1. Joanna – her name means “T he Lord Gives Graciously” and in this story Joanna who experienced gracious healing at Jesus’ hands responded by giving herself totally, supporting his ministry and following him wherever he went. WOB p. 184
2. A woman of high rank in Herod’s court. She was married to Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household.
a. In Clarke’s commentary steward is used instead of manager and signifies the overseer of Herod’s domestic affairs. http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/luke/8.htm
b. In Matthew Henry’s commentary it was debated whether Joanna was a widow and after her husband’s death was left with good financial means to support the ministry of Jesus Christ. Or if her husband Cuza had received the gospel and was wiling to have his wife be a “hearer of Christ and a contributor to him”. http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhcw/luke/8.htm
3. Joanna’s background was that of a wife of a high ranking staffer in the court of Herod, Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, the tetrarch (govenor) of Galilee. In our W.O.B.studies of Herodias and Salome, we learned of this devious mother and shameless daughter who plotted along with Herod in the death of John the Baptist. Matthew 14:1-12
4. Luke 23:7-12 Scripture describes more background on Herod’s court and his treatment of Jesus Christ after the Last Supper and the subsequent arrest of our Lord. Jesus was interrogated by Herod after being sent to him by Pilate. Pilate did not want to handle this case of Jesus and pushed him off onto Herod. Before sending Jesus back to Pilate, Herod attempted to humiliate and degrade him.
5. Accompanied by his disciples and the women who supported him, Jesus preached throughout every city and village of Galilee. Matthew Henry (in the same commentary mentioned above) called Jesus an itinerant preacher, a judge traveling his circuit, going through every city setting an example for his disciples. “They must traverse the nations of the earth, as he did the cities of Israel. http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhcw/luke/8.htm
6. Joanna, along with Mary Magdalene, Sisanna and other women who names are not mentioned here, ministered and supported Jesus and his ministry. These women had been healed by Jesus of various illnesses, some with evil spirits and diseases. We know that Jesus freed Mary Magdalene of seven demons but scripture does not reveal what affliction was upon Joanna. We know that she was a patient of Jesus as others were that we have studied and that are offered in scripture (See W.O.B. pg 185). A patient offered grace who was healed by Jesus.
7. These women supported Jesus using their own means. After being healed they were possibly compelled by gratitude to serve him and his disciples. As we learned in the story of the Widow with Two Coins, we must give all we have willingly and lovingly to the Lord because what we give can never compare to what he gave and continues to give to us.These women knew this; they were the recipients of his grace and mercy and chose to support him financially and follow him wherever he went. Mark 12:43-44
8. Joanna and the other women who ministered to Jesus while alive, showed respect and homage to him by bringing prepared spices to his grave site.
9. On this 3rd day after Jesus’ death on the cross, the women were confronted at the grave site by 2 angels who reported that Jesus was risen from the dead. They were reminded that Jesus had spoken these words, “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Luke 24:7
10. Then they remembered his words. They were: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the other women who had supported Jesus and his ministry. They were the first to see the empty tomb, to hear that Jesus was not there and to be reminded of Jesus’ words that he would rise. When they came to tell the 11 Disciples, they were not believed as the disciples thought the words of the women were nonsense. They too would come to believe as they too were reminded of Jesus’ own words, some from Jesus himself.
Women of the Bible: 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups; Jean E. Syswerda; Zondervan, 2002
NIV Study Bible; Zondervan
Clarke’s Commentary; http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/luke/8.htm
Matthew Henry’s Commentary; http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhcw/luke/8.htm