The First WMS

THE WMS…WOMEN’S MINISTRY SOCIETY

TEXT: Luke 8:1-3, NLT

Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with Him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.

INTRODUCTION

In Luke 8 Jesus kicks off a tour of towns where he moves through towns and villages preaching the good news. As a point of emphasis, Jesus usually entered these town one day and departed the next. This reminds us that some opportunities are very brief. There is one redeeming factor, if a person missed Jesus while He was in town, they could seek Him out.

Jesus takes two groups along with Him on this mission: one is male {Disciples} and the other is female. Luke mentions three: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna. Mark adds Mary mother of James {son of Alpheus or James the less} and Salome. We believe there were at least three Mary’s in the group and that doesn’t include Mary the Mother of Jesus who probably joined them before their final trip to Jerusalem.

Mark 15:40-41

 Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.

Notice: both gospel include “Many Others” so we don’t really know how large this group was. In preparing the message, I discovered something that I had never noticed. Both Luke and Mark use the same Greek word in reference to these ladies. In the NLT it is contribute in Luke 8 and in Mark, it is minister. It is translated: Ministering by all the old translations, some of the modern translation say Contributing, Providing and Helping. Here is the point of interest: the Greek word is diakoneō. Do you recognize this word, you should. It is the word for Deacon. When you go to word deacon in I Timothy 3:12, the word is diakonos. As you can see the only difference is in the ending. Diakonos is a noun and diakoneō is a verb. Men are nouns and women are verbs.  The root word diako means to run errands. The general meaning of the word is “Servant.” Serving others is one form of ministry.

TRANSITION

I could talk about this a month but I am going to squeeze the message into five brief point which I think you might remember. The WOMEN’S MINSTRY to Jesus SOCIETY is made up of women who….

I> THEY WERE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR THEM.

We know more about Mary Magdalene than the others so we will use her for an example. Mary had a serious mental condition that was associated with demon possession in the ancient Jewish world. It may be a form of demon possession but what I want you to understand is that the Mary Magdalene’s are still among us. People who’s minds are disturbed, they battle gross insecurities daily and they have no peace. Jesus healed her mind and saved her soul and she never forgot what He had done for her. Mary and the other were serving out of gratitude and love.

II> THEY WERE HUMBLE SERVANTS.

The word  diakoneō  means they took care of his needs. Prepared His meals, washing his clothes, waited on HIM hand and foot. They were complaining like the modern liberated woman–they were thrilled to serve.

III> THEY WERE GENEROUS WITH THEIR MEANS.

This group of women contributed to Jesus ministry financially. I doubt that Jesus took up an offering although there is nothing wrong with taking an offering. I would imagine that the ladies keep a tab on things. Working through Judas the Treasurer, they gave money as it was needed. Why would the Son of God need financial support? Listen to Paul’s words to the Philippians…2:5-6

Although He existed in the form of God, {Jesus} did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

The Greek word  is kenoo from which we get kenosis the doctrine of divine emptying. In order to be our SAVIOR and High Priest, Jesus had to experience what we mere humans experience. Yes Jesus created the earth and all the silver and gold is HIS. What about the Apostles, what about Joe David and myself. Do we have the power to reach up and pull money out of the sky? Can we transform a hundred dollars into a million?       ..  which     I

This is not God’s way, He wants us to live by faith and take support from those we have blessed. A lot of people don’t like it but it is God’s way. Do you think these women had any regrets: “I just wish I hadn’t given so much to Jesus and His disciples.” What kind of reward will they have in heaven? I’m going to go out of the limb and say, “A big one.”

IV> THEY WERE FAITHFUL

We are thankful to Mark for telling us about these women being at the cross. They never abandon their ministry. They did not stop following They were with Him in death and waiting for the resurrection.

V> THEY WERE JESUS LOVERS

Jesus loved them in a personal way and they knew it and they were compelled to love Him in return.

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