The Devotion of the Delivered
October 21, 2018 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:
Topic: Devotion Verse: Luke 8:1–8:3
“The Devotion of the Delivered”
Theme: Following Jesus Christ involves wholehearted devotion to Him.
I. They Are Devoted to His Message – 8:1
A. The Urgency of the Message
- As Luke continues to review the activity of Jesus’ ministry, he provides a follow up summary of the impact of that ministry in our text today.
- Jesus’ impact on the lives of sinners was not limited to a few rare examples – but sinners like the woman in the previous section existed throughout Galilee.
- Luke shares that “Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another …”
- This is a transitional passage taking us to what is generally known as the final phase of Jesus’ Galilean ministry before He begins heading toward Jerusalem for His passion in Luke 9:51
- He begins an itinerant ministry – “… going around …” [διώδευεν] imperfect, active, indicative – referring to traveling about – without an apparent itinerary.
- We know that Jesus was not random – that whatever He did, it was to fulfill the purpose of the will of the Father.
- However, His ministry took Him to where people were in need – cp. Luke 4:43
- Jesus was concentrating on taking the message to people in need regardless of how remote their locations were – “… from one city and village to another.”
- “city” [πόλις] – a reference to any town that is enclosed with a wall
- “village” [κωμόπολις] – a reference to a town without walls; a grouping of houses.
- Jesus realized that He was nearing the end of His ability to preach the Gospel given His purpose of dying for our sins and He desired to reach as many people as possible while He had the opportunity – to Him it was urgent that He preach the Gospel to as many as possible.
B. The Utterance of the Message
- We are told that as He “was going around,” He was “proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God.”
- First, He was “proclaiming” [κηρύσσων] Pres. Active Participle – describing an authoritative declaration of truth – propositional preaching calling for obedience demonstrating that the Gospel is a command – cp. 2 Thessalonians 1:8
- Second, He was “preaching” [εὐαγγελιζόμενος] – Pres. Middle Participle - describing the attempt to “evangelize” – or deliver the “good news” of the forgiveness of sin.
- Whereas the “proclaiming” emphasizes the proposition, the “preaching” emphasizes the pleading to believe.
- The subject was “the kingdom of God” – that is, the ability that sinners have to know the blessings of forgiveness associated with the New Covenant under the rule of God through the Messiah – cp. Colossians 1:13-14.
- Those who were traveling with Him were constantly seeking to promote this message and the delivery of this message however and wherever they could.
- How do the implications of Jesus’ example of taking the Gospel to people in “cities and villages” influence your own involvement in evangelism?
- What changes or instigations would this require of you to be properly influenced by Christ and those who traveled with Him?
II. They Are Devoted Because of His Ministry – 8:1b-3a
A. The Training through His Ministry – v. 1b
- We have already been introduced to this first group of disciples – those who had been chosen who would become His Apostles – “The twelve were with Him …”
- Jesus had many followers – a crowd of people who would accompany Him as He travelled around – cp. Luke 7:11
- However, “the twelve” were the ones on whom Jesus concentrated and confided – they were a special focus for Him.
- He purposefully called these men to follow Him for the purpose of being trained or mentored by Him – cp. Luke 6:12-16
- Very soon, Jesus would send “the twelve” out for solo ministry, but they were still being trained – cp. Luke 9:1-2
- Such training remains the biblical model of raising up leaders – even as demonstrated by the Apostle Paul – cp. 2 Timothy 2:2 (where four “generations” of leaders are viewed).
- These men’s lives, though ordinary independently of Jesus, became extraordinary because of Jesus and His ministry to them – they were radically transformed by the ministry of Jesus to them.
B. The Transformation through His Ministry – vv. 2-3a
- There were others who were also transformed who tended to the needs of Jesus and those who ministered together with Him.
- It was extremely rare for a Rabbi to be accompanied by women – because of the low view of women that prevailed in the day.
- Whereas “the twelve” were constantly with Jesus, it appears that the women who attended Jesus would on occasion, but not necessarily constantly.
- Those who were accompanying Jesus were “some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses …” – the beneficiaries of the ministry of Jesus that had forever transformed them.
- Notable among them were three examples:
- “Mary who was called Madgalene, from whom seven demons had gone out” – a woman from the town of Magdala who was the most prominent female disciple of Christ Jesus as her name is always listed first whenever women were mentioned (like Peter among “the twelve”) – enjoyed the distinction of being the first person to whom Jesus revealed Himself after the resurrection – cp. Luke 23:55-56; 24:10
- “… and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward” – a woman from a powerful & wealthy family whose life was radically transformed by the ministry of Christ.
- “Chuza, Herod’s steward” – a reference most likely to the manager of Herod Antipas’ estate (the same Herod that would murder John the Baptist.
- It is possible that Jesus’ ministry to her is what is described in Jesus’ healing of the “royal official’s” son in Nain – cp. John 4:46-53
- “Joanna” was given her husband’s blessing to attend to Jesus and the assist in His ministry as she was needed.
- She ended up going all the way to Jerusalem and witnessed the crucifixion and tended to the body of Jesus afterward – cp. Luke 24:10
- “… and Susanna …” – little is known of Susanna and how she was delivered, only that she was among those who were compelled by the mercies of God in Christ to follow Him.
- The variety of people – both within “the twelve” and the “women” – who were transformed by the ministry of Jesus demonstrate that there were no limits in the scope of His ministry: every conceivable demographic group of class of people is in view.
- One thing is unmistakable, when a person is transformed by the work of Christ, their allegiance thereafter goes to Christ alone.
- How is the work of Christ in transforming your life most evident to others?
- Have you ever felt that some aspect of ministry is “below” your gifting or that something is too much to ask of you?
- When was the last time that you gave a testimony of the circumstances around when Christ saved you? Find someone with whom you could share “your story.”
III. They Are Devoted with Their Means – 8:3b
A. Their Personal Service
- Those attending Jesus demonstrated that when they are delivered from their sin and their lives are transformed, that their response is to first give of themselves – cp. 2 Corinthians 8:3-5
- This is what we see in our text, that together with “the twelve” and “some women, … many others were contributing to their support …”
- “were contributing” [διηκόνουν] – Imperfect Act. Indicative – they were continually “caring for, taking care of, or helping to meet immediate needs” or someone.
- It does not primarily mean finances, but service – the same word from where we get the term “deacon.”
- The work of Jesus’ ministry depended on the support that others who followed Him provided – much like to work of building the church which Jesus owns depends upon the collaboration of His servants.
- In fact, once the church was established through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, every believer is blessed with a spiritual gift to be used to build the Body of Christ.
- In this sense, we have been saved for the purpose of assisting in the work of Christ – we’ve been “saved to serve!” – cp. 1 Thessalonians 1:9
B. Their Financial Support
- Beyond personal service is the need to also provide financially – “contributing to their support out of their private means.”
- Jesus’ ministry depended upon the financial support by those whose lives He had changed.
- “private means” [ὑπαρχόντων] Present Act. Participle – refers to what is “at one’s disposal,” or what comes to exist.
- It indicates that they were sacrificing in order to make sure that the ministry that Jesus was doing could continue.
- This arrangement continues as the principle for those whose lives are being transformed by the ministry of Christ Jesus through those who teach and preach His Word – cp. 1 Corinthians 9:11, 14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18.
- Given the example of the women and many others who were contributing to the ministry of Christ out of their private means, are you notable in how you are seeking to promote the Gospel through your means?
- From this text, what were the factors that went into determining the level of support that those who contributed to the ministry of Jesus gave?
- What are some of the principles of giving that ought to be kept in mind as one prays through contributing to the work of Christ?