There's a deep vein of truth running through the Book of Luke, the Gospel with more references to Jesus' interactions with women than any other. If you're mining for understanding to lay over life today, you'll uncover a nugget buried under the surface of Luke chapter 8, just after Jesus encountered the "woman of the city" who loved Him much.
The baby born in the manger was grown, traveling through cities, "proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God" (Lk. 8:1). He didn't go alone. (Read it here)
The 12 core disciples went with Him, but "also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means" (Lk 8:2-3).
Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna. The women had been healed of demons or illnesses, and at least one was married: Joanna was the wife of Chuza, an official in the house of Herod. Though Jesus' ministry impacted so many who were poor, Joanna came from the ranks of the influential and wealthy. She didn't follow out of poverty; she followed out of commitment.
We don't know if Chuza believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but we know Joanna made following Jesus her priority, and she used her resources to help support the group of followers. In her life of prestige and comfort, Joanna made room for Jesus.
These same women who made room for Jesus out of their broken lives were among the first to discover the resurrection of God's Son (Read here). Their faithfulness in their priorities was rewarded with seeing & hearing the angelic announcement that "He is not here, but has risen" (Lk. 24:6). These gals had the fun of sharing the news with the disciple-men they had served and supported during months of ministering together with the Master. These godly women prepared Him room and made the ministry of His disciples possible. And it wasn't because they didn't have anything better to do or because they couldn't get a date. It was out of faith, gratitude and love.
Marriage can be used as an excuse not to give, not to serve, not to worship, not to participate ... not to be a committed disciple. What a misuse of God's gift. For those who dig deep into the story of the Son of God, this nugget reminds women that marriage is not a "get out of serving free" card, but an added resource to lay before our King ... as we follow. Are you making marriage excuses?
You might also like to read posts about these people from the "Prepare Him Room" Advent series:
- Whether or not "my Chuza" knows Jesus, how can I actively follow my healer and Savior?
- How can I use the resource of my marriage and influence to further the Kingdom of God?
- The Woman of the City
- The Centurion with the Sick Servant
- The Fishermen: Peter, James, John
- John the Baptist
- The Shepherds