Summary: This sermon is a lesson on the price of leadership from the perspective of a lesser-known Bible character named Joanna.
As you know, our leadership teaching is Bible based. I take examples from the Bible and use those as teaching points. Today’s lesson is called, “The Price of Leadership”. It’s from the example of a woman in Scripture that I’ve never heard anyone talk about before. She’s mentioned twice. Her name is Joanna, wife of Chuza.
1 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.
8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.
Here’s the mention of a name of someone we don’t hear anything about. She was a tremendous leader. She was married to a leader. Her husband worked for a leader. Joanna is not described as a leader, but that’s what she is. She exhibited outstanding servant leadership to Jesus and His followers.
Joanna, the wife of Chuza.
Chuza was the steward of Herod Antipas. This Herod was Antipas, king of the Jews from 4 BC to 39 BC. Joanna was a disciple of Jesus. She financially supported Jesus. She knew Him as LORD. She’s a bold example of leadership. So let’s get started.
LEADERSHIP IS RISKY. Joanna was married to Chuza. Chuza was on Herods payroll. He was a top man there. Joanna knew well of how Herod felt about Jesus. Herod’s father was Herod the Great. He tried to kill Jesus at birth. He had all the male babies 2 & under murdered as he attempted to kill Jesus. Herod killed his own wife and his 2 oldest sons. Herod Antipas was not even his fathers first choice as king, but he got in. The son though, was just as bad. He had John the Baptist beheaded at a kings ball one night.
Joanna had to have been there to see it. Her husband Chuza had to have been there. They were the King’s counsel.
Do you SEE THE RISK Joanna was taking by following Jesus? Herod would have beheaded her just as easily.
1. Point here is: LEADERSHIP is doing what we believe is Right, regardless of the Risk.
If you want to be a leader, you’re going have to take some risk. You may lose some things. Many people want the title of leader, they want the perks of being a leader, but they refuse to take the risk a leader must take to be one.
• To be a true leader means popularity is not your priority.
• To be a true leader, consensus is not your priority.
• You have to “give up” to go up, as John Maxwell says.
• To keep going up, you will have to keep giving up.
“Success rarely shows up with one sacrifice. It comes from a lifetime of sacrifices.
2. LEADERSHIP IS COSTLY. You can be handed a position of leadership without paying a price for it. It happens all the time. One starts a church & he’s called the leader for a short time. Or someone receives a promotion and for a while they’re the leader.
But to remain & grow as the leader- it’s going to cost eventually.
ONE PRICE OF LEADERSHIP MAY BE SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE. By following Jesus, Joanna would be in a group of people like Mary Magdalene & Mary, the mother of Jesus (a poor woman who married very young and was often accused of being pregnant while engaged). She’d be with lowly fishermen like Andrew, Peter, James & John and a despised tax collectors named Matthew.
Joanna’s crowd were the upper class people. Yet she’d chosen to be with Jesus and that meant interaction with some in lower class circles. Joanna had money and she used it to support those that had no money.
I’m sure those of the upper social society knew Joanna had friends like Mary Magdalene & the mother of Jesus and were offended by that.
Point here: If you want to be a true leader, you will have to give up the desire to be accepted in social circles.
3. LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE. Again, John Maxwell has made this point clear before. It’s certainly true of Joanna. Like Mother Teresa or Princess Dianna, Joanna had a tremendous influence in her world and she used it rightly.