Summary: Everything we know about Mary Magdalene is contained in a dozen references to her in the four Gospels. Who was Mary Magdalene?
Disclaimer: Source material for this sermon has been gleaned from many different sources. I have attempted to acknowledge these sources whenever possible. Please feel free to use this message as God’s Holy Spirit directs your heart.
WHO WAS MARY MAGDALENE?
Introduction: Though men outnumber women in the Bible’s stories, the Bible doesn’t neglect the importance and influence of women of faith and the invaluable contribution they have made. The Bible tells us about famous women such as Eve and the Virgin Mary, significant women, like Sarah and Miriam, controversial women such as Delilah and Jezebel. One biblical woman who has received considerable attention lately is Mary Magdalene. Dan Brown in his novel the Da Vinci Code has stirred controversy and question about Mary Magdalene. According to Dan Brown, Mary was the Beloved Apostle, author of the fourth Gospel. Jesus not only married Mary Magdalene, but also fathered a child who became the head of the Frankish Merovingian royal dynasty which in reality was founded by Clovis I and reigned in Gaul and Germany from 500 AD to 751 AD. There is not one shred of evidence or truth to the claims concerning Mary Magdalene.
The Bible is our authority. Everything we know about Mary Magdalene is contained in a dozen mentions of her in the four Gospels. Mary Magdalene is first mentioned in Luke 8: 1-3. She appears to have been from the town of Magdala; consequently, Mary Magdalene. Here we read of certain women accompanying Jesus and the twelve. We are told that Jesus had healed these women and that they "…ministered unto him of their substance." Mary Magdalene was one of the women. We next see Mary Magdalene at Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt. 27: 55, 56). The last views we have of her is following to Jesus’ resurrection and prior to his ascension (Matt. 28: 1-10, Mark. 16: 9, John 20: 11-18). Who was Mary Magdalene?
I. She was a woman who had been under the power and influence of Satan
A. Luke 8:2 And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons.
B. It has been frequently taught that Mary Magdalene was a woman of abandoned character. It is a great wrong to this honored woman to identify her with the once decadent woman taken in adultery in Luke 7. What is true is that she was a woman who had a very deep spiritual need.
C. Without Christ she was under the power of Satan and sin being possessed by seven demons. She lived a life of torment and restlessness. She was in a helpless and hopeless condition.
D. Matthew 12:43 – 45 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
E. Paul describes the condition of one under the power of sin – Romans 7:14-25 Notice Paul describes the person without Christ as:
1. "sold under sin" (14)
2. having "sin that dwells within" (17,20)
3. in "captivity to the law of sin " (23)
4. "wretched" (24)
5. in a "body of death" (24)
F. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
II. She was miraculously delivered by the power of Christ.
A. Luke 8:1 - 2 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,
B. Mary’s situation was hopeless. Men could do nothing for her. No surgeon, no psychiatrist, no psychologist nor any counselor could help her. All treatments would have been wasted upon her condition.
C. Psalms 108:12 Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.
D. Your extremity is God’s opportunity. While Mary’s situation was hopeless from man’s view point, there are no helpless cases with God. Christ delivered her and gave her new life.
E. Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
F. When Mary came to Christ she had to come as she was and allow His grace to transform her.