Day 8 - Chapter 8 - Were there Women Disciples?

Women followed Jesus?  Yes, Luke tells us that in addition to Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Suzanna were a part of the group following Jesus.  Joanna was the wife of Chuza, who was a steward of Herod Antipas.  Interesting?  Jesus had pulled some evil spirits from her, and she became a believer and followed him.  Jesus had commanded seven evil spirits to leave Mary Magdalene.  

Suzanna is only known to us in this chapter.  We know that she also had evil spirits.  All three women became faithful followers of Christ, and Joanna and Suzanna used their own financial resources to support the cause.  They are called generous donors.

Jesus was being followed by multitudes of people.  What number is a multitude?  We don’t know!  His ministry was growing, and although I have difficulty understanding the parables sometimes, the fact that Jesus spoke in parables makes sense!  Jesus tried to explain the Word in a method that correlated to daily life.  If people cannot comprehend what is being said, why say it?

The parable of the seeds is all about what happens to (the seeds) people who learn, but don’t carry through with their faithful beliefs.   The Devil carries them off, or they revert to their old ways.  The good seed takes root and grows.

Jesus also talks about not hiding the light.  Remember that song, This Little Light of Mine?  It was actually written in the 1920s by Harry Dixon Loes, a student at the Moody Bible Institute.   Yes, it was adapted during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and mistakenly thought to be a Negro spiritual. 

Jesus calms the storm while in the boat on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples are amazed at that power.  He pulls numerous demons from a man.  There are so many demons, that they call themselves “Legion”.   Jesus raises a little girl from the dead, and by merely touching Jesus’ garment, a woman who had hemorrhaged for 12 years was healed.  Scholars believe this was menstrual bleeding, because for 12 years, the woman was considered unclean.  Wow. 

My take-away from this chapter? Thank God for giving modern medicine the ability to resolve Menorrhagia. As I read about women, from whom Jesus pulled demons, I have to consider the various kinds of mental issues women face related to the hormonal changes in our bodies. Think of the horrible events in modern times of women taking the lives of their little children.

Certain medical conditions can cause mental issues, and sometimes that condition has an easy fix. In the work I do now, I am frequently learning of the horrible impact a seemingly simple urinary tract infection can have on the elderly. A UTI can cause agitation and confusion; hallucinations; delusions; and paranoia. It is amazing.

We are living in a world (or perhaps we have always lived in this kind of word, but 24/7 media coverage makes us think it is a new thing) where mental illness is being ignored all too often. If you see the signs, do something about it … in the young and the old.

That is certainly part of my take-away: God has given us the knowledge and the abilities to deal with mental illness, and we need to be attentive to that. Jesus cast out demons, but he didn’t destroy them. Scholars question that, but many say it was simply to prove the point that the demons continued to tempt the people. They continue to tempt us today.

Let’s Cook!

Everybody knows about Angel Food Cake and Devil’s Food Cake! I want you to make this Root Beer Chocolate Cake! Follow this link for the recipe.

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