Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance. (Luke 8:1-3)
Taking Care Of Jesus
The gospel writer Luke is the only writer that tells the age of Jesus when He began His ministry. At about thirty years of age Jesus Himself began His work which would last about three years before dying on the cross. His work was exhausting as He kept an incredible pace of teaching, healing, traveling, exhorting, rebuking and finding time to spend alone with His Father in prayer. Jesus had lived at home for three decades with His brothers and sisters and Mary His mother. Sometime in the life of Jesus Joseph had died but no record is given. When Jesus began His ministry it was a walk towards Golgotha that He knew full well would end with crucifixion as He spoke often of what men would do to Him in Jerusalem. During the three years of His ministry Jesus was surrounded by many disciples who followed Him on a daily basis. One important group of followers was the women who took care of the daily necessities of the man from Nazareth. In his descriptive gospel about the humanity of Jesus, Luke affirms the Son of God had daily needs that had to be met. The scriptures talk about Jesus being thirsty, eating, needing sleep and growing tired. All of these lend themselves to declare the Son of God was in flesh and needed like all men the sustenance of life. Food had to be provided even if Jesus could feed more than 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread. The nature of divinity did not require sleep but the man Jesus had to rest his body. At the well of Jacob Jesus was tired and thirsty. When Lazarus died Jesus felt the sorrow of death and wept as all men. Luke affirms the humanity of God’s Son is found in the need of others caring for Him. Life requires logistics and Jesus needed someone to care for His daily needs. Certain women who were with Him carried out this role with humble and pious hearts.
Mary called Magdalene is mentioned by Luke as one of the women who cared for Jesus. The only thing known of Mary is she had been possessed of seven demons and was healed at some point. History has painted a picture of Mary as being a prostitute which is a gross negligence of scripture. Nothing is mentioned in the four gospels of Magdalene being anything but a woman of noble character who ministered to Jesus on a daily basis. Mary is mentioned in scripture as a disciple of Jesus present at His crucifixion and burial. She was one of the women who had prepared the spices to anoint the body of Jesus on the first day of the week but found the tomb empty. Biblical history will forever have Mary as the first to whom Jesus appears after His resurrection. Joanna the wife of Chuza is also listed in Luke’s account. Chuza was a steward of Herod Antipas who reigned in Galilee. As a steward, Chuza was in charge of the domestic needs of the Herodian family and in contrast his wife was carrying for the Man from Nazareth that Herod was most interested to meet. Herod would finally meet Jesus after Pilate gives Jesus an audience before the King. Joanna was a caretaker of the Son of God and could see the power of grace in the man she served. Her husband served a man who was destitute of character. A greater contrast could not be found among two men. Susanna is also named by Luke as caring for Jesus. This is the only mention of a woman who cared for the Lord.
Many others provided for Jesus from their substance to help the Son of God in His ministry and there is little doubt He appreciated and honored those who so lovingly gave of their time to help Him. Jesus was in the flesh and as a man needed the daily requirements of the frail form of humanity. He had no money to call His own and no place to rest His head. His life was given to others and others gave of their lives to help Him fulfill His ministry. It should never be missed of the daily needs of a thirty-year-old man who had the power to create food and find money in the mouths of fish; but lived as a man of mortality dependent upon the grace, love and mercy of others. These women were servants of Jesus in a literal manner serving from their hearts to His needs. As Jesus was dying on the cross He spoke to His mother and bid John to care for her. There were women standing at the cross that had cared for Jesus, cooked His favorite meals, sewed his clothes and tended His scraped knees and covered Him with blankets on cold nights. The Son of God came to seek and to save the lost but He needed these beautiful women to help Him through the day. What a blessing the story of these women that took care of Jesus.