And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
~ Luke 8:1-3
Today we are reminded of a seldom-noted aspect of Jesus’ ministry: several women helped to support Jesus and the twelve disciples out of their own means. In other words, with their own money they helped to take care of food, clothing, shelter, and other incidental expenses.
Jesus had been a builder, and some of the twelve disciples had been fishermen. But they left their employment when they began their traveling ministry. Jesus once said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). He didn’t own furniture or a cozy little bungalow. He and the twelve disciples depended on the generosity of people like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna.
This was not an entirely new pattern of ministry. Many years earlier, a widow in Zarephath provided the prophet Elijah with an upper room in her house and food to eat each day (1 Kings 17)—and the Lord supplied all her needs. Similarly, a well-to-do woman in Shunem and her husband made a room for Elisha on the roof of their home, and they put a bed, table, and chair in it so he had a place to stay when he was in the area (2 Kings 4).
All the good things we have are gifts from God (James 1:17). What can you share to help in the service of God’s kingdom? You want to follow Jesus and ask him to guide you to know what your calling is and how to serve Him in it.