Joanna: First to Tell
This article is part of Sister Alena X. Ricci's series on the Women of the Bible.
In studying Joanna for this blog, she has quickly become one of my favorites. Vastly overlooked, hers is an incredible story, and I hope that you go and read it for yourself (in Luke). It’s not long, but it is so amazing to me.
Joanna was a wealthy and well-connected woman in Herod’s court, with a life of more power and luxury than most other women mentioned in Scripture. At some point, Jesus had healed her, and she began following Him in His ministry, providing for anything He needed out of her own pocket.
The Bible never mentions if her faith hurt her life, but guess what?
That doesn’t really change her story, because whether or not it did doesn't affect or change the fact that even with the escalating risks of faith, she faced them unflinchingly.
She didn’t care; she was going to follow Jesus no matter what.
Every day, she had a choice and every day we have the same one: We can stay nestled in our safe places, those places where we know nothing will happen. We can let fear and anxiety take over and tell us that the risks are giant, when in reality they are so incredibly small compared to the greatness and works of God. Or we can walk forward and follow Jesus no matter what.
No turning back.
We are crippled by grains of sand when we have an ocean protecting us.
Her faith and her willingness amaze me, but the best part of the story?
The best part is that she was there at the empty grave when the angel told her that Jesus was no longer there.
And she got to go and tell His disciples, the men with whom He shared countless moments.
It was this woman, whose faith faced down society who got to tell people of the fact that Jesus Christ had risen.
How amazing is that?
If you’re like me, then you’re incredibly goal-oriented, and it’s hard for me to start something and finish it if I don’t know what the finish looks like.
And I think a lot of times we talk about faith in this abstract sense, that here’s this never-ending battle we face — and that’s true — but here is an example of faith with a clear victory.
Through her faith and her service, Joanna was one of the first people to know of Jesus’ resurrection and tell people about it.
A victory indeed!
If there’s one thing to take away from Joanna for me, it’s the fact that sometimes life is hard and following God is difficult. But you know what? We also, like Joanna, get to tell people of Jesus’ resurrection every day, and doesn’t that make it worth it?
Image credit: "The Holy Women at the Tomb of Christ" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.