(Mary Magdalene, Susanna and Joanna – Painted by Mary McKenzie)
I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. – Beyonce
If you’ve ever been on a dinner date before, there’s that brief awkward moment when the bill comes at the end. How are we going to do this? Are we splitting it? Should I pay for all of it? Are you paying for all of it?
Well…I never had one of these awkward moments because I was given the message that the man should pay for everything when he goes out with a woman. Apparently Jesus didn’t get that memo.
In Luke 8, we are given this tiny little detail that’s easy to miss. Check this out,
Luke 8: 1-3
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, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 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.
So many things are going on here. First, how would you like to be known for all history moving forward as the one “from whom 7 demons had come out”? Thanks a lot Luke!
Second, the twelve disciples get the most exposure, but Jesus had MANY female disciples following him as well.
Third, those women were using their own money to fund the ministry of Jesus.
Please don’t miss this! In Jesus, the Kingdom of God had come and that ministry was preached and spread because the female disciples were making it rain. But it gets even crazier!
Where did they get this money? We don’t necessarily know, but one detail is important. One of the women, Joanna, was “the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household”.
Who was Herod? Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee during the life of Jesus. Although this is not the same Herod that ordered many babies to be killed after the birth of Jesus, he still was not a supporter of the cause. You may remember him as the one who ordered the execution of John the Baptist, and if you’re not quite sure how he felt about Jesus, just flip a few more pages to Luke 13.
Luke 13: 31 – At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
So let’s work backwards. Herod has already killed John the Baptist, and wants to kill Jesus. Herod is a powerful ruler who is rich. He uses that power and money to hire employees to manage his assets. One of those employees he is paying is Chuza, who is married to Joanna. Joanna is then taking that money from Herod, and using it to fund the very person Herod is trying to stop. I hope you’re smirking right now.
That’s a bold move.
Jesus didn’t graciously allow women to stand in the back and watch his ministry happen, his ministry happened BECAUSE OF the women. They funded Jesus then, and they still fund him today. Check out this study on how women fund charitable causes over men on a regular basis.
When it came to the things Jesus was doing, there was no question about who was taking the check. The female disciples said, “we got this!” I’m thankful they made things happen then, and I’m thankful they make things happen now.