Summary: Proposition: As we examine the life of Mary we meet a lady 1. Who has been freed to become a follower 2. Who is full of caring, compassion and courage 3. Who goes from weeping to witnessing
Theme: Heroes of the Faith
Subject: Mad Mary - Mary Magdalene
Proposition: As we examine the life of Mary we meet a lady
1. Who has been freed to become a follower
2. Who is full of caring, compassion and courage
3. Who goes from weeping to witnessing
Grace and peace from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world.
This morning, I would like for us to look at one of the true heroes of the faith. It is a lady by the name of Mary Magdalene. Her life as we look at it can serve as an inspiration to all of us this morning. If we allow her to, she will help us discover how we can grow closer to the LORD and be a better disciple for our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Mary is one of those people who we find in the center of Jesus' Resurrection Story. In fact, she is one of the most important people we find at the center of Jesus' Resurrection Story. However, she is also a person that has been surrounded by a great deal of myth, confusion and misunderstanding. Depending on what source one is using to do their research on this woman you find some very interesting opinions about her. Some people over the years have believed, preached about and written that Mary was1:
+Severally mentally and emotionally disturbed
+A reformed prostitute
+Married to either Joseph of Armathea or some other wealthy Roman citizen
+Married to Jesus of Nazareth - the wedding at Cana was seen to be their wedding (sad to say some do believe this lie)
+Was not married or a widower but was simply a groupie follower of Jesus and was his live in lover (sad to say but some do believe this lie as well)
+Was at first engaged to Jesus but when Jesus finally discovered that He was in fact the Son of God, broke off the engagement . This left Mary so heartbroken that she turned to a life of rampant prostitution (isn't it amazing how many lies have been told about this woman?)
+Was unofficially the 13th disciple of Jesus. The story goes that Jesus sometime during his Galilean ministry stumbled across his down trodden former finance. She was living a life of sin, riddled with disease (most likely syphilis ) and Jesus graciously heals her. She then becomes the "beloved disciple" that we read about in her book which the Early Church erroneously attributed to John. The Gospel needs to be renamed - The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.
Perhaps no one aside from our Savior Himself and perhaps Paul has been so wrongfully accused and accosted throughout history as Mary of Magdala. For the first 500 years of history she was pretty much left alone. Her stories and the passages concerning her were put into the background. Then around the year 600 AD things began to change. Pope Gregory I melted all the unnamed women and the lesser name Marys into one single person. Mary of Magdala suddenly became a woman who was sinner, prostitute, demon possessed and the woman who anoints Jesus' feet.
Throughout the Middle Ages the great painters took great pleasure in painting Mary as some brazen hussy. More often than not they focused on her supposed immorality than her holiness. Mary is commonly portrayed as a woman of loose morals. Her image has been contorted and distorted.
It was not until more modern times ( approx. 1969) that the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Protestant Church decided to revisited Mary and her story to get a more biblical picture of her. Rather than see her in the light of tradition and myth they decided that we need to return and see exactly how the Bible portrays this woman. Author Liz Curtis Higgs has done an excellent job in helping us in this area with her book, Mad Mary.
Sadly, others have not followed and even today in film2 and in print she is still being portrayed in a negative light. Some writers have insisted in calling her the Playmate of the Early Church or the Patron Saint of Loose Morals. A better title is that given today of her by the Catholic Church - the Patron Saint of Contemplation and Converts. She could also be called the Patron Saint of those who have been Slandered.
Matthew 5:10 tells us that "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of their righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." That verse accurately applies to Mary of Magdala.
This morning, let's learn some Biblical truths about Mary. Let's turn to our Bibles and see exactly who Mary of Magdala was and how she can speak to us today.