Lessons In The Life of JoAnna
Luke 8: 1-3
On the surface you might think because we only have a few verses about her that you would have to look long and hard to find information about this woman who is a follower of Christ but not really. Technically her name is only listed in two sections of scripture but she is linked with a “group” of followers of Christ in several key moments in Jesus ministry. Because we have limited verses attached to her name, lets “deconstruct” what we see in the scriptures to tell us a little bit about her.
We won’t be adding to scripture but digging in deeper about what we know about her surroundings. It’s very telling. You know you might not know something about someone in particular but you can learn a lot from their actions, where they walk and who they run with. That’s what we are going to do with this follower of Christ named JoAnna.
There are several areas we are going to “deconstruct”. We are really going to pull a few scriptures apart.
We are going to look at her connections and her relationships.
We will see her husband and his connections he has.
We will delve a little bit into her “social standing”. We will look into her connection to Jesus.
We are going to look into her physical health and lastly we will look at the attributes we see in the life of JoAnna.
As we deconstruct these Scriptures, characteristics of her life will come into view.
I hope that you ladies were able to study with us last week. We studied Herodias. If you didn’t, let me get all of us caught up a smidge. Herodias was married to Herod Antipas. He is the “Herod” in charge at this point in history. Herodias is the wife of Herod Antipas. Herodias is the one that was involved in the trickery of sorts to have John The Baptist beheaded. You’ll have to go back to the website to catch up.
Seriously, it will make this story of JoAnna make a bit more sense. So Herodias tricks Herod Antipas to having John The Baptist beheaded. This trickery all happens at a birthday party for Herod Antipas where all “his men” who served with him were gathered.
One of the men I have no doubt that was at this party was “Chuza”. He was Herod’s steward. Some believe he would have been a chief financial officer of sorts.
Here we go!
Last puzzle piece I want to give you as build the foundation of JoAnnas story….JoAnna’s husband is Chuza.
Chuza surely would have been there the night that John The Baptist was beheaded. Chuza would have been privy to the conversations between Herod and Salome who danced for him. So as we get into the few facts we know about JoAnna you have to keep in mind her connection to royalty. Also keep in mind that JoAnna is a follower of Christ but her husband is serving under the reign of Herod Antipas that allows John The Baptist to be beheaded. I hope you enjoyed this little background to the story if you will. Just getting a handle on how JoAnna was connected to Herod and those who didn’t follow Christ in our story.
Now that we have dealt with who her husband is let’s make sure we always keep in mind, Chuza is serving under one reign and JoAnna is serving under Christ reign.
HER SOCIAL STATUS
Because we know her husbands status under Herod Antipas, we can conclude she was a rather wealthy woman. We also get a glimpse of that when we see that she ministered to Jesus out of her own wealth in Luke 8:3.
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God.And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who ha been healed of evil spirits and infirmities-Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and JoAnna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
So we can concur that girl wasn’t hurting in the financial department. We see that JoAnna is ministering to Jesus out of her means. My scripture spoke of these women providing for Jesus out of their “substance”. I thought that was a good word.
I had lunch with a friend today and she brought a great thing to mind. I was like “oh my word” that is so good. Remember how JoAnnas husband is Chuza. He is working for “wealthy” Herod. So one could perhaps speculate that the “substance” that JoAnna had came from Herod’s treasury.
Perhaps some of Chuza’s paycheck was used to minister to Jesus. Herod is providing for the needs of Jesus through the life of JoAnna.
Y’ALL THAT IS SO GOOD !!
Don’t tell me God won’t put you in situations so you can minister to others. So Good! God doesn’t miss a thing. Girl has got a little change in her pocket and she is using it to minister to Christ.
So we have seen the connection with her husband.
We see her social status let’s dig further into her physical health and her connection with Christ.
It’s deep! Let’s dig.
HER PHYSICAL HEALTH
We see in Luke 8: 1-3 that she has some sort of physical or demonic infirmity that was healed by Christ. Scripture gives us the low down on Mary Magdalenes demonic issues but JoAnnas we aren’t given privy to her issue but we know Jesus healed her. Was it a demonic thing or was it a physical thing? We don’t know but we see her allegiance to Christ in a grand way as she follows Him through out her life.
Her money that came from “her social status” couldn’t buy her healing but we know that Jesus healed her of it. So as we start building upon what we know about her we can conclude a few things. She is wealthy but could not buy healing. She has social status but chose to follow Christ. This girl is starting to intrigue me…
When we start digging into her connection with Jesus it can get overwhelming. I was nailing down my thoughts today and was just super pumped about all she was privy to and every place she walked with christ and what she saw.
HER CONNECTION WITH JESUS
Luke 8:1-3. Luke 24:10
Let’s deconstruct these few short verses listed in Luke 8:1-3 a little further. She is not a one stop follower of Christ. She is following Him city to city. She is in effect a “disciple” or a “follower” of Christ. Is she listed with the 12? No, but she is a disciple, a follower of Christ nonetheless.
We also see a connection between Jesus and JoAnna in Luke 24:10
I want to read Luke 24:1-10 so we can see, experience and feel what JoAnna would have been a part of. I hope you have your scripture open to Luke 24.
It’s really good! I hope you get as excited as I did when I started digging into everything she was a part of .
Let’s read… Luke 24
Now on the first day early in the morning, they and certain other women with them came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.
LET’S STOP RIGHT THERE !!!
Now here is the deal. SHE’S IN !!!
JoAnna is not just a fly by night follower. She is in!!! She is fully devoted to Christ
She’s even prepared the spices. Now we see her at the tomb. She is one of “these women” you are going to see down in verse ten. Please stop and read Luke 24:10 for yourself to see that she is in fact one of the women who is involved with all that happens in Luke 24:1-10.
So if she is at the tomb, I wonder why would she show up to the tomb and why would she spend so much time preparing the spices and going out of her way to anoint Jesus body if she was not at the crucifixion. Most scholars do believe she was one of the ones at the foot of the cross. Often scripture will say “other women” but they do believe she would have been one of them.
THIS GIRL IS A JESUS GIRL.
Let’s continue to read… Luke 24:2
But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb then they went in but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here’s the deal. This girl JoAnna goes into the tomb where Jesus was laid !!!!
I just want you to get who she is.
She is going all the way with Jesus in her discipleship, in her followship of who Christ is.
She’s been “under the cross” and watched Him die.
She’s heard Him say those “famous” sayings He spoke from the cross.
She has watched Him suffer in agony.
She has watched them gamble for His garments.
She has watched them pierce His side.
She’s been city to city following Him.
She has been providing for His needs .
and now we see her “in the tomb” where they laid Him.
She sees He’s not there.
Can you close your eyes and walk in their with her?
After all the roads she’s walked following Christ she finds herself in an empty tomb.
Can you walk in there with her?
Let’s read on … Luke 24:4
And as it happened and they were greatly perplexed about this and behold two men stood by them in shining garments. Ladies, the angels show up right in front of them.
JoAnna is here for this moment !!!
Can you even imagine?
Let’s keep reading…
Then as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth they said to them, “why do you seek the living among the dead?” She is one of the women who hears these words. Why do you seek the living among the dead? Sorry… I am a little excited about all JoAnna is seeing.
Carry on with scripture reading….
As they were afraid they bowed their faces to the earth. They said, why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not hear but He is risen. The angels say, “remember how He spoke to you in Galilee saying that son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men be crucified but on the 3rd day He will rise again”?
I love that statement.
The angels say “remember how you heard that”? She was a follower even in those moments and they remembered His words. JoAnna could recall His words because she was a long time follower of Christ. Then they returned from the tomb and told all the things to the 11 and all to the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, JoAnna, Mary the mother of James and the other women who told these things to the apostles.
Isn’t that wonderful!
So she’s just not this girl that we just know about 4 verses about in scripture. When we deconstructing her life we see where she has been. I know I keep on hitting this but she’s been city to city. She’s been on the city wide tour with Jesus. She seems to have dropped it all to become a follower of Christ. She has personally been healed by Jesus of an infirmity. We see her ministering to Jesus out of her own means.
We see her at the foot of the cross.
We see her at the tomb.
We see her going in the tomb and she hears these angels speak those words.
Aren’t you a little bit more interested In the life of JoAnna now that you dig a little deeper.
She is super connected to Jesus.
She has a front row, intimate, follower, disciple type relationship with Jesus. That’s who JoAnna is !
She is a girl to learn a few things from. Now that we really have dug into where she walked with Christ, what she heard and what she saw, let’s look at the attributes of this wonderful disciple.
ATTRIBUTES OF JOANNA
Looking at these few scriptures we get an overwhelming picture of who JoAnna is. A few simple characteristics I see about JoAnna is. She walked with Christ. She chose to follow and serve and she was an abundant giver.
SHE WALKED WITH CHRIST
It seems quite simple but she walked with Christ. She physically walked with Christ. We “spiritually” “post cross” walk with Christ. She wasn’t a “see Him In this city” and miss the next one. No! She went city to city with Christ. I can imagine as a woman, this pace would have been difficult but after deconstructing her movements, we see she has a heart after Jesus.
A tough walk isn’t going to deter a woman who has Christ tattooed on her heart. No matter where this walk took her she was a follower of Christ.
Difficulties and all, tough, hot sandy walks, she seems to be all in. Persecution… She’s in… Doesn’t seem to phase her. As I began to deconstruct my own life God began to bring some questions to mind.
Do I find it difficult to walk with Christ? Even with our air conditioned padded pew christianity, do I sometimes checkout because I find it difficult to walk with Christ? The answer is yes… JoAnna walked with Jesus through some pretty tough terrain and circumstances. I can learn from her.
Do I whine to God when things get tough? This walk with Christ from city to city, standing under the cross and following Him all the way to the tomb wasn’t for the faint of heart. Yet this is the example we see from JoAnna. She has set the bar high to continue to walk with Christ no matter the circumstances.
CHOOSE TO FOLLOW AND SERVE
She obviously had a cushy lifestyle. Her husband served under Herod and money wouldn’t have been an issue yet she chooses to follow Christ. This wasn’t a step up in the social standing. I have no doubt she had servants to meet her needs yet she choose to serve and walk after Christ. Yet She choose to deny herself, take up her cross and follow Christ.
Then Jesus told the disciples, “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
JoAnna chooses to take up with a “rag tag” group of men who were of “no standing” to follow to Christ.
I am really made accountable to ask myself the question and ask you as well,
“Do we follow Him and serve Him when there is no fanfare’?
Do we take up our cross when there is no social media fan fare about what we’ve done?
Would we involve ourselves with a “ragtag” group of followers of Christ in this day or do
we need our Christianity to be a little more “cushy”?
JoAnna leaves the “cushy” lifestyle to follow Christ no matter where following Him would lead her.
Hard questions but good questions.
JoAnna leaves a strong legacy of going the extra mile to follow Christ. She is an example to us to leave our nets and follow Christ.
Matthew 4: 19-20
Then He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
We may have to leave a few things behind to follow Him. JoAnna doesn’t seem to mind.
So we see her walk with Christ, follow and serve Him but we also see her heart for giving to the life of Christ.
She gives out of her abundance to minister to Jesus in Luke 8: 1-3
Today, we minister and meet the needs Christ has for His local body by tithing. We also share the love of Christ by meeting every day needs we come in contact with. We give and minister in a myriad of ways.
I can be totally honest and say I truly believe I miss every day needs that I could meet because I don’t “deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him”.Yet you see JoAnna do just that.
Then Jesus told the disciples, “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”-Matthew 16:24
You know I talk all the time about being “Under The Influence” of other women. How it’s important for us to grow and be willing to learn underneath other godly women I have been “Under The Influence” of JoAnna this week. Some areas of my life have been exposed that need some attention after looking into the life of JoAnna.
We need to be on guard in our lives to really think on the things God sheds light on through Bible study. I think it’s so easy to read scripture and walk away and forget what we have heard. JoAnna’s discipleship has encouraged me.
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law of liberty that gives freedom, and continues in it, not forgetting what they have heard will be blessed in what they do.
I believe I can learn a few things from her from seeing her heart to minister to Christ. I want to look into the mirror of His word and see myself. This week I am so thankful for JoAnna. She has taught me some things. There maybe some areas of my life that aren’t totally surrendered to Him.
I am thankful for women like JoAnna that can be an example to women today on what it takes to be a follower of Christ. She has set the bar high.