Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them[a] out of their means. -Luke 8:1-3
Writing this morning my thoughts drifted to my inner circle of friends. We all have them. These are the women (and perhaps a few men) who set examples for us, who encourage us, who have discipled us, who care for us and whom God has placed in our life for us to invest in their life.
The beauty of my “inner circle” of friends is that no matter what happens they are there cheering me on, bringing a meal when I’m sick, taking me out for lunch to cheer me up or just sharing silly laughter at random times. They are faithful. They speak truth even if I don’t want to hear it. They do life with me. They love me unconditionally. They are my inner circle.
Did you know Jesus had a few women in His inner circle?
In my study of biblical women, there are several who we read in scripture that cared for, ministered to and shared life with Christ. These women are beautiful examples of faithfulness and unconditional love.
One such woman is Mary Magdalene.
In the eighth chapter of Luke, we discover Jesus traveling from village to village preaching the Kingdom of God, and the scriptures tell us that His twelve disciples, as well as some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses, also traveled with Him. These women were in Jesus' inner circle! They did life with Him, and Mary Magdalene was one of them.
The Bible continues to tell us that 7 demons had come out of Mary, and she stayed loyal to Jesus. We are told in later verses that Mary, Joanna, Susanna and many other women helped support Jesus and the twelve with their own money! (Luke 8:1-3, paraphrased)
She not only cared for Christ, she invested in Him monetarily! Mary Magdalene was at Jesus' crucifixion; She went to His tomb to anoint His body and was the first person Jesus appeared to after He arose! Imagine being the first person Jesus chose to show himself to after rising from the dead! What an honor! What a humbling experience. Then, He told her to go and tell the other guys.
Of all the people on the face of the earth at the time of Christ’s resurrection… He chose a woman. He chose Mary Magdalene. He chose someone who was doing life with Him and His disciples.
Here’s my challenge for us today.
Who is in your inner circle? Who are you doing life with? Who needs you to speak some scripture into their life to encourage them? Who needs for you to invest in them monetarily? Who needs you to be like Mary Magdalene, faithfully and unconditionally helping to advance the gospel message in a way that God has designed you to do?
Our inner circle is where we find support. Reflect on the past week and allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind someone who has supported you in some way. Take time to text, call or write a short note thanking them. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Our inner circle is made of people God has placed in our lives to do ministry with and to minister to. Who in your inner circle needs to be ministered to this week? Do not just listen to what God is telling you… go and do it. (James 1:22)
We should be investing in our inner circle spiritually, emotionally and monetarily. Seek the Lord and ask if there is someone you should invest in whether it is discipling them or perhaps asking them to disciple you and fulfilling the command to make disciples! (Matthew 28:19-20)