Jesus's Diverse Followers
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
- Luke 8:1-3
Jesus’s closest followers were an unusually diverse crew. Women were key players, which was rare in ancient Palestine. The Twelve disciples varied in political perspectives - Simon the Zealot’s political party wanted to overthrow the Romans by force, while Matthew, as a tax-collector, was a Roman sympathizer (just imagine Jesus putting them together when he sent them out two-by-two!). Socio-economically, most of his followers were peasants, but there were a pair who owned a small business (James and John) and there was Joanna, who would have been well-off. And spiritually, there were the nice Jewish boys and the formerly demon-possessed. It’s hard to imagine a more diverse crowd in Jesus’s day and age.
How diverse is your crew of friends (is that even something you think about)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a diverse group around you? Spend some time praying for your world to grow to be more like Jesus’s.
Also, as you recall the vision of City Church “to be a radically welcoming community,” pray for the church to do the hard work of crossing boundaries, to connect different kinds of people, and to flourish in our ability to reflect God’s glorious and diverse image to the world around us.