WHO FUNDED JESUS’ MINISTRY?
Did you ever wonder how Jesus funded his ministry? The disciples left tax collecting jobs and fishing businesses to follow him. They were not working a side job during this time. Who paid their expenses?
Luke tells us. “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 Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” (Luke 8:1–3, NIV)
Three women who had been helped by his ministry funded it so others could be helped too. Their names were Mary, Joanna and Susanna. Apparently there were many others as well. But these three women played such an important role that we know their names today.
The Way God Does Things
Why did God choose to make his son’s ministry dependent on a few generous benefactors? Certainly, he could have had Jesus born into a wealthy family. He could have had Peter catch fish with gold coins in their mouths more often. Jesus could have started a business making wine out of water. But God chose to expand his ministry through the generosity of those blessed by it. God funds ministry through the people who have been helped by it. Jesus and the disciples preached the gospel and did miracles. God funded them through people like you.
People Like You
Mary was a woman with emotional trauma serious enough to invite seven demons into her life. Jesus set her free and she wanted to extend that freedom to others. Joanna’s husband Chuza was a high ranking government official who managed the king’s money. All her connections and wealth couldn’t buy her the healing that she found with Jesus. She wanted others to experience the same. Susanna is unknown to us except for this verse. But she is not unknown to Jesus. She was a disciple who contributed in a significant way to his ministry!
You Are God’s Plan
God still works through people. He doesn’t drop food out of the sky to feed starving people. Rarely does he zap government leaders out of the sky with his priorities. Ministries don’t expand without people leading them and people funding them. Buildings for churches to meet in don’t build themselves. God works through people whose lives have been changed by his grace. You are God’s plan!