Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Mary Magdalene Who Served with Gratitude

 On April 9 Christians around the world celebrated Easter, the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus had ministered to thousands in his three years of public ministry, healing untold individuals who had come to him. One of those individuals for whom Jesus had compassion and healed was Mary of Magdala, a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. The Scriptures in Luke 8:2 tell us that Jesus had cast out seven demons from her. Being possessed with seven demons probably made her life tortuous at times. She most likely was full of anger, depression, wild mood swings, with an inability to live a full and happy life. And then one day Jesus passed through her small town and in his love and compassion for her, he declared victory over Satan and his control of her and cast out these demons leaving her a clear-eyed, clear-thinking woman who knew that she had been healed by Divinity.

       Jesus’ healing of Mary was a pivotal moment in her life. She was never the same. She donated the rest of her life, along with some other women of means, to following and supporting
Jesus’s public ministry. We are never told what her means of making money was or if she had ever been married. We do know that Magdala was home to a productive dye works and textile industry. Perhaps she was associated with one of these, but we have no record. Regardless, she along with Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward and Susanna as well as many other women are described as having good reputations and providing for the physical needs of Jesus and his disciples. Mary clearly worshipped Christ and dedicated her life to his ministry
      This was an act of courage. Women in those days were expected to keep their heads covered, be seen in public sparingly and do their domestic duties. To follow and support a rabbi wasn’t just unusual, it was scandalous. Yet, Mary courageously listened to the insults and continued to follow Jesus and help provide financially for his ministry.
     I suggest that the overriding motivation for Mary’s great love for Jesus was that she knew she had been forgiven much. She most likely never forgot her days of existing in misery and agony of spirit and mind, with no hope of getting better. Luke 7: 47 says, “But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” Mary knew that she had been forgiven much and she never
looked back. She courageously followed him, even to the cross, when the apostles had fled. She followed Joseph when he took his body to its tomb.
     After observing the Sabbath, Mary and several other women rose early on the third morning to anoint Jesus’ body with oil and spices. Mark 16:30 tells us they were worrying about  how they were going to roll the stone from the front of the burial cave, only to find upon arrival that the stone was gone and

the grave was fully accessible. Their biggest surprise awaited them there when they discovered that it was empty. The Scriptures tell us they were perplexed. That’s putting it mildly. Why would someone want to steal the body of Jesus? It wasn’t long before angels approached them and reminded them of the words of Jesus that he would be killed but would rise again on the third day. When they reflected, they did remember and ran to tell the eleven apostles and ran right into Jesus himself. They fell at his feet to worship him and he charged them to go and tell the apostles.
     The testimony of women didn’t carry weight in those days.  And true to form, the apostles didn’t believe Mary and the other women. St. Luke tells us that Peter ran to the grave to check for himself. Mary is often mentioned as the first missionary to carry the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus. For sure, Jesus threw cultural mandates overboard and entrusted her with the truth of his resurrection and tasked her with delivering the message to his disciples. Her devotion to Christ earned her the highest honor, respect and delegated responsibility from him.
     Mary of Magdala served Christ out of great gratitude for what he had done for her. She

dedicated her whole life to him. For each of you who have accepted Christ as your Savior, you too, need to take stock of your life and dedicate your life to serving him wholeheartedly. Make him Lord of your life here so that you will live eternally with him when this life is over.
                                                                                      Shari Hervold
                                                                              FNF Bible Teacher

Do you know Jesus? Here's how:

Admit your sins have separated you from God (Psalm 14:1-3: Rom 3:23)

Believe that God did something about your sins through Jesus Christ. (The final Pascal Lamb/Messiah) (Lev. 17:10: Heb 9:19-22.)

Commit yourself to His righteousness by confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior. (Isa 53:5: Col. 1:22) and do it today! (Isa 49:8: 2 Cor 6:2)

Father in Heaven, I'm sorry for the things I've done that are wrong. I am a sinner, forgive me. Thank you for loving me and sending your Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for my sin. Holy Spirit, come into my heart. Jesus, be my Lord and Savior. I give you my life.  Amen

Wow! Did I have to search for this song to match the above... Just click and enjoy the music by Ann Downing singing " Do You Know My Jesus". 

* O don't own any rights to these songs. It's for entertainment and worship songs only.


                                           "Whom Shall I Fear" by Chris Tomlin