December 21, 2021 – Tuesday
Luke 8:1-3 NIV
1 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.
The focus today is on verses two and three, specifically about the women who were helping to support them out of their own means. They along with the Twelve were with Him – Jesus – which is a designation of discipleship. We are only give the names of three of them, but we are told there were many others as well. The three women named were Mary (called Magdalene), her hometown was Magdala. Then there was Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household and she, along with Mary Magdalene and others, would be a witness of Jesus resurrection as told to them by two angels and then repeated by them in Luke 24:10, It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. About Susanna, we know only her name was mentioned here.
One thing to note here is that rabbis resolutely refused to teach or disciple women, so those in the Sanhedrin would find this not only very unusual but disgusting as well. How disgusting? Consider this video on teachings by some rabbis in Israel yet today (shorter version here with only the rabbis speaking). With this background we can easily see Jesus was a revolutionary when it came to women and His treatment of them.
Now let’s go back and look at verse two again where it says, some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Implied here is that these women had all been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Clearly that is true of Mary Magdalene as Jesus cast seven demons out of her. We are not told what He did for Joanna or Susanna. We are told Joanna was the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household and thus would have access to some amount of money or wealth to help support Jesus and the Twelve along with the other women. If all these women were healed by Jesus it is not wonder they would want to support Him and His ministry.
This seems to even be true of women without real means who still wanted to support and acknowledge Jesus. In the prior chapter, a woman who was a known sinner (verses 36-50) comes to Jesus’ feet and wet them with her tears and then cleaned them with her hair, kissed them, and poured perfume on them. After telling a parable Jesus tells the woman, Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
Paul in Galatians 5:6b said, The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. The woman in chapter seven exemplifies this as do the women at the beginning of chapter eight. Jesus and the Twelve did not perform miracles to pay for their needs. No, the generosity of some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases were helping to support them out of their own means.
Surely others helped as well, but Luke makes a point of letting us know what the women were doing out of their own means, a point not found in the other gospels. Luke, more than any other gospel, highlights the contributions of women in the ministry of Jesus. His efforts may have helped Paul to write in Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Before You there is no difference between a male and a female. We all stand equally before You. Those of us Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, we all have only one hope when we stand before you, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Your Son. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek