08.05.08 Lk. 8:1-3 Galilee
WOMEN PROVIDE SUPPORT
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 Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
The gospels clearly illustrate that when it came to ministry to women; Jesus ignored many of the cultural taboos and politely presented the Kingdom of God. He conversed with the Samaritan woman and with other women in all levels of society. In this short narrative, a number of women supported Jesus and His disciples financially. While this was not common, it was not unprecedented either. The first century historian wrote of other women who supported their religious leaders.
“Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household … and many others … were helping to support them.” It is most interesting irony that wealthy women from the royal court of Herod Antipas, including his chief financial officer (steward), were supporting Jesus by giving of their own personal finances. It was Herod’s father, Herod the Great, who had attempted to kill the Christ Child. Furthermore, some scholars believe that Cuza is a name found in Haman’s genealogy from centuries past. Now some financial support was flowing from Herod’s descendants and their servants. Clearly the message was going to and support was coming from the highest echelons of society.
Herod Antipas lived in Sepphoris, the regional capital of Galilee that was later moved to Tiberias. So he was close to the areas where Jesus was ministering. All this leads to questions of mystery.
- Did Antipas believe Jesus was the babe of Bethlehem who escaped his father’s sword?
- Could his father’s horrific action have haunted the minds of his sons?
- In light of his murderous action against John the Baptist and what he knew of Jesus, why didn’t he take a proactive role in saving the life of Jesus during the Passion Week? Some questions remain mysteries.
. Josephus, Antiquities 17.2.4 (41-44).
. Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica. 3:87.