I want to introduce you to a fascinating person in the Bible. Her name is Joanna.
Joanna is with a group of women who have been following Jesus and supporting Jesus out of their own means. And Joanna had access to a lot of means.
As you read this next passage of scripture, pay attention to whom Joanna is married:
“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.”
Wait a second. Herod ruled the section of Israel that included where Jesus grew up. Herod had massive amounts of wealth and money. And Herod wanted Jesus dead because he considered Jesus a threat to his kingdom. And the man who manages all of Herod’s wealth was Chuza. And Chuza’s wife, JOANNA, is using some of that wealth to support Jesus.
Awesome.Or as one book I was reading puts it, “Herod ends up indirectly funding the very resistance movement he’s trying to stamp out.”
One thing I appreciate about the Bible is how many layers it has. Each person, each character, has a story to tell. Even people who are mentioned for only a moment. People like Joanna. This is why we can read and explore the words of Scripture for our entire lives. There is always something new to discover. And in the process, our own faith becomes renewed and refreshed.
Perhaps this week you can spend time reading Luke 8. Read it slowly. Ask questions. You may just stumble across something new: another Joanna. But look close, or you may just miss it.
See you on Sunday!