The last few verses of today’s gospel provide a fascinating and often overlooked insight into the ministry of Jesus. It names the followers of Jesus as being the Twelve (the apostles), three named women – Mary the Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna – as well as several other women. Interestingly, it is the women who are identified as being the ‘financial backers’ of Jesus. They ‘provided for them out of their own re-sources’. It is not clear how these women came to be financially independent but they used their wealth to support the work of Jesus and his male apostles.