The United States Marines often advertise for recruits, saying they are looking for “a few good men.” Jesus, however, found a few good men and women as the first recruits for His growing army. They loved Him because He first loved them. According to what we just read, some of the female recruits had been previously ill or demon-possessed. Mary Magdalene, whom you will one day meet in heaven, had been delivered of seven demons, which tells us that she had been in a horrible condition before she met Jesus. Unsaved people can allow the entrance of demons into them by practicing wicked things, and so it’s quite possible that Mary Magdalene was formerly a very sinful person. But Jesus delivered and forgave her, and now she was following Him closely. She was the very first person to see Him after He had risen from the dead!
Another one of Jesus’ female followers was Joanna, the wife of Herod’s business manager. She, along with Mary Magdalene, was one of the first people to see Christ’s empty tomb. She also helped to support Jesus and His disciples financially. Since Joanna’s husband made his living working for Herod, it was actually some of Herod’s money that was used to buy food for Jesus.
People who are true followers of Christ, male or female, want to support His cause, and one of the ways they do that is with their money. Today, Christ’s followers financially support His cause by giving money to their church, missionaries and mission works. Anyone who claims to be Christ’s follower (and who makes money) but gives no money to Christ’s cause is only fooling himself. Do you give a portion of the money you receive to Christ’s cause?
Joanna and her husband, who worked for the occupying Roman government’s ruler were probably looked upon by most other Jews as traitors. But Jesus gladly accepted her as a member of His band of disciples, right along with a number of other people even though their reputations might hurt His. But Jesus was motivated by pure love, and He was unconcerned what judgmental people might think of Him because of those with whom He associated. We should follow His example.
Today we also read about another Mary and her sister Martha, two women who were very good friends of Jesus. Jesus visited their home one day, and as Martha diligently worked to prepare dinner, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to His teaching. Martha was trying to be a good hostess, worrying about every little detail, and she became angry that her sister wasn’t helping her with all the preparations.
Under most other circumstances, her anger might have been justified, because her sister should have been helping her. But that day, God was visiting their house! That doesn’t happen often! Jesus commended Mary for her right priorities. Spiritual food is more important than physical food, especially when it is being served by God Himself!
Q. If there is work to be done at your house by you and your brother(s) and/or sister(s), based on what Jesus told Mary, is it OK if you don’t help carry your share as long as you grab your Bible and start reading it?
A. Sorry! You can read your Bible any time, and you certainly shouldn’t use Bible reading as an excuse to get out of acting like a Christian! Mary’s case was different because Jesus was physically present and was teaching. I suppose if He had been taking a nap, He would have agreed with Martha.
Q. What do you think Jesus would say to the person who skips church on Sunday morning because he or she has so much to do to prepare for the church picnic on Sunday afternoon?
A. He would tell them that their priorities were mixed up.
Application: God loves women just as much as men. Therefore, no Christians should think of themselves as being superior to the opposite sex.