I am always amazed at the fact that I can read the Bible again and again, and still find something that seems new or something that I had missed. I believe that this is one of the many proofs that the Bible is exactly what it claims to be, given by the inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). There are other books that we possess that after reading two or three times we can master. This is simply not true when it comes to studying the Bible. You can spend a lifetime studying the Bible and always find something new. This should not be surprising, since we would not expect our minds to be on the same level with God’s.
This scenario that I am speaking of happened to me last week. I found a character in the Bible that I had not noticed before. This character’s name is Joanna. If you had asked me before last week if the name Joanna was in the Bible I would have probably said, no. However, Joanna is in fact in the Bible. Her name is mentioned in Luke 8:3 and 24:10. I guess the thing that was more amazing to me is the fact that this woman was not tucked away in an Old Testament book that does not get much attention, but she is right there in one of the gospel accounts. How could I have not remembered seeing her name before? The fact remains that I did not. The Bible is truly an amazing book!
I want you to know that just because I have titled this article series “Obscure Characters” that does not mean that Joanna is unimportant. She is listed among a group of women who were healed at the hands of Jesus in Luke 8:2-3. The response of these women was to provide for the needs of Jesus as he traveled through their area. I would say that should raise a person out of obscurity. She was healed by Christ, and then had the opportunity to provide for his needs. Joanna was also a woman of high rank in Herod’s court. She was the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward (Luke 8:3). This would have put her in a position to have a great amount of influence.
The account of Joanna in Luke 8 is not the only mention of her that makes her important. She is mentioned in Luke 24 as being one of the women who witnessed the resurrection of our Lord (Luke 24:1-10). She would have also been in the group of women who took news of his resurrection to the apostles (Luke 24:10). I would say that would make her an important character. Her reputation as the wife of an important official in Herod’s court offers character that would not be easily discredited by those who would deny the resurrection. There are many great treasures like this waiting to be found in God’s word. Most of all the light that leads to eternal life is waiting in those sacred Scriptures (Psalm 119:105; Rom. 1:16; 10:17). Don’t waste the opportunity, get your Bible and dig in!