Luke 8:2 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentAmongst the number of those that did accompany our Saviour and his apostles, mention is here made of a certain woman, who had been healed by Christ of evil spirits and infirmities; that is, of spiritual and corporeal diseases, for the Jews were wont to call vices and evil habits by the name of devils, as the devil of pride, the devil of malice, etc.
Now as concerning these women's following of Christ, and administering to him, several circumstances are observable; as,
1. That women did make up a considerable number of Christ's followers, yes, and of his apostles' followers too: The devout women not a few. Act 17:4
And verily it is no disgrace or shame, but matter of glory, and cause of thankfulness, if our ministry be attended by, and blest unto, the weaker sex. I believe in many of our congregations, and at most of our communions, are found two women for one man; God grant them knowledge answerable to their zeal, and obedience proportionable to their devotion.
Observe, 2. One of these women that followed Christ was Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward. What! One of Herod's family transplanted into Christ's household!
Oh the freeness of the grace of God! Even in the worst societies and places God has a number to stand up for his name, and bear witness to his truth: we read of a Joseph in Pharaoh's court; of an Obadiah in Ahab's court; of a Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar's court; of a church in Nero's house; and of a Joanna here in bloody Herod's family, who had put John the Baptist to death.
Observe, 3. The holy courage and resolution of our Saviour's female followers. No doubt they met with taunts and jeers, with scoffs and scorns enough, and perhaps from their husbands too, of following the carpenter's son, and a few fishermen: but this does not damp but inflame, their zeal.
The Holy Ghost acquaints us with several instances of masculine courage and manly resolution in the women that followed Christ as his female disciples. At our Saviour's trail, the women clave to him, when his disciples fed from him; they accompanied him to his cross, they assisted at his funeral, they attended his hearse to the grave, they watched his sepulchre, fearing neither the darkness of the night nor the rudeness of the soldiers. These feeble women had more courage than all the apostles.
Learn, that courage is the special and peculiar gift of God; and where he gives courage, it s not in man to make afraid.
Observe, 4. The pious and charitable care of these holy women, to supply the wants and outward necessities of our Saviour: They ministered unto him of their substance.
Where note, 1. The great poverty of Christ: he lived upon the basket, he would not honor the world so far as to have any part of it in his own hand, but was beholden to others for what he ate and drank; yet must we not suppose that either Christ or his apostles were common beggars, but it is probable there was a bag or common purse amongst them, which upon occasion supplied their necessities; and there were certain sisters, or Christian women as the learned Dr. Hammond observes, who accompanied Christ and his apostles in their travels, and provided necessaries for them, when they went up and down, preaching the gospel.
Note also, 2. The condescending grace and humility of Christ; he was not ashamed either of these women's following of him, or administering to him, because of their former vicious course of life; it is not what we formerly were, but what we now are, that Christ considers; it is a glory to him, to have great and notorious sinners brought to a closure and compliance with him. The reproach is not that they have been sinners, for Christ did not give himself for a people that were pure and holy, without spot or wrinkle, but to make them so by his word and Spirit, Eph 5:26 Christ is only ashamed of those that eat of his bread, and lift up the heel against him.
Consult other comments:
Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.