Jesus Often Did the Unusual

... Some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven evil spirits had gone out, and ... (Luke 8:2)

The above text is among the curious gospel statements about Jesus. Jesus and the 12 toured Jewish cities and villages teaching about the kingdom of heaven. A group of women accompanied who helped support these men by contributing from private funds. On this tour the women were among those who had been healed of demonic possession and sicknesses. Mary Magdalene also was mentioned as being among the group of women from Galilee who followed Jesus at the time of his crucifixion (see Matthew 27:55, 56; Luke 23:49).

That produces some interesting questions. Why did Jesus allow these women to associate with him in public? In Jewish society then, a woman was not to be in public with a man. This socially unacceptable practice was forbidden and contained enormous danger for misunderstanding. Whyever would Jesus permit that?

Why those kinds of women? Most of what we know about biblical references to evil spirits is speculation. Evidently, unclean spirits, demonic spirits, and evil spirits refer to the same phenomena. Though there are differing views about whom these evil spirits entered or why evil spirits entered such persons, there is common consensus that evil spirits represented Satan and his interests, not God and His interests.

Were you a person possessed of an evil spirit in Jesusí ministry, and Jesus cast that spirit out of you, how grateful would you be? Were you a Jewish woman who was so blessed, and were you restricted in ways to express your gratitude, what would you do?

A way to express gratitude in keeping with the good received was to minister to Jesus and his work. Would you be grateful? Oh, yes! Would you wish to show your gratitude? Oh, yes! Would you wish to express gratitude in keeping with the good you received? Oh, yes! Interestingly, these women served, they served honorably, and they expressed their gratitude in serving Jesus and the 12 as these men taught about Godís kingdom. Mary had seven of these evil spirits removed!

Lessons: (1) Jesus permitted gratitude. (2) Gratitude was expressed in service. (3) No one had been too bad to help! (4) Great helpfulness produced profound gratitude! Is that also true with you?

 

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 26 April, 2009

 

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