Women and Money

mtQBm2IOff and on, I’ve been catching installments of the CNN series “Finding Jesus.”

It’s interesting to see CNN’s take on Jesus, as they seek to determine what to make of him. They have 3 options: “faith, fact, forgery.”

The other day, I saw a section about the women that surrounded Jesus’ ministry, and for more information I googled a supporting article at cnn.com. Specifically, the article asks the question about where the funds for Jesus’ work came from. The answer?

Women. 

From the piece:

The Gospel of Luke gives us a glimpse of how Jesus’ ministry functioned on a practical level:

“Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.”

So, according to Luke, women whom Jesus had healed in turn provided for him out of their “resources,” with Mary Magdalene and Joanna capturing our attention — one by virtue of her husband, and the other, by her stature in the story of Jesus.

I’ve known this for awhile, but haven’t spent a lot of time reflecting on it. And yet it’s an interesting detail in the Jesus story.

To me it speaks in part to Jesus’ appeal to the marginalized. If you were on the outskirts of the culture, you had an ally in Jesus. You were seen. You were empowered. And apparently, as a result, you were devoted.

And perhaps that’s for the better. In an interesting juxtaposition, I noticed this article the other day. The headline: “For Business, More Women in Charge Means Bigger Profits.”

There’s a lot in the article, but here’s the part that caught my eye:

In a survey last year of 366 companies, consultancy McKinsey & Co. found that those whose leadership roles were most balanced between men and women were more likely to report financial returns above their national industry median.

Companies with more balanced leadership do a better job recruiting and retaining talented workers, reducing the costs associated with replacing top executives, McKinsey found. They also have stronger customer relations because management better reflects the diversity of society, and they tend to make better business decisions because a wider array of viewpoints is considered.

I think there are plenty of reasons to seek a level gender playing field. Some are theological, others are sociological and let’s not forget the whole idea of justice.

And then there’s economics. Over and over, the evidence is that an equal gender corporate culture is good for business.

But, then again, it seems like Jesus already knew that.

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One response to “Women and Money”

  1. Marg says :

    That is so interesting about women in business and profits. Maybe Jesus should have let Mary or Joanna hold the purse rather than Judas.

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