Luke: Jesus, the Itinerant Preacher

Read: Luke 8:1-3

Just a short segue between stories, Luke adds some interesting detail about the preaching and teaching tour of Jesus. Back in the old days, even before my time, the idea of circuit-riders or itinerant preachers modeled their ministry based on this idea:

Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Luke 8:1

He traveled with The Twelve, no surprise, but He also traveled with women that supported the ministry:

These women were helping to support them out of their own means. Luke 8:3

The thought of a band of travelers preaching the Gospel is compelling, challenging, and interesting to imagine. The fact they were supported by women who were able to support themselves is quite intriguing! Apparently, they were not slaves of men, but independent and self-assured adults that they didn’t need to be center stage to be effective.  They enabled the gospel to spread by supporting the men without much fanfare at all. Luke names a few for us to remember, but I’m sure their support was significant–just not the main point. They humbly served behind the scenes. I like that.

It wasn’t, however, a traveling magic show. While Jesus performed miracles all over the place, that was obviously not the crux of His travels. This is significant in my mind because Jesus did not miraculously (or magically) produce shekels, mina, or talents when they needed money to buy food or pay for lodging. He didn’t miraculously make dinner every night. Instead, He and The Twelve relied on the generosity of others, in particular, these women.

I have no doubt He could have chosen a different path, but that would not be reproducible–we could not model His behavior. Jesus leads us by example. He demonstrates how to make disciples, how to invest into people, how to spread the good news even without intervention.

We only get a glimpse, a handful of days and stories to consider, as Luke picks memories that are most helpful for us to consider. Day after day, Jesus and His band traveled about talking to real people about real problems. Just humans loving on humans. He could have come in on a helicopter with loud speakers announcing the end of all time (or else), but He chose to walk from village to village with dusty sandals and dirty hands. Nothing fancy. No private jets or extravagant hotels. Somehow their basic needs were taken care of by friends and relations they created along the way.

Unless I missed something, Jesus never said, “build a 100,000 square foot building here…” or anything that came close to confusing a building with a cause. Not that we don’t need places to meet, I get that, but we must figure out a way to understand the difference between a place of worship and being the church. Please pray that we get a sense of what the Spirit wants us to do in this regard.

Lord, thank you for those who faithfully supported Your earthly ministry and those who support ours. May our faith increase as we attempt to spread the good news, the GREAT news, to those around our towns and villages.

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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