Mary, Joanna, and Susanna
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop (Luke 8:15 NIV).
Go Deeper: Numbers 27:12-29:11; Luke 8:1-18; Psalm 38:13-22
My entire life has been lived in the parsonage. That magical never-never-land created just for pastors’ families. What an amazing array of individuals I’ve had the privilege (or curse) of meeting. Everywhere I’ve lived—either as pastor’s daughter or pastor’s wife—I’ve come to realize that some of the most forgiven and humble people are some of the biggest supporters of the church and its pastor. Curiously, many of these people are women.
After Jesus’ ministry reached full stride, He had no time to pursue a trade in order to support the ministry. Jesus knew the urgency and time limitations of His mission, so He trusted God to provide. Enter Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna. As Jesus preached and taught in village after village, several people supported Him. Three are mentioned specifically: Mary Magdalene, a woman cured of evil spirits; Joanna, the wife of King Herod’s household manager; and another named Susanna. The Bible gives us no details about Susanna, but enough is told about Mary and Joanna to know that each of them had a story, and each of them had a changed life that compelled them to be dedicated to the loving support of Jesus.
Pastors are gifts, and their lives are packed with situations that most people never even consider—much less encounter. Financial encumbrances and emotional isolation only inhibit a pastor’s ministry and divide his time. Money is a necessity, but there is even more that our pastors deserve and need. These women supported Jesus out of their “own means.” They got it. What they could give was little, but they willingly gave. We can safely assume that some of their giving was monetary, but encouraging, believing, and emotional support accompanied their finances. Love and support your pastors; it will set them free to be all that God intended them to be.
You can be a Mary, a Joanna, or a Susanna.