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The Four-fold Gospel by J. W. McGarvey

XLVII. Further Journeying About Galilee.

^C Luke VIII.1-3.

^c 1 And it came to pass soon afterwards [ i. e.,. soon after his visit to the Pharisee], that he went about through cities and villages [thus making a thorough circuit of the region of Galilee], preaching and bringing the good tidings of the kingdom of God [John had preached repentance as a preparation for the kingdom; but Jesus now appears to have preached the kingdom itself, which was indeed to bring good tidings -- Rom. xiv.17 ], and with him the twelve [We here get a glimpse of the tireless activities of the ministry of Christ. Journeying from place to place, he was constantly preaching the gospel publicly to the people, and as ceaselessly instructing his disciples privately. The twelve were now serving an apprenticeship in that work on which he would soon send them forth alone. From this time forth we can hardly look upon Capernaum as the home of Jesus. From now to the end of his ministry his life was a wandering journey, and he and his apostles sustained by the offerings of friends. The circuit of Galilee here mentioned is peculiar to Luke], 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary that was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out [What a change of service, from demoniac bondage to the freedom of Christ!], 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuzas Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered unto them of their substance. [As to the vile slanders with which commentators have stained the good name of Mary Magdalene, see p.291. For further mention of her, see John xix.25; Mark xv.47; xvi.1, 9 Joh xx.11-18. Mary's name indicates that she was a native of Magdala (Hebrew, Migdol, i. e., watch-tower). Of all the towns which dotted the shores of Galilee in Christ's day, but this and Tiberias remain. It is on the west shore of the lake, at the southeast corner of the plain of Gennesaret, and is to-day a small collection of mud hovels. It still bears the name el-Mejdel, which is probably received from the adjoining watch-tower that guarded the entrance to the plain, the ruins of which are still to be seen. We should note that Mary Magdalene is not classed with restored profligates, but with those who were healed of infirmities. Joanna is mentioned again at Luke xxiv.10; of Susanna there is no other record, this being enough to immortalize her. Of Chuzas we know nothing more than what is stated here. There are two Greek words for steward, epitropos and oikonomos. The first may be translated administrator, superintendent or governor. It conveys the impression of an officer of high rank. The Jewish rabbis called Obadiah the epitropos of Ahab. This was the office held by Chuzas, and its translated treasurer in the Arabic version. The second word may be translated housekeeper, or domestic manager. It was an office usually held by some trusted slave as a reward for his fidelity. Chuzas was no doubt a man of means and influence. As there was no order of nobility in Galilee, and as such an officer might be nevertheless styled a nobleman, this Chuzas was very likely the nobleman of John iv.46. If so, the second miracle at Cana explains the devotion of Joanna to Jesus. Herod's capital was at Sephoris, on an elevated tableland not far from Capernaum. The ministration of these women shows the poverty of Christ and his apostles, and explains how they were able to give themselves so unremittingly to the work. Some of the apostles also may have had means enough to contribute somewhat to the support of the company, but in any event the support was meager enough, for Jesus was among the poorest of earth (Luke ix.58; Matt. xvii.24; II. Cor. viii.9). His reaping of carnal things was as scanty as his sowing of spiritual things was abundant (I. Cor. ix.11). We should note how Jesus began to remove the fetters of custom which bound women, and to bring about a condition of universal freedom (Gal. iii.28).]

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