Women At Bible Study

The Scale of Giving

Article Type: Biblical Stewardship

By Rev. Phillip Leo, Church Communications Director

“These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” (Luke 8:3b, NIV)

Define disciple. “That’s easy,” you say. “A disciple is a Jesus-follower.”

True enough. But what does that look like?

In Scripture, we see not everyone who followed Jesus preached, healed or cast out demons. For some, it meant giving support to Kingdom ministry. In particular, Luke points out Susanna, Joanna and Mary Magdalene who “were helping to support them (Jesus and the disciples) out of their own means.” (Luke 8:3)

Kingdom ministry was propelled by this giving! Jesus didn’t need these resources to accomplish His mission. Still, there was an important role for these women to play so the sick could be healed and the hopeless could receive good news.

Every believer is a giver in the same way all are called to makes disciples. Some carry this particular calling to minister through giving. These Jesus-followers gladly received this mantle because they understood how giving makes Kingdom ministry happen. For them, it was a no-brainer!

It’s easily assumed that generous givers must also be people of great means.

Certainly, each woman supporting Jesus’ ministry gave from some measure of the resources available. But it’s only obvious that Joanna, the wife of Chuza who was the manager of Herod’s household, had significant means. We don’t know about Susanna or Mary Magdalene!

What’s certain, however, is that each woman gave out of devotion to the Savior, not obligation or duty.

Likewise, our financial status can’t be used to explain away personal responsibility: “I don’t give generously, because I don’t have much to give!”

Generosity is never about the scale of giving. Instead, it’s about the scale of the hearts that beat for Jesus and love seeing Kingdom growth!


Barnabas Foundation is proud to be your partner in promoting financial literacy and generous giving at your church. Find articles, books, studies and more for your church under Tools and Resources. You can also email me at pleo@BarnabasFoundation.com or call 888.448.3040. 

Rev. Phillip Leo is the Church Communications Director at Barnabas Foundation. Read Phil's online bio