“Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.” Luke 8:1-3
You don’t hear much about Joanna from the Bible. The scripture above is one of two that mention her. But today her name caught my eye and I longed to know who she was.
A leader. That’s the first thing I concluded. She was married to Chuza who was an assistant to Herod Antipas, the king who had John the Baptist beheaded. He was not a fan of Jesus. But Joanna was.
What makes a leader like this? How does a woman muster the courage to follow Jesus despite the fact her husband worked for a king that could easily have her beheaded? Her life was on the line and yet she chose to follow Jesus, no matter what the cost.
Another thing I noticed – she was healed. It doesn’t say what Jesus healed her of…but whatever it was, Jesus came in and her life was never the same. The healing must have been so great and with such magnitude that it didn’t matter what happened in the rest of her life as long as she was chasing after Jesus.
So here’s the thing. Joanna, this amazing beautiful leader, with a husband who was equally as famed and respected – needed healing. It’s easy to get caught up in the lie that leaders shouldn’t need help or healing. That if we just love God enough it should take away all of our pain and we should never have problems that require anything even remotely resembling healing.
But Joanna, like many of us, required healing.
Maybe you, like me, have fallen under the misguided perception that once we accept Jesus that is all the healing we ever need. Well, when it comes to forgiveness of sins, absolutely, it was taken care of once and for all on the cross. That’s the biggest healing! But Jesus wants us to benefit even more. In our relationship with Him we can continue to receive healing in area after area after area, but we have to follow Him and seek Him to receive it. That’s what Joanna did, after her initial healing, she continued to faithfully follow and serve Jesus.
And as much as I would like for Jesus to provide me complete emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental healing all in one gigantic swoop – I must admit – there is so much joy I find running after Him – I don’t know that I would want Him to. I want Him to get inside my heart and mind and transform me. I want others to watch Him do it so they too might realize that life with Jesus is amazing, always changing, exciting, and the greatest adventure anyone could ever find this side of heaven.
Joanna taught me a lot today, or I guess I should say God’s living and active Word empowered by the Holy Spirit taught me a lot.
Even leaders need healing. Healing is a process. It’s only made complete in the pursuit for more – even if the desire to pursue is brought about by yet another massive need for healing.