Summary: Now the question – was Mary really Jesus’ wife and mother of Sarah, the child Jesus supposedly fathered to establish a royal bloodline to rule the earth?

Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Matthew 27:55 (NRSVA)

The DaVinci Code movie will be released this week. The fact that it coincides with Mother’s Day does not surprise me. Part of the conspiracy theory of author Dan Brown is that Mary Magdalene is really the founder (mother) of early Christianity, and that the early church fathers were embarrassed by female leadership, and tried to hide her influence in their community.

According to Dan Brown, there have been many co-conspirators in this plot. A Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, Leonardo DaVinci (in Brown’s book) painted the Last Supper showing a figure to Jesus’ immediate right as feminine – he holds that was Mary Magdalene, the true author of the Fourth Gospel, and the disciple Jesus loved – a name associated with the apostle John.

Here is part of the scenario according to one author:

According to the book, the Holy Grail was never a cup, it was not a chalice that Jesus passed around the table at the Last Supper nor was it the cup that caught the blood of Christ at the Cross as Grail Legend would have it. Instead, according to the DaVinci Code, the Holy Grail was a person, but not just any person, as Dan Brown notes, the Holy Grail is…

"A woman who carried with her a secret so powerful, that if revealed, it threatened to devastate the very foundation of Christianity!" 239.

…this woman was Mary Magdalene and her secret was that she and Jesus were married and had a daughter by the name of Sarah. So, the Holy Grail was not a cup that held the blood of Christ, instead it was Mary Magdalene who held the blood of Christ in the form of a baby in her womb. [1]

Now the question – was Mary really Jesus’ wife and mother of Sarah, the child Jesus supposedly fathered to establish a royal bloodline to rule the earth? The “short answer” is obviously “no”. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world. [2] Did the early church hide the truth? What does the church REALLY think about women?

Listen to the apostle Paul. When Paul wrote to his protégé’ Timothy, he used some very clear language to tell the young pastor the kind of behavior that was expected of all believers.

Paul, the aged evangelist Bishop, was telling a young pastor how to teach the Christian lifestyle to the church…in these next few verses particularly, the women of the church.

…also that the women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, 10but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Our Changing Culture

We live in a volatile world. Changes are rapid and many. A book from the 70’s was entitled "Future Shock." That was the "buzz" term for what happened to people who didn’t learn to change with the changes and advances.

As the saying goes, there are three kinds of people; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what in the world happened. I may be among the last group.

• In 1954 we had a 9" TV-screen with Uncle Miltie. It was less- than-sophisticated slapstick humor that the whole family wouldn’t miss.

• In 1954 the doors remained unlocked so our neighbor could borrow whatever he needed while we went on vacation.

• In 1954 the really bad kids were the ones who combed their hair all the time in public.

Future Shock has more than arrived.

• Uncle Miltie’s 9” screen full of static has given- way to 108" Viewing Centers, with HBO, MTV & Porn.

• Today we never unlock the bars we installed on our doors.

• Today the average schoolbag contains a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

We’ve come a long way, baby!

If we shake our heads at the changes of just the last half-century, imagine the wild ride through the last two millennia! In the days of Paul the Apostle, women were barely acknowledged as human beings, let alone as equals. Legally, women were property, with no greater status than minors or slaves. They were abused physically, emotionally and economically.

But the culture always changes. It was inevitable that women should revolt! The revolution of the 1960’s - 1980’s wasn’t always positive, but it did force the world to adjust. A teenage boy asked his father what he did during the sexual revolution of the 60’s. The father answered, "I was captured early and spent the duration doing the dishes."

Today the church must face and address the issues that affect women. Indeed they are not exclusively women’s issues, because anything that affects 53% of the world’s population is bound to impact the other 47%! Health, abortion, abuse, rape, job discrimination, divorce, child care – these are starting points.

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