Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. Luke 8:1-3
Many times when we think of Christ's ministry, we picture him and perhaps some or all of his 12 apostles going from place to place preaching, teaching, healing and feeding. What we do not often visualize is the contingent that actually accompanied him. It must have been like a modern day concert. Jesus was the main attraction and his words were the hit songs of the day. The crowds he attracted were both supporters and detractors. But there was also quite the supporting cast that facilitated the "performance" by arranging logistics, participating in food service (feeding the 4000 and 5000), marketing (72 sent out to preach), security (they even tried to keep the kids away) and various other functions.
Beloved, one thing that cannot be neglected is this was a non-profit enterprise. No one paid to hear Jesus. In fact, most, if not all left with more than that with which they came. It does not defy reason to understand that the whole operation had to be financed. Scripture reveals that among the entourage that accompanied him were financiers. It is interesting that the women are credited in particular with this role. More importantly however, is the fact that those who supported the cause where those who had benefitted greatly from it.
It stands to reason then, that we should contribute to that which we believe in and from which we have benefitted. Today many are participating in spiritual shoplifting, that is to say, taking away without contributing. It is not to be understood that Christians should pay for blessings because they are indeed the free gift of God, however, because we have been gifted, we should support the efforts to extend those blessings to others, particularly if we have been made able by the Lord. The administration of funds, the personalities involved in leadership and even the minute specifics of how contributions are used should not be the primary concern of the contributor (though we all have a responsibility to ensure God's funds are used responsibly), but instead, the giving to God out of love, faith and appreciation should be the focus.
Jesus' instructions to his apostles and by extension to us today are, “And as you go, preach, saying, ' The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Matt 10:7-8
Loving Like Jesus,