Women Support Jesus
Soon afterward Jesus went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities:
1) Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
2) and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager,
3) and Susanna,
4) and many others,
who provided for them out of their means.
[Luke 8:1-3, ESV]
Just some observations that will help to clarify truth from tradition:
1) Luke is the only one to note, in his gospel, that certain women supported Jesus' movement out of their own means. This is one of many specific references about the importance of women to the Lord, in Luke's account.
2) In particular, Joanna, being the wife of Herod Antipas's manager, was probably affluent and, for that matter, influential as well. Note that the Lord Jesus had an inside source to Herod's affairs.
3) Luke included both Mary Magdalene and Joanna among the women who discovered the empty tomb in Luke 24:10.
4) Notice that Luke did not identify Mary Magdalene with the sinful woman described in the story from the last three posts.
Not much is known about Susanna except that she was named above, in this text, as being one of the "certain women" who had been healed, and who provided for Jesus' work from their own means. We can extrapolate that she was a wealthy woman, and very thankful for Jesus' healing work in both her body and her mind. Her gratitude and appreciation made her more than happy to provide for Him, and for His retinue of disciples.
Joanne was married to Chuza, who was the house steward for Herod the Tetrarch. She, also, had been healed by Jesus--either of some physical ailment, or of being possessed by demons. Either way, His miraculous and merciful work in her life made a lasting mark on her.
Some scholars wonder if the Centurion who came to Jesus in Luke 7:1-10 (also recorded in Matthew 8:5-13), might have been Chuza himself. If so, that would have made Joanna twice as joyful and willing to fund Jesus' mission.
Interestingly, Joanna is named one more time in Luke's Gospel--this time, accompanying Mary Magdalene and other women who were on the way to finish the embalming of Jesus' body, after He had been laid in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb. When she witnessed the rolled-away stone, the empty tomb, and Jesus in His risen body, she went with the other women to declare the good news that He was indeed alive.
Her genuine conversion, and certain presence in the "Upper Room" described in Acts 2, cannot be disputed. She was certainly among the 120 gathered there, who received the Holy Spirit, and declared in the Spirit's power, that salvation had come.
Consider the great love Susanna and Joanna had for Jesus. He had brought them from darkness to light, from death to life. They gave generously back to Him. How are you showing your love and thanks to Jesus?