The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. (Luke 8:1-3)
My dad, siblings, and I were reading this passage together in Luke one morning in the car while driving to someplace. Often when we are together in the car, we read Scripture together if it’s a longer trip. After reading this chapter, I learned such exciting new things that right then in the car, I decided this would become a blog post.
It was interesting how the Lord had the 12 disciples with Him, but also the involvement of the women in the ministry of Jesus was precious and important. There were quite a few ladies who were part of the entourage.
When we read names in the Bible, we tend to just skim over them hastily and think something like oh yeah, there was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herods steward, and so forth. Most of us don’t stop to think twice about the detail that this Joanna was the wife of a certain Chuza. And why does the Bible mention he was Herod’s steward?
If we dig a little deeper we’ll find some interesting things we never thought about before!
First, the name Joanna. What does it mean? God is Gracious, or Jehovah is a gracious giver.
Now let’s take a look at Chuza her husband. His name means the seer. And a steward is one who is a curator, guardian, manager of household or lands. So Chuza held a very high position! And in none other than Herod the tetrarch’s household. It was that Herod who wanted to have Jesus murdered as an infant, and ordered the killing of all the male children from 2 years and under (Matthew 2:16). Stop and think about that for awhile!
So just imagine how it must have been that Joanna, the wife of Herod’s trusted manager, was a follower of Jesus and His ministry! How interesting that God had His children in positions in the household of the evil and wicked Herod. And so Chuza was the manager of Herod’s properties while his wife was serving in Jesus’ ministry and probably had enough financial ability to supply different things for the ministry. Jesus never told Chuza and His wife to leave their position in Herod’s household.
When we read the Bible we almost have the tendency to think of people and events so separately and woodenly, yet there were so many connections between people and circumstances during that time- it is quite amazing when you discover them!
Now whenever you read this passage you will remember this background information about Joanna and her husband Chuza.