Sunday, September 3, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Ministers to Jesus
Mark 15:37-41
Vs. 40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.  41 When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
When Jesus was on the cross, Mark mentions that there were women looking on.  These women didn’t just see Jesus for the first time from a distance while he was crucified.  Mark says that they were with Jesus back in Galilee during his ministry.  They followed him and ministered to him.
They followed Jesus.  Wherever Jesus went, they went.  This was demonstrated in the passage.  Jesus was on the cross, they followed even then.  They probably understood more than the apostles of what it meant to follow Jesus at that time.
They also ministered to Jesus.  This is a different use of the word we’re not used to seeing.  We usually ask God to minister to us, or for a church to minister to us.  But to minister to Jesus?
The word that is translated “minister” is the Greek verb diaconeo.  The root of that word is where we get the Greek noun diaconos, which is where we derive the English word “deacon”.
These women were deacons to Jesus?  In a way, yes.  When you look to what the original ordained deacons did, they served and cared for the believers.  They ministered to the believers.  That is what these women did for Jesus.  Luke 8:3 mentions women who ministered to Jesus out of their means.  In other words, if they had anything that belonged to them that Jesus needed, they would give it to Jesus to care for him.
Following Jesus is tough.  But to be his minister?  That’s even tougher.  It involves giving of yourself for Jesus.  Most importantly, it involves love.
Jesus says he did not come to be served, but to serve.  He’s using the same word, diaconeo.  Jesus is King.  He is Lord.  But yet he says he came to serve, not to be served.  These women were served by Jesus.  They were cared for.  They were healed.  They were saved.  Whether they were a prostitute, a leper, or demon possessed, they were ministered to by Jesus by being healed and forgiven.  They experienced love.  Their natural response was to love back.  They followed Jesus because they loved him.  They ministered to Jesus because they loved him.
How do we minister to Christ?  We must first ask ourselves, do we love Jesus?  Have we been saved from our own brokenness in sin by the blood of Christ?   Have you experienced his love?  If so, is your response to love him back?  If not, maybe you don’t quite understand how much you need him.    If you do love him back, then follow him.  Go where he has called you to go – to go and preach the Gospel to the nations.  Minister to him wherever you are.  The Church is the body of Christ.  When you minister to believers, you minister to Jesus.  When you provide food, a place to stay, a ride to Church, visit in times of need for a fellow believer, you minister to Jesus.  Even when you give your offerings to your church so they can pay their bills and mortgage, you are ministering to Jesus.  And while you’re doing this, you do it because you love Jesus.  Not because you want glory, attention or fame.  You simply want to follow and minister to the one who saved you.
Lord, remind us of your amazing love which was shown in the way you ministered to us on the cross.  Let your love inspire us to follow you and minister to you in this world.
We follow Jesus even if we have to suffer for it.  We minister to him even if we have to give of our own selves for his church.  We follow Jesus and minister to Jesus because he loved us, and we love him.
Rev. Alex George Kolath, Immanuel MTC, Virginia