Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Providing for Christ

There are three ladies mentioned in Luke 8 that have piqued my curiosity. One of them—Mary Magdalene—I am quite familiar with, but the other two are ones that we don’t know a lot about. In fact, one of them is mentioned twice in the whole Bible, and the other is mentioned just this once.

The first one is “Joanna the wife of Chura” (Luke 8:3). She is mentioned again in Luke 24 as one of the women (along with Mary Magdalene and others) who informs the apostles of Jesus’ resurrection. What is intriguing to me about Joanna is that her husband was “Herod’s steward.”

The second lady is Susanna. That is all that is mentioned about her. We don’t know who her husband was, what she did for a living, or any other circumstances surrounding her.

But we do know two key components about all three of these women. One: these three women “had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities” by Jesus. And two: they “provided for [Jesus] from their substance”—which is to say that they cared for Jesus, made sure He was fed, and had a roof over His head at night.

And these two realities about these three ladies cannot be pondered enough. It is a goldmine to meditate upon the implications of these two things. And it is a wonderful example of what should be the experience with all of us.

Simply put, Jesus saved them and, in response, they felt compelled by His love to give back to Him.

Is this not a perfect illustration of the Gospel and how a relationship with Christ works? Christ initiates healing; He initiates salvation; He brings newness of life. And, overwhelmed with gratitude, we ask what we can now do for Him! He doesn’t owe use anything more. We long to “provide” for Him!

And this is the heart of what the apostle Paul understood as well, writing in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

So let us live out our gratitude! Let us minister and provide for Christ and seek to bring Him happiness.


Rondi said...

Beautiful thoughts! I'm sharing them for our afternoon staff devotional =)

Brent Buttler said...

I agree with Rondi, great stuff. I think there are many people who serve God out of a sense of obligation, not out of love. If we find ourselves in that situation, we should make a sincere effort to get back to that first love experience. Love makes our lives so much better.

Anonymous said...

Great Mother's Day sermons! Nicely written. The meaning, as others have commented, is the essence of the gospel's work.