Luke 8:3

ESV and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.
NIV 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.
NASB 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.
CSB Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward; Susanna; and many others who were supporting them from their possessions.
NLT Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.
KJV And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

What does Luke 8:3 mean?

Luke finishes his transition with the naming of two other women who support Jesus' ministry. He has mentioned that the women "had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities" (Luke 8:2), but aside from mentioning Mary Magdalene's former demonization, he does not specify which women Jesus healed from which infirmities. While Luke names three women specifically, he also notes that there were "many others."

Joanna is also mentioned with Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb and as one of several who told the Twelve that Jesus had risen (Luke 24:10). Her position in society is less clear.

Chuza's role as "household manager" –"steward" in NASB—is unclear. The Greek root word is from "permission" or "commission." So, Chuza had some authority over Herod Antipas's court. Scholars posit he was the steward over Herod's household.1

Chuza may have been Antipas's steward, but Antipas ruled over two territories: Galilee and Perea, across the Jordan River from Judea. Did Joanna travel with Jesus without her husband? Did she use her husband's money to support Jesus, or was she independently wealthy? Did Chuza know? Did Antipas know his steward's wife was a follower of Jesus? The fact that Luke doesn't include this information reveals that it is not important to the story.

Even less is known about Susanna, and she is not mentioned, at least by name, outside of this verse. She is not related to the apocryphal book Susanna, since that was written about a woman in the time of Daniel. That Joanna is identified by her husband, whereas Mary and Susanna are not, suggests the latter two are either unmarried or their husbands are not well known in the church.

Josephus's writings reveal it is not unusual for rich and powerful women to financially support Jewish teachers.2 However, it is unusual for those women to come along with their itinerant teacher.3

The Gospels and Acts mention several faithful women. Luke has already noted Elizabeth (Luke 1:39–45), Mary (Luke 1:26–38), Anna (Luke 2:36–38), and the sinful woman (Luke 7:37–50).4 Soon, he will include the woman with an issue of blood (Luke 8:43–48), and, in Acts, many of these same women (Acts 1:14), Tabitha (Acts 9:36–42), Mark's mother Mary (Acts 12:12), Lydia (Acts 16:11–15), Priscilla (Acts 18:24–26), and Philip's daughters (Acts 21:8–9).

"Provided" uses the same Greek root as "serve [tables]" in Acts 6:2 when the early church chose the first deacons. That doesn't mean the women are officially church deacons. Early manuscripts are divided as to whether the text says the women provide for Him or them. Matthew 27:55 and Mark 15:41 say the women minister to and follow Him. Whatever the language used, it appears Jesus and the disciples shared one money bag (John 12:6), so the funds went to all of them even if they were given in appreciation of just Jesus.

A centurion mentioned earlier respected the Jewish religion and culture and responded financially, building the people of Capernaum a synagogue (Luke 7:4–5). In a similar way, these women who received direct blessings from Jesus respond by supporting Him financially (Luke 8:1–3). The pericope after these women is the parable of the sower. Both the centurion and the women sow their money where it will produce the most fruit. In a world where we can purchase every luxury and convenience, that's something for us to consider.
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