We’ve got a pretty short Gospel today, but I wanted to point out two things of note.
First, “accompanying (Jesus) were the Twelve and some women.” I usually only think about the apostles when I think of those who left everything to follow Him, but here is a very important passage where we learn that there were more. You can see the beginnings of this played on in The Chosen. Mary Magdalene begins travelling with Jesus even before He calls Peter. Now, we’re not all called to the nomadic or monastic life of these apostles, but what can we learn from their example? What does it mean to follow Jesus, actually follow Him from place to place, in your life? In this day and age?
Second, notice how Luke says, “who provided for them out of their resources.” The life of a traveling preacher couldn’t have been a very lucrative one, nor should it be. The prosperity gospel that we hear from people like Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God does not give material favors to the people he likes or the people he deems “good enough.” That’s a lie from the devil. The favors of God are given to the people of the beatitudes, and they fill us with spiritual wealth, not material wealth. All that being said, a man needs to eat. Jesus wasn’t looking for wealth and fame, but He was looking to have His real needs met. These women of God knew His needs and cared for Him, as they would care for all of God’s poor.
So these are the two things I noticed from today’s Gospel. We are called to follow Jesus. We are called to financially support Jesus (and His work and workers). And it makes sense. If we’re called to hand over our very selves to Jesus, that would (and should) include our money. I’ve heard people say, “Well, Jesus didn’t care about money. Why would money have anything to do with discipleship?” I want to start by saying that Jesus did care about money. He cared about money a lot. But He didn’t care about money like we care about money. Jesus cared about the affect that money has on people. “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Jesus knows that money is necessary in this world. We need to eat. We need to live somewhere. But we can become overly attached to money.
When Jesus asks us to give, He doesn’t do it so that others can get rich at your expense. He does it because others deserve the necessities of life that you enjoy. He does it because He knows that an attachment to money is an attachment to the world. Let go of it and hold fast to Jesus.
-Amanda Benner, Director of Evangelization