Woman of influence backs Jesus and The Twelve


th-56After 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. (Luke 8:1-4)

These are some of the more obscure verses in the Bible that probably shouldn’t be obscure because they show us a lot about Jesus’ view of women and the important role they had in His life and ministry. He clearly would not have had three years of ministry without them. These things don’t just happen. Basic needs have to be met, and these women saw to it that they were taken care of.

These verses also push up against the more traditional views of women in the church which have them subservient to men in every area. Traditionalists would want to know why Joanna was out there operating on her own in the marketplace. Where was Chuza? This probably explains why we are so unfamiliar with the content of these verses. “How long has this been in my Bible?” I want to say.

Though Joanna is not on anyone’s “A” list of important women of the Bible, we definitely want her on our list. She is mentioned only twice in Luke’s gospel, but the few things we know about her are significant in terms of how Jesus viewed women and the role they played in His ministry.

Here’s what we know about Joanna: 1) She was healed. 2) She was grateful. 3) She was closely tied to the local government and politics of the region through her husband. 4) She was wealthy — a member of the upper class — and supported the needs of Jesus and the twelve out of her own means, not just the means of her husband. 5) Whether her efforts were or were not supported by her husband, that didn’t seem to matter; she was functioning autonomously as an influencer in society. 6) She moved about freely, most likely setting up arrangements for food and lodging for Jesus and the disciples.

Joanna, Susanna and the others mentioned here remind me of an organization Marti help found and link to World Vision called Women of Vision, Orange County, California. These are today’s women of means who seek to use their influence to support the cause of Christ as His disciples all over the world, improving the lot of women and children everywhere, and spreading the gospel as they do. They are a powerful force for good; they have raised millions of dollars to fund cottage industries, and virtually ended female genital mutilation in many areas.

And Joanna shows up one more time, after the resurrection:

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee. ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

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. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.  (Luke 24:1-12)

Here we have Joanna as one of the first to hear of the resurrection. The women rushed to tell the others, but as it is so often today, the men didn’t believe them. “Their words seemed to them like nonsense.”  Nothing much has changed. Peter even went and checked their story out to find it to be true, and still was not convinced even by his own eyes! He walked away wondering, obviously still questioning their story of the angelic appearance and what the angels said.

Come on guys, how many times have we had to check out the women’s story, only to find it was true? Why not learn to trust them the first time. Jesus did.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Woman of influence backs Jesus and The Twelve

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Another great Catch Pastor John, enjoyed reading & learning from it… I’ve heard a few times about women that supported Jesus and helped him w/ money, foods and lodging…

  2. lwwarfel says:

    So beautifully written! Thank you for sharing this.

  3. 14250sc says:

    There’s a saying you’ve probably heard, “When all else fails, do it like your wife said!”

  4. Colleen says:

    I believe many times men have a prideful nature that comes about when a woman rebukes one of their theories. Look at Judge Deborah from the O.T. (Judges 4:4)who was also considered a prophetess, who did a job that God asked man to do and refused. We also have the converted Lydia who was a business woman who sold the color purple (Acts16:14) that also aided the disciples. Men always want to be dominant and sometimes do not want to hear the truth, especially coming from what they believe is less than them. It still happens today even though many women believe we are liberated, in some sense we are, but in many circumstances we are not. Men still like to believe it is a man’s world and forsake some sound advice from their mothers, sisters, wives, and female friends. I’m sure some male counterpart still wish we could be like Mexico where women are second class citizens, stay at home, bear children, cook, and clean house while they can philander, because they bring home the bacon, yet fail to recognize that sometimes it is the woman, wife, sister, or mother who encourages, supports, and gives them new ideas for their endeavors, promotions, and/or success. While many times we sit in the shadows. I wonder what Esther would think of all this?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.