Summary: Mary Magdalene is another of the many women in the bible who has been shown to have had very strong faith and who served in some capacity of a ministry. Hers was to support the Lord Jesus and his disciples as they traveled the countryside preaching the Good News.
We have recently been studying about some of the women of the bible who had strong faith. I would like to continue that theme this morning by talking about Mary Magdalene; another woman who had exceptionally strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
She was called Mary Magdalene because she was from a town called Magdala and that town’s citizens were called Magdalenes. Her name is mentioned 12 times in the Gospels – more than any other woman and more than most of the men.
In these women of strong faith, we also see women who were very involved in the works of God. I find it rather odd that today, many churches still believe that women should only be able to teach children, other women, or do the cooking at our Pot Luck lunches. But in the ministry of Jesus Christ, we see a much different perspective about women serving God.
There were many women involved in Jesus’ ministry, and they supported His ministry in various ways. And they were always there near to Jesus and the disciples.
“40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee, these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.”
And so, by simply reading Scriptures, we know that women, including Mary Magdalen, were very important to Jesus and to His ministry. And I do not see anywhere in Scripture that these women were relegated to only being able to teach children or other women.
What does this show us today? It shows that everybody, no matter who they are, can be very important to Jesus’ ministry, too. Yes, men and women are different; made by God to be different, but when it comes to serving God through the Lord Jesus, men and women are all called to stand strong and serve in every way they are able.
"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The point I am making here is we should strive to see things, not as man tends to see them, but as God sees them. And we should do that so we can better serve Him as He wishes us to do so. There is nothing of chance in God’s realm; it is all pre-ordained by Him to happen. If that is so, then who did He choose to be the first people to see that the tomb had been opened? It was not the men, but the women.
"Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb."
Who was it that the LORD appointed to be the first one to see Jesus after He arose? It was Mary Magdalene.
“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”
I think we can safely say that women were, and still are, very important to the ministry, and not just in the ways some still believe them to be. Keeping that in mind, what do we really know about this woman called Mary Magdalene?
In verse 9, which I just read, it tells us that she had seven demonic spirits in her that Jesus drove out of her. Wow! Can you just imagine the wonderful freedom she felt when that burden was lifted? She had been living a life of absolute misery and then she was free! No wonder she then chose to dedicate herself to following Jesus!
To be indwelt by seven evil spirits, she would have been emotionally, mentally and maybe even physically, battered and bruised. She was living a life under that dark cloud that was not really worth living. The number 7 is the biblical number meaning ‘completeness’. So, by having 7 demons in her, we know she was completely controlled by those demons and she was completely miserable - that is, until Jesus set her free!
JOHN 8:36 gives us a Godly promise of what we can expect in Jesus Christ.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
We are familiar with how the Apostle Paul had his life changed when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, but we sometimes forget that other people also had their lives drastically transformed by Him, too.