Joanna - if you are like me then you don’t think “Bible”, but rather hear the song in your head. Or maybe you think of a friend that has that name.
I was reading my Bible and the name jumped out at me. Who was this woman and why did I not know that she was there all along? Let me share with you what I found out!
Joanna is only mentioned in two sections in the Bible. Both of them in Luke.
Chapter 8 verse 1-3 tell us “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.”
Then again in Chapter 24 verse 9-11 it says “When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.”
In these brief mentions of Joanna we get a snapshot of a regular everyday Christian woman during the time of Christ. Her presence in the Bible is not an accident and I feel like we can learn a few beautiful things from her.
Joanna was in a position to be generous. We read that she and other women were supporting Jesus and the twelve of their own means. They believed in what Jesus was doing and wanted to show their faith and support in the form of generosity. Making sure these 13 men had what they needed in everyday needs made it so they could focus on the work they were doing as “fishers of men”.
Need for Jesus
It mentioned in the first set of verses that Joanna and the other women were part of this group because they had been cleansed of unclean spirits or disease. They had recognized that they needed Jesus and his healing power. They had a strong enough faith in Him that they went to Him for help and found it. How amazing would it be to have had Jesus himself in the flesh heal you from something that would have set you so apart from society?
Love for others
Joanna and the other women mentioned not only showed this love by stepping into a servant role when taking care of the twelve and Jesus while they were near, but this extended in wanting to give Jesus a proper cleaning and burial ritual in his tomb. She and the others didn’t understand that Jesus would be rising from the dead and so they went down there to take care of him in one final way they knew how. What a surprise awaited them!
While she is not a major Bible character, I am so glad God pointed her out to me. Sometimes practical and timeless examples of women that we can look to as role models in our faith are difficult to find. We can learn from all of the women in the Bible, but Joanna has a special place for me now. She did what she did from a place of love and faith. I am sure Jesus and the twelve appreciated her and the care she took of them. I wonder how much wisdom she gleaned from being in their company for the time she had with them.
I hope Joanna can be an example to you as she has been to me.
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