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Running the gauntlet

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19.29

It must have been hard for Joanna: an aristocratic woman, married to an official at the court of King Herod Antipas. He was the ruler who was persuaded to kill John the Baptist by the woman whom he had appropriated from his half-brother, who was also his niece, having divorced his first wife... What could have persuaded her to abandon the security and luxury of her privileged status and take to the road with an itinerant preacher, jeopardising her reputation and that of her husband (assuming he was still alive)?

The chances are that Joanna was drawn to Jesus through a healing miracle, enjoyed either by herself or by someone close to her. This is speculation, because no such information is offered. Suffice to say that her presence among the followers of Jesus confirms the Lord's ability to reconcile those of all backgrounds and abilities, through their appreciation that being with him trumped their (former) social, economic, political and religious divisions. It begs the question of whether churches today are allowing ourselves to be as effective - as colonies of healing and beacons of reconciliation?



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