Text: Luke 8:1-3 ESV
1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.
Thesis: Jesus had many followers, some he selected, but MM stands out for her faithfulness and bravery.
- The only other place Joanna is mentioned is with Mary M and Mary (mother of Jesus) as a witness to the resurrection. No other mention of Susanna.
- “the good news of the kingdom of God”
- There were 12, but there were more – circles of friends
- Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager – this is probably the same Herod who imprisoned and would later execute John the Baptist
Trans: Who thought he was the king of the Jews? Mary knew better.
Mary Magdalene – past – demon possession
- Demons are real but really limited – demon possession was a real situation in the past and in the present
- Jesus taught us much about deliverance from demons in both his words and his actions
- Demons were cast out by Jesus and by his disciples – [Luk 9:1-2 ESV] 1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
- But Jesus’s followers and those who opposed him agreed that Jesus was performing exorcisms regularly – [Mat 9:33 ESV] 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”
- Jesus occasionally teaches about deliverance from demons including: A delivered soul needs to be immediately occupied by the presence of the Holy Spirit
- The point of saying seven as the number of demons, whether literal or not, was to emphasize that she was completely possessed
- There is one who is known as Legion because he has many demons
- It appears that most demon possessed people only were possessed by a single demon though often this is left unclearly explained
- S. Smalley “it is not possible, at least from the biblical evidence, to limit the illness from which Mary was healed to one sphere alone, the physical, the mental, or the moral.”
Trans: Have you ever been sure of the “next big thing?” Bitcoin? Apple?
Present – disciple – provider
- She was enticed by this kingdom of God that Jesus was proclaiming
- [Mat 3:2 ESV] 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- [Mat 5:10 ESV] 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- [Mat 7:21 ESV] 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
- [Luk 6:20 ESV] 20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
- [Luk 17:20-21 ESV] 20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
- [Luk 18:16-17 ESV] 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
- [Jhn 3:3 ESV] 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
- [Rom 14:17 ESV] 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
- [1Co 4:20 ESV] 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
- [1Co 15:50 ESV] 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
- She was with him – she was not limited by feeling like an outsider
- Was not just part of the crowd. Is a disciple
- She provided out of her means
Finally, courageous witness
- Who is at the cross? [Jhn 19:25 ESV] 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
- Who is the first to the tomb? [Jhn 20:1-2 ESV] 1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
- The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke 23:55-56 ESV
- But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. Luke 24:1-12 ESV
- The courage of MM is remarkable – she knows her death could result from association with Jesus, but she was not about to forsake him now.
- [Jhn 20:11, 14-18 ESV] 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. … 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”–and that he had said these things to her.
- Discuss the contrasting depths of her sorrow – the crying that happens after the funeral
Trans: Sometimes we need to proclaim the gospel to the disciples. Remember the kingdom of God? It has come!
Conclusion: Remember that Jesus has authority over all that is within you and around you. He is your deliverer. Be a follower, even when it makes you an outsider. Be courageous in following the Lord, no matter what. Be prepared to encourage his followers as well, even if they don’t hear you the first time.