Luke 8 v 3. “…….These women were helping to support them out of their means.”
The conversion of a woman of ill-repute was an interesting story for Luke to record, at this point. The point of the story is forgiveness and forgiveness is exactly that aspect of our salvation that is hard to validate. Is forgiveness not merely a condoning of sin? How can anyone prove they have been forgiven? Is a woman of this nature someone whose conversion we can accept? Will she not return to her old life before too long? All this kissing of our Lord’s feet, her wiping his feet with her hair and the anointing with perfume – is this not merely a woman’s sentimentality? Is it all mere emotionalism?
Here Luke continues his narrative, by telling us of a group of woman who followed Jesus on his preaching tours. Socially they seem to have been a very mixed group and they must have made a strange sight as they followed Jesus from town to town. But it must be remembered that there were many itinerant teachers and Rabbis in those days who had groups of disciples that followed them around. Probably these women, some from a wealthy background, returned home at the end of the day or stayed in the houses of friends they had in the different towns. They spent their time, money and energy in looking after Christ and the apostles. And what they had in common was gratitude to Christ for saving them from evil spirits or demons. We do not have all their stories for that is not Luke’s purpose at this stage of the narratives. But the work these women did was tiresome and unseen – all carried out at their own expense.
So although it is true that salvation is not by works or good deeds, but by grace through faith, nonetheless where it is genuine it results in gratitude. Gratitude in turn leads to devotion to Jesus and good deeds for His glory. These women who followed Jesus and cared for him are an illustration of that gratitude.
In this way we can easily see that one of the signs of someone who has been truly forgiven is a life characterised by good things, small or great, done in the name of Christ.
Does this speak to you in any way?