Summary: Mary Magdalene and Da Vinci Code

Last week I mentioned that I still had to do my taxes. Well I didn’t get them done on Sunday, but I took Monday off. I got the filed by 3:30 pm. That was eleven and a half hours before the deadline. You will be glad to hear that I won’t be going to jail for failing to file. Maybe after the audit, but not for failure to file.

Cities in Ohio can have income taxes too. Sort of like counties in Indiana. There is a difference. Ohio cities make their own rules, create their own forms, and write their own instructions. These are actual quotes from the tax instructions for Middletown, Ohio.

If you want the official definition of qualifying wages, take two aspirins and go to the IRS Code Section 3121.

Cities may choose to exclude stock options from tax, but we do not. Put another way, if we can tax it we will.

Free advice: If you don’t have a profit in a five-year period, you might want to consider another line of work.

Other income can include fees or our favorite, gambling winnings. When you win the lottery, we feel as though we win, too.

Dan Brown caused a real stir a few years back. He is the author of the Da Vinci Code. A movie based on that book will be out in May. The Da Vinci Code raises a number of issues, not just for Christians, but for others who are interested in the history of the church and what the church teaches. The purpose of this series is not a review of the book. In fact, this is the only sermon in the series in which I will talk about the Da Vinci Code at any length. Instead, if you are interested in that book and the issues it raises, we will be sponsoring a Da Vinci Code discussion group on Monday nights beginning May 22.

This sermon series looks at only one issue raised by the book. That issue is the role of women in the church. In coming weeks, we will be talking about Ruth, Dorcas, and the Virgin Mary.

Today’s topic is Mary Magdalene who plays an extremely important role in the Da Vinci Code. Brown claims that she was married to Jesus, that they had a daughter named Sarah, and that a line of French kings were descended from Sarah.

Why are we unaware of this? According to Brown’s book, Peter and later church leaders were hostile to the role of women in the faith, so they sought to diminish Mary Magdalene

The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction. How much of what the book says about Mary is based on fact?

Who was Mary Magdalene? Was she married to Jesus? What would it mean if she was? If Mary and Jesus were not married, what was their relationship? What happened to Mary after the crucifixion and resurrection? Did the church attempt to give Mary a bad reputation? And most importantly, what does Mary have to teach us?

Was Jesus Married?

First, I want to say that there is nothing that I am aware of theologically that would preclude Jesus from being married. Marriage, and sex within marriage, is a gift from God and is perfectly holy. If we were to find some sort of archeological evidence today, I can’t imagine what, but something that proved without a doubt that Jesus was married, or specifically that he was married to Mary Magdalene, it would not change the faith one iota.

Having said that, I don’t think that he was. While it is true that women in this day were considered almost property and histories of prominent men were often written without any reference at all to their wives or female children, I suspect that if Jesus had been married that we would have heard about it. One uncommon aspect of the gospels is that they do talk about women in Jesus’ inner circle and they do mention female members of his family. It would be odd indeed if Jesus had a wife and family and that fact failed to attract the attention of any gospel writer or early church father. In fact, Paul engages in a discussion in 1 Corinthians 7 about whether single and widowed Christians should marry. His answer is, only if you have to, but that is not particularly relevant here. If Jesus had been married or if a family of Jesus existed, one would expect Paul to mention that. Also, think about Jesus on the cross. One of the last things that he did was to ask the Disciple John to take care of his mother. If Jesus had a wife, wouldn’t he have made provision for her too? Can you imagine Jesus saying, Take care of mom, but who cares about the little lady. I don’t think so.

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