After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 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. Luke 8:1-3

Joanna, the wife of Chuza; ever heard of her? No, me neither. She is one of the unsung heroes of the faith, one of the faithful who so often get overlooked. Joanna was an essential part of the ministry of Jesus—in fact, she helped pay for the daily expenses of a wandering troupe of disciples and their Master—and you’ve never heard of her.

But that’s OK with Joanna. She wasn’t in it for the fame. In fact, it may have been at least a little dangerous for her to be recognized as a follower of Jesus. Her husband worked for the infamous (and evil) King Herod, after all. Joanna’s life had been forever changed by the presence of Jesus. Because of that, she was willing to follow Him, regardless of the risk, regardless of the cost, for no other reward than being His.

This Lent, Jesus is not asking for you to be an All Star Disciple. He isn’t promising you fame or fortune. Quite the opposite: Jesus invites you to follow Him, regardless of the risk, regardless of the cost. You aren’t in this for recognition. Most of your acts of self-less obedience will go unnoticed and un-thanked. But Jesus has showed up in your life, and something besides recognition and thanks is most important.

Jesus entrusted His mission to unremarkable women who had had a history of sickness and even demon-possession.  Today, Jesus entrusts His mission to you, regardless of your history or your social status. And your response is to follow—not for the fame, but for the sake of Jesus alone.

We pray: Jesus, as you used Joanna and relied on her generosity for your mission, use me, too this week. Make me more self-less and generous in my faith walk. Teach me to follow you, no matter the risk or cost.  Amen.