Have you ever wondered how Jesus’ earthly ministry was funded? To be sure He could have merely uttered a command and gold, silver, and precious stones would have appeared out of nothing. He could have taken a coin and multiplied it as He did to the five loaves and two fish. But He did nothing of the sort. Instead He relied upon others for material assistance and at times financial support. Doctor Luke records in the gospel that bears his name, “and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene. From whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna and many others who were contributing to their support (Jesus and the Twelve Disciples, Lk 8:1) out of their private means, (Lk 8:2,3 NAS).
A few ladies are mentioned by name, but others are not. They go down in human history as nameless and faceless supporters of our Savior’s ministry. Fast forward twenty centuries. There are still many who faithfully give to ministries our Lord has raised up. Let me tell you about one such woman. Her name is Vivian Jared. She recently went to be with her Savior at age 90. Born and raised in Ohio, Vivian grew up in a poor home and married at age 20. She and her husband Gil were blessed with five children. It wasn’t until Vivian was 48 years old that she understood and believed the Gospel.
I met Vivian about 18 years later in Alabama during my first ministry. She attended the church where I was a youth pastor to two of her grandsons. My wages were meager, so I looked for ways to make additional money. Vivian and Gil hired me to take care of their yard and paid me more than it was worth. Once, when Marcia and I could not be with family during the holidays, Vivian invited us to join her clan. Her son Mike and daughter in-law Lynn became some of our closest friends and still are to this day.
We kept in contact over the years and twelve years ago, when I became president at CCBS, Vivian was quick to pledge her support. For the past 12 years as regular as a new moon, each month she faithfully and sacrificially gave to this ministry. Vivian was not a wealthy woman, but made a commitment to support the ministry of the college and did until she went to be with the Lord.
Luke wrote, “Many others who were contributing to their support of their private means” (8:3). While nameless in Luke’s gospel, those women were known by God, and their sacrificial giving was noticed by Him. According to the Word, any act of service and sacrifice a believer does for the Lord with a pure nature will be rewarded by Jesus Himself at a future day, which the Bible calls the judgment seat of Christ. I can’t wait to see the rewards of those nameless ladies of Luke 8:3, Vivian Jared, and so many others, will receive on that day. It is also with great anticipation that I wait for the Lord’s reward of your sacrificial gifts to CCBS. Your name may not even be noted among the greats of history but your works are being recorded and will be rewarded.
Dr. Bill Korver
Carolina College of Biblical Studies