What Mary Magdalene In The Bible Can Teach Us About Faithfulness
Guest Post by Sara Borgstede of www.theholymess.com.
There are few words as sweet to any person than the sound of their own name.
All of us want to be recognized and appreciated for who we are. Mary Magdalene, the woman in the Bible who didnt recognize Jesus until after he said her name, teaches us the importance of faithfully following Gods voice in our lives.
Mary Magdalene Knew Jesus Voice
Even though Mary didnt recognize Jesus at first after his resurrection, as soon as he said her name, she knew immediately.
What a loving moment in Scripture where Jesus called Mary Magdalene by name.
Jesus calls each of us by name, too. Do you recognize the ways Jesus is calling you today?
While we still cant answer the question Who was Mary Magdalene in the Bible with 100% certainty, the Bible clearly shows us she is a woman who was faithful to Jesus. In this way, we can follow in her footsteps.
Which of these three attributes of Mary Magdalene in the Bible do you find the most inspiring? Are there any that you need to put into practice in your life today?
Sara Borgstede is a speaker, writer, and 100 pound weight loss success story. She and her husband have 5 children through birth and special needs adoption. When shes not power napping, you can find her at www.theholymess.com.
The Exorcism Of Mary Magdalene
There are several times in the gospels when Jesus performs exorcisms on unnamed groups of people. It is possible that he met Magdalene during one of these exorcisms.
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. Mark 16:9
Luke also mentions Magdalene having seven devils cast out of her, and he also records her traveling with the disciples after the event involving the woman with the alabaster box, but before the storm on the sea.
And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herods steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. Luke 8:1-3
Many people associate Magdalene with the woman that brought the alabaster box, but the woman is never named in scripture, and there are no grounds for associating her with Marry Magdalene than there are for associating her with Susanna. Matthew places her following Christ to the exorcisms performed in Galilee
And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Magdalene, and the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. Matthew 27:55-56
Read Also: What Does The Bible Say About Ejaculation
Go Forth And Tell The Good News
Throughout history, women have been treated as less than the equal partner that they were created to be. They werent even thought of as reliable witnesses in a court.
But Jesus gave women the opportunity to be the first witnesses of his resurrection. He trusted them to pass this marvelous good news on. And they did.
Mary lived these words from Colossians 2:6-7:
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Why not today? Wont you go and tell?
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances arent ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk. Her debut novel is available on . She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at her website and/or on .
False Stereotypes About Mary Magdalene
Western Christianity has assigned roles to Mary Magdalene which the historical person did not seem to fulfill. Western art and modern media have falsely depicted Mary Magdalene as a prostitute and even as the wife of Jesus. Lets look deeper into theses false stereotypes.
1. Mary Magdalene was Jesuss wife.
For instance, some have said Mary and Jesus were either lovers and husband and wife. Some have point to a heretical document the size of a business card known as The Gospel of Jesus Wife as evidence for this.
Mary Magdalene did not marry Jesus. Not only wouldve this have been impossible considering He remained single throughout His public ministry, but He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection.
Furthermore, God would not marry humans. Not to mention if the Nephilim spoken of back in Genesis 6:1-4 were in fact fallen angels who had children with humans, then God saw the wickedness that came about from these unions. This article suggests one of the reasons the Great Flood happened was to wipe out the unnatural result of supernatural being and humans having children.
2. Mary Magdalene was a former prostitute.
Some have also suggested Mary Magdalene is the women caught in adultery, but again, Scripture does not give that woman a name .
Recommended Reading: What Does The Bible Say About Death And Mourning
Jesus Should Be The Center Of Your World
After Marys first encounter with Jesus, He becomes the sun that her life revolves around. Luke tells us:
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary from whom seven demons had come out Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herods household Susanna and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means .
Not only did Mary follow Jesus and the disciples from town to town, but she and some other women helped to support Christ and the disciples financially. This role continued throughout His ministry.
Matthew tells us that they were present at the crucifixion, and followed Jesus all the way to Galilee to take care of Him:
Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedees sons .
Its no surprise that she would find herself center stage at the resurrection, too.
We should follow Marys example. When we encounter Jesus, we shouldnt simply return to the life we left. He changes everything. Our whole life becomes about following and serving Him until-like Mary-our story becomes intertwined and indistinguishable from His.
Was Mary Magdalene A Prostitute
The Bible does not say that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. All it states about her background is that Jesus expelled seven demons from her.Luke 8:2.
Where did the idea that she had been a prostitute come from? Centuries after her death, it was asserted that she was the same person as the unnamed woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. However, there is no Scriptural basis for this belief.
Also Check: Does Bible Say Anything About Cremation
The Chosen Season 2 Update
Since I criticized Season 1 of The Chosen for making Mary too perfect, it’s only fair that I acknowledge how Season 2 seeks to rectify that issue. To recap: in Episode 5 of Season 2, Mary begins to experience PTSD tied to the trauma of her rape by a Roman solider . This is symbolically tied to her encounter with another demon, Belial, who calls Mary Lilith, asserting the continued existence and power of her old identity. These experiences cause Mary to flee back to her old life, drinking and gambling. In Episode 6, Jesus sends Peter and Matthew to find Mary and bring her back. She struggles to believe that she can be accepted after falling back into her old life but Jesus forgives her and the disciples embrace her. In Episode 8, we see that Mary is still struggling a bit – her failure is driving her to be a bit too unrelenting in her work for Jesus- but other than that she seems to be back on track.
One other thing – the show could have allowed some of the disciples to go a bit further in being judgmental toward after her return. There was just a hint of judgment in Episode 7, but it gets brushed aside way too quickly, given the cultural expectations. More importantly, allowing some of the disciples to judge Mary a bit more would have added more tension and could have fueled future arcs.
Please Take A Moment To Share
If you enjoyed this study, please take a moment to click the button below and share it. Thanks.
“And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” – John 8:45-47
Don’t Miss: What Does The Word Bible Mean Literally
Did Mary Magdalene Become A Man
It sounds crazy, but for those that rely on the Gnostic text for spiritual doctrine, this idea is very real. According to the Gospel of Thomas, Christ was going to teach Magdalene how to change genders.
Simon Peter said to them: Let go forth from among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus said: Behold, I shall lead her, that I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. The Gospel of Thomas
Gratitude Should Drive Us
Mary first met Jesus when he healed her by casting out seven demons from within her . We dont know anything else about her life. The Bible never refers to her as a prostitute. Its also only rumors that insinuate that she was also the sinful woman who anointed Jesuss feet with her tears .
But she did have something in common with this unnamed woman. She also loved Jesus much for healing her from the demons within her.
This gratitude kept Mary loyal to her Lord and serving him until the end. It was absolutely unheard of in that time for a woman to be a disciple of a rabbi. But that is exactly what Mary Magdalene was.
She followed Jesus, learned from him, served his physical needs, and set a groundbreaking example for other women everywhere. All because of gratitude.
Read Also: What Is The Blue Letter Bible App
What Is The True Story Of Mary Magdalene
But neither theory penitent prostitute or devoted spouse actually matches what can be said about from whats written in the Bible: She was a woman from Magdala, a small Galilean town known for its fishing, who became a female disciple and was first witness to Jesus resurrection, the cornerstone of
You May Like: What Is Romans About In The Bible
Discussing The Chosen Episode 2
To begin your discussion of The Chosen episode 2, Id invite your to discuss a couple questions:
How many Shabbat meals did the episode portray?
Which meal do you think you would want to attend?
What did Marys Shabbat mean to her?
What did the Shabbat of Nicodemus and the Pharisees mean to them?
What are some of the other differences you noticed between the Shabbat of Mary and the Shabbat of Nicodemus and the Pharisees?
Why do you think Jesus chose to attend the Shabbat of Mary?
Explain that The Chosen uses the differences between Marys Shabbat and the Shabbat of Nicodemus the Pharisees in order to show the contrast between two very different visions of what Shabbat/the Sabbath are all about. Jesus highlights the differences between these two visions in Luke 14:1-24 :
One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, âIs it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?â But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, âWhich of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?â And they could not reply to these things.
After sharing this passage of Scripture, you can ask:
Don’t Miss: Where Can I Watch The Bible Series Online Free
Jesus Uses The Weak Things Of The World To Shame The Strong
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul talks about the gospel as being foolishness. The world doesnt understand it, so they discount and dismiss it.
According to Paul, God did that on purpose:
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him .
We see a perfect example of this principle in Jesus relationship with Mary Magdalene. In a time when women were seen as secondary citizens with no real autonomy, Jesus demonstrated a special tenderness and care for women. We see this in His choice to reveal Himself to Mary first after the resurrection.
This is the most critical event in history, and Jesus made a woman the first witness. He even encourages her to tell the disciples . The irony is that they dont believe Mary and the other women .
We need to be careful not to dismiss things that dont follow our expectations, because Jesus doesnt always do what we expect. He delights in working out His plan in the most unlikely of ways. He did that through Mary, and if well let Him, Hell do it through us, too!
Seek First The Kingdom Of Heaven
Jesus also asked her whom she was seeking. Was she seeking a man that was crucified and buried? Or was she seeking the Lord who was crucified, buried, and risen again?
It matters what were seeking.
This is an important question for all who call on the name of Jesus. And it is of utmost importance for people who havent believed yet. Do you see him as a good man and a good teacher? Or do you see him as the King of Heaven? When we seek first his kingdom and truth, the rest of our journey will fall into place .
The disciples didnt believe Mary at first. Her distraught explanation was probably too much for them to handle.
But Peter and John did run to the tomb to see for themselves. They saw the empty tomb but still couldnt fully fathom the ramifications. Were they dreaming?
Then Jesus appeared to the disciples in Galilee. He even gave them the opportunity to touch his nail-scarred hands. They couldnt deny it anymore. They, along with Mary and her friends, were transformed. New hope and purpose-filled them.
They were to go and spread this marvelous good news so that everyone can know that Jesus was exactly who he said he was.
Don’t Miss: How Books In The Bible
Why Do People Want To Believe Mary Magdalene Was A Sinner And Prostitute
Historians are constantly on the hunt for more details, but our knowledge of this biblical woman is scant, says Hetta Howes. And so, the lore and the legends that fill in the blanks left by the Gospel whether they come in the form of medieval theological writings or 21st-century screenplays are just that: myths. However, these myths can be incredibly revealing in and of themselves, reflecting the outlook and vision of the particular historical moment that helped to create them.
From sinner, to preacher, to contemplative, to saint, Mary Magdalene is associated with miracle cures assistance at childbirth raising the dead and freeing the imprisoned. However, the most enduring detail is always her sin, says Hetta Howes. She is the patron saint of repentant prostitutes in the Middle Ages, and reformation houses for women who had been prostitutes were by the 18th century called Magdalen Houses.
Pope Gregory the Great famously melded these two biblical women together, under the name Mary Magdalene, in a homily preached in 591. And he also added into the mix an unnamed adulteress, who was redeemed by Jesus and who washed his feet with ointment in penitence. Pope Gregorys mistake stuck. Nowhere in the Gospel are details given about the demons which Jesus supposedly casts out of Mary Magdalene. But, after Gregorys homily and its attribution of adultery to Mary, her possession is usually associated not just with sin, but with sexual sin.
But What Is The Actual Story Of Mary Magdalene In The Bible
Mary Magdalene appears in just 12 verses in the Bible , so theres much that is left unspoken about her role in Jesus life.
Here is what we know for sure about the story of Mary Magdalene based on what the Bible clearly states.
- Jesus cast out 7 demons from Mary Magdalene .
- Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection before the apostles! .
Because there are different women named Mary in Jesus earthly life, its easy to become confused about the role of each woman. , but this was a different woman .
Despite the misconceptions that surround her and what other books may have said, Mary Magdalene in the Bible was not a prostitute and she was not romantically involved with Jesus or married to him.
Don’t Miss: How Many Times Is Christian Mentioned In The Bible