Who in the world is Joanna

Except from my book, ‘Out of Control’.

I’m glad you asked. Joanna is one of my favourite Bible characters because she is almost an unknown, and yet she played such a significant role in the life of Jesus while He walked this earth. Most people don’t even realise she is in the Bible and I can already hear you rustling through your own Bible or scrolling through chapters on your iPad, iPhone or whatever other iThing you own, or more than likely, ‘Googling’ her name to find this woman called Joanna, all the while asking yourself this question, ‘Is Joanna actually in the Bible?’

If I said I was going to write about the life of Queen Esther, those of you who read the Bible would probably say to me; ‘Deb, take a seat, I can recite her story backwards to you, I know Esther,’ and you would be right. Even if you don’t know her from the Bible, you may know of her from the movie made about her, called ‘The Book of Esther,’ made in 2013. Many people quote her story as an encouragement to those who are questioning whether their life is making a difference, reminding them that they are in the right place, at the right time, for the season they are in. For Queen Esther, God had moved all the chess pieces, so to speak, in order for her to be chosen as the new wife of King Ahasuerus, the king of Persia. This led her to be positioned for her ultimate calling, a place of influence, to save the Jewish people, her people, from being wiped out. The plan to destroy the Jews came about after a law was put in place to have the people in that nation bow down to the King’s servants, however Esther’s uncle Mordecai, a Jew, would not. Haman, the chief servant, got angry and asked the king to make a law to wipe out the Jews in that nation. Queen Esther got word of this plot and had her people pray and fast, as did she, prior to her bravely going before her King to plead for the lives of her people. She succeeded in this quest and hence, the famous quote associated with Queen Esther was birthed: ‘And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’ Esther 4:14

What a great story. However, this is not about Queen Esther but rather about another significant player in biblical history; and her name is Joanna and yes, she is in the Bible.

I discovered this amazing woman while I was preparing to preach one day. Our pastor had asked those of us on the preaching roster to choose a New Testament character to speak about and immediately I thought, I want to find someone no one knows, and it was on this quest I found the beautiful Joanna.

To find her, you will need to look carefully, because she can easily be overlooked. Even if you have read about her, you can be forgiven for failing to notice her significance and her noteworthiness. Joanna is mentioned just four times in the New Testament, and only very briefly, but as you pause to take a closer look, you will discover a woman of incredible character and distinction. As you dig deep, you will find a woman, who through a life-changing encounter with Jesus, became a brave, strong role model and notable asset to Jesus’ team of disciples. At this point you may be thinking, if she is so wonderful and seemingly balanced, how does she relate to your ‘out of control’ theme? Be patient my friends, I am about to unravel Joanna’s life to you in the way God showed me during a time I was wrestling with my own ‘outpage20image41156992 of control’ struggles.

Now, let me introduce you to this wonderful noble character, Joanna.

You will find this wonderful lady in just two scripture verses by name, and alluded references to her in others.

Luke 8:1-3 (TLB): Not long afterwards he began a tour of the cities and villages of Galilee to announce the coming of the Kingdom of God, and took his twelve disciples with him. 2Some women went along, from whom he had cast out demons or whom he had healed; among them were Mary Magdalene (Jesus had cast out seven demons from her), 3Joanna, Chuza’s wife (Chuza was King Herod’s business manager and was in charge of his palace and domestic affairs), Susanna, and many others who were contributing from their private means to the support of Jesus and his disciples.

Luke 24:10 (TLB): The women who went to the tomb were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James, and several others.

Firstly, from these two scriptures we find out four specific known things about Joanna’s life.

The first thing we learn about her, is that she is the wife of Chuza, who is the financial manager of Herod’s household. This meant that Joanna was a woman of great influence simply because she was married to a very powerful and influential man, Chuza. The second thing we find out about Joanna is that Jesus touched her and she was set free from an affliction. According to Luke 8:2, Joanna was either physically sick or had a demonic oppression on her life. The third known thing we read about her life is she was a financial supporter of Jesus. Being married to such a high-profile person as Chuza, she would have been a woman of great wealth and well able to support Jesus’ ministry. And finally, we see that Joanna was one of the women who went to the tomb after Jesus’ crucifixion to wash his body and there she met with an angel who told all who were there, including Joanna that He (Jesus) was no longer dead, but alive. This meant she was one of the very first to witness that Jesus had been resurrected, which is the very hope of our salvation.

I know this is a little teaser and I am sure you want to know more about Joanna. For those of you who struggle with handing over the reigns of burdens we were never meant to carry, my book ‘Out of Control’ will help you to do that. You can read the rest of Joanna’s story there along with my story and many others who learnt to hand over control to one who was always meant to carry our burdens.

Deb x

Out of Control – World wide – available online at all major bookstores.

#Amazon #BarnesandNoble #barnesandnobel #ebay #goodreads and so many more places.

Out of Control – Australia also available online at Koorong. https://www.koorong.com/product/out-of-control-god-can-do-more-with-our-relinquished-control_9780994636225?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.koorong.com%2Fsearch%2Fresults%3Fw%3Dout%2Bof%2Bcontrol%2BDeborah%2Bhilton

Published by Deborah Hilton

I am passionate about seeing people connected with their purpose. To rise up and not be afraid to take that first step because you can trust God in your journey. As you read the journey I took in my book called Just Say Yes, you will find that you too can have confidence to walk your own. Deb x

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