female role models in the Bible: Joanna

This week’s instalment of the series features Joanna, a woman who was healed by Jesus and then committed to aiding his ministry. I admit, Joanna’s story was not one I was familiar with, but once I began studying her, I was intrigued.

Let’s start Joanna’s story in Luke 8:1-3

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.

We read that Joanna was among a group of women that had received healing from Jesus, but it is unclear what exactly he cured her of.  It is possible she was demon possessed, suffered from a physical disability or disease, or was even mentally unwell.  Whatever it was, Jesus released her from it, and Joanna made the choice to contribute to Jesus ministry, presumably so others could experience freedom as she did.  It is important to note that verse three says she supported Jesus and the disciples out of her own pocket.  She didn’t tell others they should give to Jesus’ ministry but keep a tight hold on her money…no, she knew that Jesus saw to her spiritual, emotional, and possibly physical needs, so she was more than willing to contribute to his material needs.

Now, this passage of scripture could have just mentioned Joanna by name, but it includes her husband’s name and his profession.  Why is that?  Because Joanna was not just an average woman, no she was a woman with an unusual mission field: Herod’s palace. Joanna may not have talked Herod’s ear off about her newfound Saviour, but we can assume she would tell her fellow servants and anyone else whom she met.  After all, any affliction she had was likely an obvious one so people would now see her as a new person, and would undoubtedly wonder what caused this change.  Joanna may have been risking her husband’s position by talking about Jesus Christ the Messiah, but that was a chance she was willing to take.

Also worth noting is that Joanna was among the women who were there at Jesus’ crucifixion (Luke 23:55), and then later at the tomb once His body was resurrected (Luke 24:1-12). Joanna didn’t just talk the talk about being a follower of Christ; she actually walked the walk!  She spent time travelling around with Jesus and assisting in his ministry however she could.

Now it doesn’t actually say in scripture that Joanna was vocal about her healing and Jesus in general, but we can assume that she was.  Why?  Because being healed by Jesus was kind of a big deal!  It wasn’t something people soon forgot about, and they certainly didn’t keep this news to themselves.  We can assume Joanna was vocal in the place she spent most of her time: the household of Herod, because she would likely be talking to anyone who would listen.

Why Joanna is a Role Model:

  1. recognized that it was Jesus who healed her and sought to give Him the glory
  2. told people about her faith and what Jesus had done for her
  3. despite any risk that may have been involved, she was not ashamed of her faith

What we can learn from Joanna:

When God works in your life, wether it be something big or small, TELL people about it!  I’ve talked before about how we can use social media as a ministry, so step out of your comfort zone and let people know what God is doing.  Often we may feel like God’s work in our life may not be all that significant to another person, but you never know what God uses to bring people to Him.

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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