We tend to forget that there were on-going costs involved with Christ’s ministry. After all, when He traveled around the Galilean region with an entourage of at least a dozen others, someone had to foot the bill for their lodging, food, and clothing. A three year itinerant ministry would cost a lot in sandals and sandwiches, even if you could every now and then feed a multitude of five thousand people.
From Luke’s Gospel, we get an idea of those who supported Christ financially – they were women who had been healed miraculously. They were grateful for Christ’s compassion and His holiness which completely restored them to their personal domestic lives. Whatever they had suffered from, Jesus cured them. Whatever pain, isolation, depression, or sickness they had had in the past, Christ healed them.
Their gratitude was expressed in financial terms. Whatever they had to give from their own means, they gave cheerfully and willingly to support Jesus. His ministry meant everything to them, so they wanted to help Him financially. Whenever we think about the effective support that was given to Christ’s work, we tend to think in terms of the number of disciples; however, without the quantity of money that was given for His ministry, even Jesus would not have been able to complete His work across the Galilean region.
Perhaps the main lesson that we all can learn from this passage is one of cheerful stewardship. After all, Christ still depends upon how gratefully we give to the work of His church, in order to continue His ministry in our world today.
Questions for personal reflection
Why do I give money to the church? How do my contributions help to fulfill Christ’s ministry in my community and around the world?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, without financial support Your Church, in local communities and throughout the world, could never function or flourish, or even fulfill the Great Commission. Your ministry on Earth still needs our resources and money to effectively accomplish Your work around the globe. Help us to reflect upon what and how we give of our means to You. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest digital glass designs. It’s called “Common Cup.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click the following link: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8424/7713499924_2648e0ed42_b.jpg