Getting to know Mary Magdalene

Getting to know Mary Magdalene

In a recent column, we met one of the Marys that we find in Scripture and determined that it is important to remember just which woman we are referencing in teaching or writing. Mary Magdalene is referred to in each of the four gospels as being an integral element in the ministry of Jesus Christ on earth.

We know Mary by the addition of her town or area, Magdala, which is located on the Sea of Galilee, just north of Tiberius. This identification would be much akin to me writing my name and adding “of Southeast Texas.” Along with several other people in the Bible, we learn that this Mary had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities.

Luke 8:2 teaches us clearly that Mary Magdalene was the woman “from whom seven demons had gone out.” We also read in Luke 8:3 that Mary apparently had some wealth because she was able to help provide for Jesus “out of her means.” You may remember that I had taken exception to a scriptwriter indicating that Mary was a paid prostitute or fallen woman. I can find no scripture or history of the time indicating this at all.

We can document that she was a woman of means and a companion of the wife of Antipas’s steward and most likely a women of high social status.

Scripture clearly states that Mary Magdalene became a faithful follower of Jesus after He rid her body and her soul of the seven demons that had troubled and controlled her life. Many scholars believe and have written extensively that Mary perhaps suffered from a horrible mental illness. I do not know what the seven demons caused her to do, but I am happy to know Christ made her completely well and sane. She was devoted to the Lord and His ministry.

We can learn many things from her life that will transform our lives if we allow them to teach us. She never forgot what Christ did for her. She followed Him faithfully and gave of her funds to help further the cause. She was last at the cross, seeing Him die for our sins, and she was first at the mouth of the tomb to see that He had risen from the dead as He said would.

In Matthew 28:10, we read the words of Christ, giving Mary the greatest message ever proclaimed. Jesus said, “Go and tell my disciples that I am alive.”

Mary was the one person honored first to be able to say, “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:17,18). My question to each reader today is, “Have we seen the Lord?” If we have seen the Lord and He has transformed our lives, are we following Mary’s example in our faithful service?

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.