The 8 Most Powerful Women in the Bible: Part Three

What makes a woman powerful? Is it money, fame, a political position, or is it an Oscar-winning actress? Any of these attributes may be true in today’s society, but not in biblical days. Many excellent examples of strong, influential women grace the pages of the Bible. Now two thousand years later, everyone may find much wisdom in the biblical females. Use them as a guiding tool in your personal lives and to develop a relationship with God.


Did you miss the first two parts of this series? Click HERE for Part One. Click HERE for Part Two.


Joanna the Apostle (also known as Junia)

Joanna does not have a specific story as some other women in this series. In fact, her life is pieced together by many scriptures throughout the Bible, but what an influential person! She was an upper-class Jewish woman in 1st century Palestine. Her grandfather was Theophilus, the High Priest in the Second Temple, in Jerusalem.

The earliest mention of Joanna was in Luke 8:3, where she is referred to as the wife of Chuza, a steward to Herod Antipas. They were married when she was very young, and they both maintained jobs in Herod’s royal household. I’m sure this placed Joanna in a very unpopular category with ordinary Jews. One of her husband’s duties was to make sure everyone paid their taxes to Herod.

Like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, too, had demons in her body. She was often curious about Jesus and His miracles. Would He cleanse her as well? On the days she traveled away from the royal household, she would sit as a bystander and listen to His sermons of parables. One day, Jesus directed his attention to her and spoke with conviction. As the healing miracles of Jesus’ power tell, He knew she was possessed, too, with infirmities…and so He healed her.

Joanna gave a lot of money to Jesus and His disciples. She was wealthy, well-connected, and influential, so she was able to protect Him in subtle ways. She became instrumental in the success of His mission. In this biblical age, it was scandalous for a woman to be financially supportive of a man, much less a female who came from King Herod’s house. But, she took the risk, even though she witnessed her employer, King Herod, behead John the Baptist.

Ruins of King Herod’s palace

At some point in Joanna’s marriage, she becomes single again. One can only imagine the reasons why this happened – perhaps Chuza divorced her, or was he murdered for his position in the royal home? The Bible does not state a specific cause. But, Joanna was in the ranks of the Galilean poor with no social standing or financial security, but she held her head high, turning her life to serve Jesus.

She memorized the Lord’s parables and joined Jesus in storytelling among the poor villages along with a few other women. Many of their listeners were rejected for their conversion to Christianity, so Joanna could sympathize with their feelings. Indeed she was inspired by Jesus’ teachings. She traveled as far as Rome, being a witness to the Lord. She was eventually named an Apostle.

It is spoken in scripture Joanna and Mary Magdalene prepared the cloths to wrap Jesus’ body after His crucifixion. She was also a witness to the empty tomb after His resurrection. Her love for Jesus was deep, and she served Him faithfully until the end of His life.


What made Joanna a powerful woman?

Joanna was brave and proud. She faced public condemnation by becoming single and leaving a royal household, but she held her head high amidst the turmoil and confusion. I’m sure her conversion to Christianity was a radical change too.

When she lived among the elite and wealthy, she gave her money to Jesus and the disciples. She was generous to a fault. Her high values didn’t place wealth on personal belongings, but rather to God.

Joanna was inspiring because she transitioned from an aristocratic woman to a humble servant during her life. She didn’t mourn the loss of possessions but became a witness to the strength of the Lord. Money was a means-to-an-end to serve others.

Jesus healed her ailments because he recognized the self-power she had inside her to change.

Her stewardship to Jesus and the Gospel was uncompromising, and in return, He blessed her with grace.

After Jesus’ death, Joanna became a traveling missionary. It is implied that if she died outside the Holy Land, they brought her body back to Jerusalem. In the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, they adorned Joanna a saint.


EVE

Imagine if suddenly your body just appeared as an adult. You are facing another human who looks different, and his name is Man. Everything around is magically beautiful. Objects called trees stand taller than yourself, and the ground is green with grass and shrubs.

God spoke to them saying they could eat from any fruit of the trees except for the tree of good and evil in the middle of the garden. God warned them if they ate from the tree, they would die. This scenario is precisely the one Eve faced on her creation day. I wonder what her thoughts were at this exact moment?

As she walked through the shrubbery, she saw a slithering serpent who spoke to her. (Genesis 3:1-6, NIV)

“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Eve responded, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”

“You will not certainly die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” the serpent retorted.

The fruit on the tree looked delicious, so she picked it off the stem and took a nibble. Then she handed it to the Man who also took a bite of the irresistible fruit. Their eyes opened wide when they realized they were naked. Ashamed and embarrassed, Adam and Eve pulled fig leaves off of the trees, sewed them together, and covered the most intimate parts of their body.

Suddenly, they heard footsteps walking in the garden, so they hid, in fear, among the trees. The Lord God approached them and asked why they were hiding. Adam spoke first… “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Adam and Eve hung their heads down.

Adam answered, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then Eve responded to God, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:11-13 NIV)

God sternly faced Eve and said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16 NIV)

Then the Lord God said to Adam, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19 NIV)

The Lord made garments of skin for them to wear and moved Adam to the east side of the Garden of Eden, where he would work the land for food. Adam and Eve procreated, and a son, named Cain, was born. Later, another son, Abel, was born. As they grew older, their children learned to struggle, working in the fields.

Eve realized the curse God placed upon them, for life was a battle. Childbirth was unbearable, and then she endured the death of her son, Abel. The Lord punished Cain for killing Abel and placed him in the land of Nod, east of Eden, to become a wanderer. We must do what is right before God or reap the consequences.


Many misunderstandings about Eve swirl throughout the generations and since the beginning of mankind. She is held responsible for the sin of humanity by eating the forbidden fruit. Some believe she ‘enticed’ Adam to eat it, too. However, there isn’t biblical truth to this statement. The fact is, Adam did not have to take the fruit and eat it, but he did, knowingly aware of the consequences.

Eve is mislabeled with names such as “the devil’s gateway,” “temptress,“ and “wicked persuasion.” My response to any of those unwarranted titles come from this standpoint – Eve did not know of evil, nor Satan and his lies. How can she be singly be held accountable for the fall of mankind?


What made Eve a powerful woman?

Eve was the first woman, no other before her.

She is “the mother of all living,” for she is the beginning of humanity. Eve represents the maternal potential of adult women. She proclaimed the sons she gave childbirth to were created by man and God.

Eve was created with a pure heart, and her only knowledge of life came from Adam and God.

Created in God’s image, Eve carries the feminine qualities of the character of God. Her power of being a woman teaches us mankind cannot exist without ‘womankind.’


Eve’s powerful story wasn’t so much about her good qualities, but what she taught us about life and a relationship with God:

Disobedience to God leads us to follow our own will, thus unfortunate consequences. She believed Satan rather than God. How many of us, today, act on impulse versus praying to God for the correct answer to problems?

When we compromise God’s Word by blocking out or changing the parts we refuse to hear, it becomes a means to continue sinning.

If we do not resist sin when it presents itself, we will eventually give in to the temptation.


Next Sunday will be the final two women in this series. Be sure to join us!


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Don’t be a coward (Be inspired today 38) by Ngobesing Suh Romanus

Don’t be a coward;
Be brave,
And face life bravely;
If you want to die
Because you have failed
Your exam,
You are a coward;
Don’t be a coward.
If you want to kill yourself
Because you have failed
In business,
You are a coward.
You don’t kill yourself
Because you have failed;
If you want to kill yourself
Because your spouse
Has left you
For another,
You are a coward;
You don’t kill yourself
Because your spouse
Has run away with another;
There are many
More lovely people outside;
If you want to give up
A lovely project
Because it has challenges,
You are a coward,
In life there must be challenges;
please, and I repeat, please,
Don’t be a coward.
Be a lion;
Brave like a soldier.

Four success quotes

“Someone with a success mindset is usually inspired by the success of others to fight harder to succeed. The one with a failure mindset instead feels intimidated and discouraged by the success of others. Instead of emulating them to become successful, they give up and blame others, unfavorable circumstances or ill-luck for their inability to succeed.

(Romilia Quotes)

2. “Don’t try to discourage me. I am too tough to be discouraged. That is what sets me apart from the crowd. ”

(Romilia Quotes)

3. “If you are comfortable in your comfort zone, do not envy those who are shining. If you want to shine, get out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Try new ways. Be brave.” (Romilia Quotes)

4. “To risk is must if you want to make it big. Nobody makes it big with taking bug calculated risks.” (Romilia Quotes)

Help

Help is good for all;
The weak need help;
And the string need help;
The poor need help;
And the rich need help;
Slow people need help;
Smart people need help;
Lazy people need help;
Smart people need help;
Cowards need help,
Brave people need help.
The bottom line:
Help is good for all;
Everyone needs help;
Different kinds of help;
Nobody does it through life
Without help.
Be humble and ask for help;
Be humble and get help;
When you need it.

Song ‘Cyberodin And The Angel Of The Sword’ (audio & lyrics)

Michel Montecrossa’s Song ‘Cyberodin And The Angel Of The Sword’ taken from his ‘Love & Sweetness Climate Change’ concert series at the legendary Spirit of Woodstock Festival 2014 in Mirapuri that you can read about here Enjoy the complete lyrics of this song in this blog post http://wp.me/paKe4-5gR


 
Michel Montecrossa Homepage: MichelMontecrossa.com

Song Lyrics

Cyberodin And The Angel Of The Sword

I’m just goin’ to do the thing with the open door.
Sometimes there are walls you are glued upon.
Life is not there to go to the grave.
It’s there for the battle, to be brave.

No need to worry, I’m here for you, baby.
Some of them women, though, are just too crazy.
Now I can tell you, I always feel better
if I don’t have to write useless letters.
..

Continue to read the song lyrics in this blog post on the Michel Montecrossa Blog: http://wp.me/paKe4-5gR

Explore Michel Montecrossa’s art, music, movies, quotes and more on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Montecrossa and on his facebook page

Image above: Michel Montecrossa & Mirakali live on stage during the Spirit of Woodstock Festival in Mirapuri, Italy (www.SpiritOfWoodstockFest.com)

Ready determined resolved

What a day I find so tough!
The path to travel so rough;
Potholes here and there;
My heart beats with fear
As I toil to make it work;
Yet, I crow like a cock;
Of one thing, I am happy;
Hence I jump like a puppy;
How right now I feel,
I feel as strong as steel;
Also, in my heart I am brave;
Enough courage I have;
The odds, I am ready to face;
Determined to run the race;
Big, I am resolved to make it
Whatever challenges I hit;
Nothing will put me down;
Elsewhere or in this town;
Here and now I take a vow;
No stumbling-block will I allow
To stand on my way
Or to destroy my day;
I will turn it into a backbone;
And will call it a stepping-stone;
Whatever the odds, I will ensure
I make my success sure.

The stormy seas of life

The greatest sailors are not those who sail superbly on smooth seas, but those who sail superbly on stormy seas. This is simple to understand.

Many sailors will sail well on a calm sea. How many are brave enough to sail through a stormy sea? The one who does so becomes outstanding.

This goes same for life. Many people are able to carry their heads up when the going is smooth. How many can do so when the going is rough?

You cannot create an impact in this world if you sail only on the easy seas of life. You have to build your muscles to sail through the stormy seas and emerge victorious.
Sail