The woman Joanna is mentioned in the Bible in Luke 8:1-3 and Luke 24:10. She was the wife of Herod’s steward, who held a position of importance in the estate he served. Based on this information Joanna must have been a person of wealth. She and Mary Magdalene, Susanna, and others, helped provide means to support Christ’s ministry while He was on this earth (Luke 8:1–3).
Also, Joanna was one of the women “who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities” like Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2). This deliverance took place before the Second Galilean Tour of Christ.
The Women that Ministered to Christ and the Disciples
In Jewish circles of a strictly religious character, such as those of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and others, women seemed to have had no significant role. They seemed absent from the public life. But this was not so in the ministry of Christ. With the Second Galilean Tour, the needs of Christ’s ministry grew rapidly, and the followers that traveled with Him increased in number in comparison to the followers who had been with Him on the first tour.
This without doubt meant added expense and work, to provide for the food, care of clothing and other necessary needs. These various conditions allowed for these kind women to offer their means and assistance. Thus, the material needs of Christ and His disciples were met applying the principle that “the workman is worthy of his meat” (Matthew 10:10).
Jesus and His disciples had a common purse (John 13:29; Luke 12:6), and it seemed that these kind women helped in keeping the purse from running out. In that sense, these faithful women were the first women’s ministry of the Christian church.
A Woman of Service
Joanna accompanied Christ during His ministry and also at His crucifixion and burial. She was among the women that prepared spices and burial ointments to anoint His body (Luke 23:55–56). Also, she was among the women that reported the great Resurrection news to the disciples. The Bible records, “Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles” (Luke 24:10).
Joanna was a faithful and giving believer, who was dedicated to the service of God. Jesus said, “by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20). Her life of ministry and love showed that she has been with Christ. And she will be rewarded greatly at the day of Judgement (Mark 9:41). May every Christian woman today follow her example.
In His service,