God chooses the most unlikely candidates for generosity.
“…and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means” (Luke 8:3).
It’s one of those passages you can read, skip over and even ignore. What’s it about?
As Jesus and his disciples traveled throughout Israel, they had to rely upon others to support their ministry. Sometimes that support came in the form of a place to stay or a meal at a table.
But sometimes it meant that people gave financially.
One of those who gave was Joanna. The Bible is careful to record that she’s the wife of Chuza. Who is Chuza? He’s the household manager of Herod.
A Fierce Ruler
Herod? That’s right, King Herod. He was a puppet king appointed by Rome. He’s the same King Herod who, in Matthew 14, beheaded John the Baptist. John the Baptist had called out Herod for divorcing his wife and marrying Herodias, his half-brother’s wife—an unlawful marriage. And at the time of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, although Herod was eager to see Jesus to see if he might perform some miracle, he was ultimately unwilling to intervene in Jesus’ death.
Despite these paranoid and mixed qualities, Herod undertook great building projects in Israel: a remodel of the temple, the expansion of the walls surrounding Jerusalem, a theater, and an amphitheater. He improved fortresses, rebuilt Samaria, and constructed a new harbor. He also exacted great taxes on his own people to fund his own projects.
In short, Herod’s reign was considered a time of prosperity. And by extension, those of Herod’s household benefitted from this prosperity. As a household manager, Chuza would have been a trusted advisor and well compensated.
An Unlikely Giver
And where did Chuza’s hard-earned money go? To Joanna, his wife. And what did Joanna do? She gave it to the ministry of Jesus.
It’s humorous, maybe even hysterical, how the generosity of God works. He can use any means, even the most unlikely person to accomplish His purposes. Even King Herod.
I call it the hysterical generosity of God. Indeed, God uses the most unlikely candidates—even those who oppose Him—to bring joy to the world.
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Published July 11, 2022