Who was Mary Magdalene?
Actually Mary of Magdala, a small fishing village on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee.
Mary Magdalene is mentioned in all four gospels.
What do we know about Mary Magdalene?
She and other women physically and financially ministered to Jesus and his disciples:
Jesus went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing 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 went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered to him of their substance.
Mary Magdalene was at the crucifixion.
Early in the crucifixion
John 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother, and John standing by, whom he loved, he said to his mother, Woman, behold your son! Then he said to the disciple, Behold your mother! And from that hour John took her to his own home.
They were close enough to hear Jesus speaking.
Mary Magdalene was there as Jesus died on the cross
Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene…
Matthew 27:55-56 And many women were there beholding afar off, who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among which was Mary Magdalene…
After Jesus gave up the ghost, the centurion said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
Then we are told that the women had remained, but had moved farther away. Maybe they were pushed back by the crowd. Maybe they couldn’t bear to hear the jeering, mocking voices of the people or to see Jesus suffer. But still they couldn’t bear to leave him.
Mary Magdalene followed to see what was done with the body of Jesus.
Matthew 27:59-61 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and left.
And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the tomb.
Mark 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
John 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
Luke 23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid.
Mary Magdalene prepared spices and ointments
Luke 23:56 And the women returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Mary Magdalene went to the tomb
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
John 20:1 The first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early, when it was yet dark, to the sepulchre, and saw the stone taken away from the tomb.
Mark16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
Note: The women rose early, anxious to do this service to the Lord.
Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene
Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
John 20:17 Jesus said to her, Do not touch me, because I have not yet ascended to my Father: but … go to my brethren, and say to them, “I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”
Note: Mary was comfortable enough with Jesus that she was not afraid to reach out and touch Him. At first I was thinking she reached for Him in love and affection, But Matthew made me realize that she, as the the other women did, probably reached for Him in worship.
Matthew 28:9 …the women came and held him by the feet and worshipped him.
Jesus gave Mary Magdalene a message. And Mary Magdalene delivered that message:
John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had spoken these things to her.
Mary Magdalene was not believed
Mark 16:10-11 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. When they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, they did not believe.
Mary Magdalene continued to worship
Acts 1:14 These (the eleven apostles) all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. (Note: I am sure that Mary Magdalene would have been among these who were in one accord in prayer and supplication.)
What can we learn from Mary Magdalene?
God brought her from a bleak existence and God has saved us from a bleak future.
We should be serving the Lord physically and financially, with our strength, time and money
She was near Christ in His hour of need – We are also in a time of urgency. The harvest is ripe, and the workers are few.
She followed to be informed about where the body was laid. – Are you informed about the needs around you?
She rose early, anxious to serve the Lord.
She was available to receive His message – You aren’t available if you are so busy that you never stop to meditate on the things of the Lord or listen to that still, small voice. You aren’t available if you never open God’s Word.
Mary recognized the Master’s voice. My sheep know my voice.
She carried His message to the disciples.
She continued in worship – in one accord in prayer and supplication.
Compassionate, observant, prepared