Many people are unfamiliar with Joanna in the Bible. Joanna was married to Cuza, who oversaw the household of Herod Anitipas. Antipas was one of the sons of the King Herod.
At some point in Joanna’s life, Jesus cured her of an unspecified illness. Luke’s gospel mentions ‘evil spirits’ and ‘infirmities’, which means that Joanna’s illness could have been almost anything. The Roman world might not know about bacteria, but they sensed that illness could be caused by something malevolent from outside entering your body. When they suspected that this had occurred, or when they simply had no explanation for an illness, they called it an ‘evil spirit’.
Whatever it was Jesus cured it! She saw his power first hand and needed no further convincing. She became a disciple, following him wherever he went. Joanna and the other two women mentioned in Luke 8:1-3, Mary Magdalene and Susanna, did everything they could to help him
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 Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
Like Mary Magdalene, Joanna stayed with Jesus to the very end! Luke names her as one of the three women who visited the tomb early on one…finding it empty!
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 into the hands of sinful men, 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.
Think about it for a minute…….These ladies are telling the Eleven and some others what the angels had just told them to be true of Jesus and what had happened to His body, but the men did not believe them.
The Eleven did not believe them.
The Eleven who had been with Jesus all throughout His ministry.
The Eleven that knew Him personally.
The Eleven that loved Him.
Are the same Eleven men that thought that these women spoke words of nonsense.
But these ladies, including Joanna, spoke boldly in faith to the Eleven. They knew what they had seen with their own eyes, and they knew what they had heard with their own ears. They knew the peace that they felt in their hearts.
Joanna had complete confidence in Jesus. Being married to the manager of Herod’s household, Joanna was a woman very familiar with power. But she knew that the power she had been surrounded by in her wealthy lifestyle in Herod’s court was nothing like the power she had found in Jesus.
It did not matter to her if others thought that she was just an hysterical, grieving woman, because she knew what the truth was. She knew Who the Truth was.
God honored her faithfulness by letting her be one of the first witnesses to the Resurrection….and she was one of the first to bring the news to others!
Are you one of the first to talk about the goodness of God??
Be faithful to God, even when others make think it nonsense or not true. Don’t allow the world to sway you into doubt and unbelief. God rewards his faithful followers!
Excerpts taken from In My Life