As you think of Jesus traveling throughout Israel, preaching and teaching, how do you picture it? Judging by how some preachers describe it, your mental picture is far from the truth. As we begin chapter 8 of Luke’s Gospel, we get a glimpse into the daily operations of the Lord’s ministry.
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…
This is a very simple statement, but by itself there’s no hint of the complexities involved. If we really think about it, there’s more to it than simply walking around Israel.
The first thing we have to understand is that this type of traveling was no different for them than it is for us. Here we have at least 13 people traveling together.
Where do they get their food and water? Where do they spend the night? What about washing their clothing, personal hygiene, and those types of things?
We usually don’t think of these things, reading the Scriptures in the comfort of our homes. I do a lot of overnight hiking, spending days at a time in the woods, so this hits home to me. It causes me to ask; what did it take for them to maintain a ministry like this?
I’m glad to say that the Bible has the answers for these questions. But, many people ignore it, because it goes against what they want to believe about the Lord.
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.
Many people like to get the idea of a poor Jesus. They like to think that He was barely getting by, living off the land and any scraps that He could scavenge. That picture is so far from the truth.
Jesus had a very organized and efficient ministry team. He had the apostles to minister along side Him. But, and this is important to realize, He had a very organized fundraising team. This is how the Lord was able to travel so extensively throughout Israel.
It was no different for them than it is for us. They needed to buy food and drink. Many times they would have to pay for lodging. Their clothes would need washing and so forth.
Why is the thought of a financially independent Jesus so hard for people to imagine? One reason, is that because many churches don’t want to give their pastors the salary they need to support their families.
I’ve even heard some board members say that they need to keep the pastor poor so that they’ll stay humble. That kind of thinking is totally selfish and foolish.
In John 6:5, just before He fed the 5000, Jesus asked His disciple where they could buy bread for the crowd. The assumption was that they had the money, they only needed someplace that could supply it. How many ministries do you know that could buy food for 5000 people at a moments notice?
Jesus had a very organized and effective ministry team. He wasn’t poor. But there’s another side to this. The Lord wasn’t overly extravagant either.
They walked wherever they went (or took a boat). Jesus didn’t have a team of golden chariots to carry Him and His disciples from place to place. We need to see the whole picture.
When you talk about godly prosperity, you need to see it from a biblical perspective. God does want His people to prosper. But that means having enough to abundantly fulfill your calling. And, having extra to give away as a blessing to others.
That was how the Lord operated. It should be an example to us in our modern generation. We need the blessing of God – finances included – to bring in the harvest of souls in these last days before the Lord’s return.
Question: How do you give control of your finances to God?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi