The emphasis in this passage is shown by the first two words, ‘After this…’ Specifically, “after this” was after the sinful woman poured out her alabaster of love upon Jesus, but more meaningfully, it was “after this” phase of ministry. Jesus’ ministry was someplace between a year to a year and a half old. He’s now moving to a new level in his ministry and teaching the kingdom of God. Church is the same, hopefully better. Jesus is telling us, ‘I hope you got it. I want to take you to a higher level. I hope you can make the trip.’ About a year to a year and a half, Jesus takes us to an ‘After this.’

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 8

By Delbert Young

After This, the Kingdom of God  (Luke 8:1-3)

After This, the Kingdom of God - video audio (Luke 8:1-3)

Sermon video

audio

After This, the Kingdom of God Luke 8:1-3

Scriptures: Luke 8:1-3; Luke 8:8; Matthew 11:12; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 19:23-24; Matthew 19:25; Luke 17:20-21

We move into chapter eight of our study on the Gospel according to Luke. Let’s read our passage for today.

Luke 8:1-3 AFTER THIS, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

Jesus became a full time itinerant preacher, but that’s not the emphasis. The emphasis in this passage is shown by the first two words, “After this…”Specifically, “after this” was after the sinful woman poured out her alabaster of love upon Jesus, but more meaningfully, it was “after this” phase of ministry. Jesus’ ministry was someplace between a year to a year and a half old. He’s now moving to a new level in his ministry. This passage is a bridge, or transition into the next place Jesus will take those who followed him. In our next lesson, Jesus will begin using unexplained parables. For example,

Luke 8:8 …When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus said something like “I hope you heard it and got it as I’m not explaining it any more. It’s time you get it or go. Get it or get left behind.”

God is patient with us, but a time comes when he pulls back his hand feeding us and expects us to bridge and transition to a higher level if we’re going to seriously follow him. It’s time to stop only listening. It’s time to begin applying and doing. When we first come to Jesus our hearts are full of his presence. We love church. We’re excited about hearing about Jesus. New people sit and listen to me talk fifty minutes and say things like “Where did time go? I could sit and listen all day.” We once hated religious television, but now we have our favorite TV preachers. We just want to hear about Jesus, but about a year to a year and an half into the ministry, we begin looking at our watches. Our minds drift. Our faithfulness is tested. I’m the same, hopefully better, preacher. Church is the same, hopefully better. So, what happened? It’s time to transition with Jesus. Jesus is telling us, “I hope you got it. I want to take you to a higher level. I hope you can make the trip. It’s time to apply and do.” About a year to a year and a half, we all go through an “After this.”

There are three points following the “after this” I want to draw from and I think will help us transition. It talks about (1) where Jesus minister – in every town and village he came; (2) what Jesus preached – the good news of the kingdom of God; and (3) what made it all possible – the twelve disciples, some specific women, and many other women. We’ll exegete and make this applicable. (1) Where did Jesus minister?

Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from ONE TOWN AND VILLAGE TO ANOTHER

Jesus continued to minister in his local area of Galilee (map), but in a more itinerate way. Many people think Jesus mostly ministered around Jerusalem in Judea. No. Actually, most of his ministry was a hundred miles north of Jerusalem not far from where he was born. He will later move into Judah (Luke 9:51) when the time comes closer for his crucifixion. It’s amazing how the most influential person who ever lived never traveled more than one hundred and fifty miles from where he was raised, spent the first thirty years of his life in obscurity, his companions were common ordinary people, he only ministered three years and he never wrote a book but changed lives and the world forever.

My point is God expects us to minister in our local areas no matter where our town and village might be. It’s not necessary to go far to minister and change lives. Minister at work! Minister to your neighbors. Reach your common ordinary friends. Many of us didn’t come to Jesus until we were about thirty or even older. Because you were not born and raised in church doesn’t mean you can’t minister amazingly well. You don’t have to write books and be a Bible scholar. In three years, God can use you to change many, many lives forever. That’s where Jesus ministered and where we will minister if we follow him in our after this transition. How are you doing?

(2) We need to also understand how, or what, Jesus ministered?

Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

I’ve got to talk about the kingdom a little. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God. The word “proclaiming” is translated “preaching” in the King James Version. It’s kerusso {kay-roos’-so} – to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; to publish, proclaim openly, something which has been done. Did you get that? Jesus proclaimed/preached “something which has been done.” Jesus was proclaiming the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not coming one day. It “has been done” and is now advancing.

Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAS BEEN FORCEFULLY ADVANCING, and forceful men LAY HOLD OF IT.

We can agree on that no matter our apocalyptic eschatological (end times) position, right? Proclaiming the kingdom of God is supposed to be good news –euaggelizo {yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo} – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings. Preaching the kingdom is obviously something I haven’t yet mastered. When I preach the kingdom of God “has been done,” instead of people being glad, people become upset. We think the kingdom is about eschatology. No. Jesus taught many topics concerning all aspects of life. The kingdom of God is about your life now and eternally. If you get the kingdom right, you’ll get life right, is the message Jesus proclaimed.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Christians quote that scripture, but then wait for the kingdom to come. There is much confusion around the kingdom. It’s been twisted into something to come, one day falling out of the sky in an end time way. That’s not what Jesus said. We enter it now and must enter it to be saved.

Matthew 19:23-24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”

I used this particular passage as people sometime attempt to make the “kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven” different. They’re the same and refer to the same issue, which is salvation, or being what we call “saved.” The next verse says,

Matthew 19:25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can BE SAVE?”

Entering the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God means to “be saved.” When Jesus preached the kingdom of God he preached salvation. He evangelized. That’s good news.

Essentially, the kingdom of God/heaven is the sphere we enter where God rules through Jesus the King of the kingdom, or we can say, the King of salvation. We understand that. It’s the message of salvation now, so it’s kingdom now. Religion makes the kingdom external. Jesus said it’s internal.

Luke 17:20-21 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God WOULD COME, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God DOES NOT COME with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ BECAUSE THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU.”

We enter the kingdom of God by the kingdom entering us. Jesus Christ enters our lives bringing God’s kingdom – God’s rule. We enter into a different life – kingdom life, a righteous life. That’s what the kingdom of God is. It’s got nothing to do with eschatology. Listen, you want the kingdom now if you want salvation now.

If we make our “After this” transition, we proclaim the kingdom of God in every town and village we go.

(3) What made, or makes, it all possible? What made it possible for Jesus to preach the kingdom? What does he expect of those transitioning with him?

Luke 8:1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. THE TWELVE WERE WITH HIM,

We did a long, long study on “the twelve” whom Jesus designated disciples (6:13). We emphasized what very ordinary people they were. I’m not going to talk about the twelve again. The thing we need to see is Jesus needs all kinds and types of people to make it all possible. They need to become disciples.

The word “disciple” is mathetes {math-ay-tes’} – a learner, pupil, disciple. There’s a huge difference between a listener and a learner. We all know people who have “listened” to a thousand sermons from the very words of Jesus, but their lives never changed? Transitioning with Jesus requires change. The next verses say,

Luke 8:2-3 and also SOME WOMEN who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and MANY OTHERSTHESE WOMEN were helping to support them out of their own means.

We understand Jesus needs disciples to make it all work, but this was off the hook. This was politically and religiously incorrect. We’ve talked a little about the view of women in that culture and even in some cultures today. Women were not permitted to eat with men in teaching settings. A woman was/is considered property first owned by her father and then owned by her husband. She had no rights, could not vote, and could not testify in a court. Jesus changed all that.

The Rabbis, Pharisees, Scribes, Priests, etc. taught women were not to be taught spiritual or scholastic things. The Greeks taught similarly. Demothesenes taught the only things women should do is satisfy a man, have children, and be “faithful guardians of households”  One article said, “There can be no doubt, however, that the Talmud also has many negative things to say about women. Various rabbis at various times describe women as lazy, jealous, vain and gluttonous, prone to gossip and particularly prone to the occult and witchcraft.”

Women were forbidden to learn in public reasoning they would neglect their real purposes – the home, husband, children. In anti-Christian cultures today, it’s the same. Obviously, that’s not the thinking and teaching of Jesus. Certainly, they should take care of the home, husband, and children, but that doesn’t mean women are property, can’t or shouldn’t learn, and should not be honored.

Jesus heavily relied on his disciples including women to make his ministry work. Another way to say this is without disciples including women; Christianity would not have worked and would not work today.

I know this. Without the ministry of women, Life Gate Church would not exist. We have great men, but we have great women also. I was thinking about it. There is not one ministry here women, or a woman, is not heavily involved making it work. My wife constantly reminds me to call someone, or I have a meeting, or I am supposed to do this or that. Many others also make it happen.

Ministering and serving is what they do, but not only what they do. It’s also what they give financially. They gave out of their own means.

Luke 8:2-3 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and MANY OTHERS. THESE WOMEN WERE HELPING TO SUPPORT THEM OUT OF THEIR OWN MEANS.

These women served and gave. Joanna the wife of Cuza was the wife of the man who managed Herod’s, the king’s, affairs (actually governor of the region).Cuza was a high ranking wealthy man. It’s interesting that Herod, such a vile person, paid Cuza, Cuza gave his wife Joanna money, and she helped finance the kingdom. Evil Herod unknowingly helped finance the kingdom of God.

Mary called Magdalene (she was from Magdala).Was she the woman who poured out her alabaster jar of perfume upon Jesus? Most likely not as that woman was from that town, likely Capernaum. This Mary was from Magdala. A few interesting thoughts about her is the Bible never says Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. Most of us think and have heard that. See how we form untrue opinions about people? However, she did have seven demons and though there are many cities called Magdala, one was near Gadara from where the man with a legion of demons lived. Mary called Magdalene, once full of demons, became one of Christ’s most faithful followers. She served his ministry. She was at the cross when the men fled. She was at the tomb on Resurrection Sunday.

Other women were Joanna, and Susanna, and then it says many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” I’m certain they also assisted in every way, but the emphasis is their financial support came out of their own means.

Interestingly, the word translated helping to support is diakoneo {dee-ak-on-eh’-o} to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon; to be served, ministered unto. We get our word “deacon” from it. The first “deacons” are not found in Acts 6, but here, the women and others with Jesus. We think of Jesus going around with only twelve guys. No. Women went too.

Jesus’ ministry was supported from the lives he touched, taught, and changed. The scriptures tell us if we’ve received, then support in all good things (Gal 6:6). It’s not paying back a debt. You don’t owe Jesus or a preacher anything. It’s to support the ministry. Without support, it can’t exist and that included the ministry of Jesus Christ and there’s always been someone who “got it”, crossed the bridge, and transitioned so we and our children can enter the kingdom of God.

Isn’t it great how Jesus saw someone like Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had come out, for her worth and not her worthlessness? How awful would a person be with seven demons? Her life was transformed by Jesus. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to her? What happened to open the door for seven demons to possess her? Was it abuse? What kind of father did she have? What kind of husband? What happened? The important thing is Jesus cured her and a woman once filled with demons helped continue and support the ministry of Jesus Christ bringing salvation to you and me and our children.

People from every spectrum in life – from the demon possessed to the affluent – crossed the bridge and transformed to the next level. Because of them, we have salvation today. Let’s make our “After this…” a transition going on with Jesus.

I want to bring a closing point. Jesus went against the current of mainstream religion with his view and honor of women. Already in his story was Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, Jesus’ mother Mary, Anna the prophetess, Peter’s mother-in-law, the widow at Nain, the sinful woman at the Pharisee’s house, now all these women, and there will be more to come. Jesus honored women and saw their worth.

Men, how do you see women? Are they targets of your lust? Are they only pornographic objects? Is their purpose to satisfy you, birth and tend your children, and be the “guardian of your home”? Or, do we see them as does Jesus – amazing beings, filled with talents and abilities, serving and with giving hearts, loved and honored by God, and to be loved and honored by us?

Other Related Sermons:

Mustard Seed – sermon video audio notes

Prayer for the New Year – sermon notes

Treasure and the Pearl – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young

http://www.jewfaq.org/women.htm