jesus continues His ministry through Galilee accompanied by the Twelve and others who had been blessed and healed by His mighty power.
(v. 2) Along with Jesus and the Twelve, Luke tells us that there were some “certain women” that were supporting His ministry. Luke identifies three of these women. It is important for us to understand that Jesus was once again stepping out of the political and religious comfort zones of the traditional rabbinic standards for teaching and ministry. As we look at history, we find that for the most part the religion and culture of Jesus’ day took a low view of women. Jesus’ very actions of allowing women to support Him and His ministry took Him outside the bounds of political correctness. The kind of men who comprised the “Twelve” and the fact that “certain women” sometimes traveled with Jesus (although not all the time or all at once) made Jesus socially unacceptable and religiously an outcast from mainstream religious leaders.
In your own words, describe the kind of men that comprised the “Twelve.”
Please read 1 Corinthians 1: 26-29.
How do these verses apply to the Twelve?
When you think about these same verses as they apply to the leadership of Mars Hill Baptist Church, what are your conclusions?
(Question for the ladies only)
How would you explain the manner in which Jesus liberated women from the traditional Jewish mindset?
(v. 2) Luke gives the name of three of the women: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna.
Mary was called Mary Magdalene because of her home town, Magdala, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee approximately three miles from Tiberias. (When Cindy and I had the privilege of visiting the Holy Land, we spent one night in Tiberias.) Magdala was known for its evils and corruption. Luke tells us that Mary had been delivered from seven demons. “Mary grew up there and fell prey to evil spirits. Her case was hopeless until Jesus came and set her free. She became the Lord’s devoted follower” (Philips). Of the three women named by Luke, we are most familiar with Mary Magdalene. Sometimes she is confused with the woman who entered Simon the Pharisee’s house to worship Jesus.
Please read Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:47; John 20:1-18.
(v. 3) The second woman named by Luke is Joanna whose husband was Herod’s steward (high ranking official). This fact helps us to understand the spread of the good news of the Messiah. The message had not fallen on deaf ears, for even someone associated with Herod had responded and become a follower of Jesus Christ.
Please read Luke 23:55 and 24:10.
Susanna. The Scriptures do not give us any information or any description of Susanna. In fact, Luke gives no other information other than her name, and this will be the only time her name is mentioned in Scripture.
What are some practical truths we can learn from these 3 women?
Please read the following Scriptures—Luke 1:5-25, 39-45, 57-60; Luke chapters 1 & 2; Luke 2:36-38; Matthew 8:14-15; Luke 7:12-15; Luke 10:39-42; John 11:1-45, 12:1-8; Luke 15:8-10; Luke 21:1-4.
What are you able to glean from these passages?
The close of verse 3 tells us that many others (men and women) helped Jesus by providing from their own resources.
The Lord Jesus Christ carried out God’s sovereign will, ministered where God placed Him, proclaimed God’s message, poured Himself into discipling a few faithful men, embraced both men and women from all walks of life, and depended on the contributions of those who had benefited from His ministry. He is the perfect model for all those who serve Him in gratitude and love (MacArthur).