Women Followed Jesus: Joanna, wife of Chuza

Another of Jesus followers is Joanna.

“And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”  {Luke 8:3}


The name Joanna means the Lord has been gracious.

Apparently, Joanna is important.  Her husband is Chuza, who is Herod’s steward. Her husband worked for Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. Herod Antipas ordered the death of John the Baptist and Pontius Pilate sent Jesus to Herod Antipas, who then sent him back to Pilate.

Herod Antipas was a very powerful man and being a follower of Jesus must have been like walking a tight rope for Joanna, especially as tensions rose leading up to his crucifixion.

Jesus healed those with evil spirits

The earlier part of the above passage tells us “and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities”  {Luke 8:2}.  From this we know that Joanna was one of the women who was healed from the evil spirits.

Joanna is one of the women who supports Jesus and his ministry and provides for their physical needs.  Her husband’s position would have provided her with the financial means and ability to provide for Jesus and travel with his company.

After Jesus’ crucifixion, the women go to the tomb to anoint his body and find it empty. “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 is mentioned right after Mary Magdalene, which shows her importance among the women who followed Jesus. She was one of the women who went to prepare his body, found the empty tomb and told the disciples the grave was empty.

As is often the case, scripture does not provide insight into Joanna’s life after this snapshot. She would have continued to serve the early church alongside the women. The Greek Orthodox church honors her as Saint Joanna the Myrrhbearer.

History tells us Herod Antipas fell from power and died in exile.  How this effected the life of Chuza and Joanna and their ministry with the early church we can only imagine. 

In searching books on this obscure woman, I stumbled across Through the Eyes of Joanna.

Are you as interested to read more on the life of this woman as I am?

One comment

  • Rachel

    Joanna used her own money, not her husbands’, to fund Jesus’ ministry. She was an upper class woman, with her own financial resources. Joanna was a powerful woman who, along with other contributing women, traveled with Jesus and his inner circle of twelve. She was a strong woman who made her own decisions. Joanna was a loyal disciple of deep faith. She was at the empty tomb, one of the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection. Yes, Joanna was the wife of Chuza, a powerful man, Herod’s personal executive assistant, but she was much more than just that.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.