“Give me Hope Joanna”
With Peter Veysie
George Methodist Church
Thankyou so much to Hope for her testimony and for Tyler doing an awesome interview. I am sure that you are all aware of the difficult situation that we are in at this time and we are just sending out lots of love and prayer for the Heyman family as they mourn the loss of Kobus who was very involved with GMC before I arrived here, as well as the McCreedy family mourning the loss of Carol as well as for Chriaten’s family as they mourn the loss of her grandad Hennie de Beer- We send our love and prayers to them as well as to all who are suffering at this time.
So often in our bible reading we may just brush over a name that is mentioned and not think any more of it, but I want to introduce you to a remarkable woman who followed Jesus and her name is Joanna. My message today is called “Give me Hope Joanna”
Read Luke 8:1-3
Joanna was one of several women in the Bible healed of “evil spirits and diseases” by Jesus Christ (Luke 8:2). After being healed, Joanna accompanied Jesus and the twelve disciples on their travels from town to town and helped support the Lord’s ministry. As the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod Antipas’ household estate, Joanna was a woman of means and influence. Along with Mary Magdalene, Susanna, and others, Joanna helped provide food and supplies for the missionary troupe from her own wealth (Luke 8:1–3).
Whether Joanna had been set free from a demon or healed of some mental or physical disability, we are not told. But we do know that Joanna remained wholly devoted to Jesus until the end. She traveled with Him on His final journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. She was present at Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Later, Joanna returned with other women who had prepared spices and burial ointments to anoint Jesus’ body (Luke 23:55–56). Upon discovering the empty tomb, Joanna and the others ran to report the news to the apostles (Luke 24:10).
- High risk decisions
Joanna is mentioned in the Bible only in the Gospel of Luke. The Herod that Joanna’s husband Chuza was steward for is a tetrarch (in the Roman Empire) the governor of one of four divisions of a country or province each of four joint rulers.He was the ruler of Galilee, so Joanna herself must have lived in Tiberias, the capital of Galilee. Scholars believe Joanna may have been a key source of much of the detailed information Luke included in his writings about the life of Jesus. She had the inside story and a direct line to what was happening, but she would also have sadly been exposed to a lot of what was happening including the beheading of John as requested by Herod’s daughter Salome.
It was a high risk decision to leave her royal life and join Jesus as a disciple.She was in the inner circle of high society. It is noted by theologians that a lot of the story of Jesus recorded by Luke may have come from some of the insights that Joanna gleaned from her husband Chuza, especially regarding the detail of the trial in Luke22 -23. Chuza was the manager of Herod’s property and his name means “Little jug”
- She was a disciple
By welcoming women like Joanna into His inner circle, Jesus broke with Jewish tradition and the strict social divisions of His day. And Joanna, no doubt, stepped down from her aristocratic social position when she chose to follow Jesus and associate with His disciples.
Although little is written about Joanna in the Bible, we can glean from just a few lines that the Lord was precious to her. She had the privilege of being one of the first people to share the good news of Christ’s resurrection. Joanna was a loyal and generous follower of Christ. She proves that the kingdom of heaven is accessible to all who are willing to give their lives in humble service to Jesus and others.
- A generous spirit.
After her conversion, Joanna traveled with Jesus, served Him, learned from Him, and financially supported His ministry. In first-century Judaism, such conduct was considered scandalous for women, and especially a married woman. Joanna’s life is an example of how the gospel demolishes class barriers and social prejudices. The fact that she was the wife of a man in Herod’s employ is ironic, given the general Herodian hatred for Jesus.
We interviewed hope today and she certainly is a testimony to being a true disciple of the Lord having risked in her life many of the challenges of following Jesus and being determined to live with a generous spirit especially as one who has served our youth and our country in Christian service.
The stories of Hope and Joanna give me hope to keep going as a christian and never give up. To empower woman as disciples and to encourage them into leadership positions and to learn from Jesus as to the way we should serve right to the end. Three woman were at the cross and the grave and specifically mentioned – Mary, Sussana and Joanna and they were possibly leaders alongside of Peter James and John in their own right. Luke 24:1-10.
I love the scriptures on hope and I leave these with you so that you keep the hope alive and strong in your hearts:
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.Isaiah 40:31
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.Romans 5:3-4
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.Psalm 119:114
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.Hebrews 10:23reliabilityacknowledgingpromises
Guide me in your truth and teach me,for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.Psalm 25:5
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.Romans 5:5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.1 Peter 1:3
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.1 Peter 3:15
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.Colossians 1:27
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called.Ephesians 4:4
How risky is your faith ?
How do we serve as loyal disciples of Jesus ?
How generous are we when it comes to the work of the Lord?
How does the story of Joanna give you hope and spur you on ?
How is your hope? Does it bounce back after being hit? Does it cause you to doubt when you lose hope in a situation? God knows that we all struggle with finding and holding onto hope. When you are facing tests of faith, even the strongest Christians can find it a challenge to find hope.