Luke 8 begins with a description of Jesus’ 12 disciples, plus others who were with him. Some women are named one of which is “Joanna, the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household” (vs 3).
This is Herod, who tried to have Jesus killed, (Lk 13:31) who divorced his wife and married his sister-in-law and ordered the beheading of John the Baptist (Mt 14:6-11), and who ridiculed and mocked Jesus (Lk 23:11), found no fault in him then returned him to Pilate for his false trial.
Some say Cuza died before Joanna met Jesus but this is not known. If he didn’t then Joanna, a disciple of Jesus, is married to the guy who manages Herod’s home!
Being involved in Herod’s daily activities, it would seem logical that at some point discussion of his behavior made it’s way to Cuza and Joanna’s dinner conversations.
Whether or not Cuza should have stayed in that job must have resulted in some internal conflict for them pondering if there was an element of compliance on his part. Yet what follows is the parable of the sower, being a light, who are truly Jesus’ family, calming the storm, and healing a demon possessed man.
I was struck that this must have helped Cuza and Joanna. That God’s Word will affect change in some, but not all – the parable of the sower. That nothing escapes God and we are to be a light to the Gentiles and not hide who we are – the lamp on a stand. That confidence in obeying Jesus in the midst of difficult circumstances constitutes being an authentic family member – his true mother and brothers. And that he can calm any storm, and can heal the deeply possessed.
Joannna and her friends were living proof that one could be “healed of evil spirits and diseases” (Lk 8:2). I wonder if this is why Cuza felt he should stay in that job and ironically from this job they actually supported Jesus’ ministry through their family income. (Lk 8:3)
Are we as followers of Jesus supposed to stay immersed in ungodly circumstances? Is this being an accomplice and participatory? Or are we being incarnational and a testimony? Only a sense of calling and confirmation by the Holy Spirit can help us know.