Mary Magdalene, is probably one of the most widely known Bible Characters. She falls in the category of people widely known but whose identity is clouded with a lot of ignorance. Is there anything good about ignorance? Why should someone be without knowledge of truth? Ignorance is not an excuse before the law, and so we can implicitly conclude that, when ignorance abounds, seeds of lawlessness is sown.
So why write on a subject like ‘Mary Magdalene Was Not Mary Magdalene?’ What is the Spiritual networth of such a discourse? And many more rhetorics could be clobbering your mental faculties. Well, I’m not so excited about this either, but I’m not writing for myself. This ain’t a private journal. My experience in the past has been that the writings I’m excited about, don’t get as much attention, and those I struggle writing, somewhat turns out a blockbuster. I want to apologise for digressing.
Mary Magdalene lived with her two siblings; Martha and Lazarus in the town of Bethany. Nothing is said about her parents, but some authorities relate her to Simon, a leprous Pharisee, who was to her an uncle. Following the Oriental culture, she could have been known by family name, but for some reason, much is not said about her father. In absence of such, the name of home towns came in handy. No wonder prophet Elijah is known as the Tishbite, for he was from a place called Tishbe. So if the norms of time took its course, she was supposed to be Mary of Bethany or Mary Bethanite. But here we are and what we know is Mary Magdalene instead. When I was young, I thought Magdalene was her surname, but I now know better. You may fasten your seat belt now and be ready for the next pace.
Some historical sources suggest that Mary was introduced to whoredom by Simon, her uncle. And things didn’t went well thus she had to get to a place where she wasn’t known well. Harlotry is not like selling biscuits, you need anonymity to do it. It’s a good you don’t sell to the clansmen. It’s a foreign good, and not for domestic consumption. In shame, she therefore went to the town of Magdala from whence she thrived and became the best in rendezvous of coquetry and the so called love. So Mary Magdalene as we know her, got her name from the Town of whoredom. I’m sure she wasn’t proud of the name. I’m sure Christ didn’t use that name. I know that her siblings didn’t call her Magdalene. What is your name? How do people call you?
While in this business, she became a victim of the Pharisees and the scribes who wanted to find a case against Jesus Christ. This thus links her to an unnamed woman who was brought before Jesus. The accusers report was that she was caught red handed in adultery, and that the law of Moses demanded she be stoned to death, yet for some heinous reason, they wanted to hear His take. The law of Moses rightly applied, demanded the stoning of both the man and the woman, but the Pharisees brought only the woman. Here is a case of pharisaical bigotry and injustice against the women. However, spare me the feminist lens, it is an issue of sin more than any other socialogical conflict and subcompartmentalization.
Without excusing her sin, Christ asked the sinless to cast the first stone. Christ was basically giving them the qualification of being on the judgement seat which they were so eager to occupy. He Himself qualified for the seat, but instead exercised the duty at hand; the duty of a saviour. Today He’s a savoir but He will not be a Saviour forever. There comes a time when He will stop the work of a saviour and occupy the judgement seat. At that time, the hand mighty to save will be a terror to the transgressors of God’s law.
Mary was guilty, but Christ, a friend for sinners, saw the great possibilities hidden in her sin-sick sin-soaked soul. And for a marvelous testimony has been made to accompany the gospel to the end of the ages:
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.KJV Matthew 26:13
Mary Magdalene is not Mary Magdalene, she’s a living testimony of the power of the gospel mighty to save.
Mary Magdalene is not Mary Magdalene, she’s a witness that Christ receiveth sinful men.
Mary Magdalene is not Mary Magdalene, she’s a standing rebuke to those who want to improve themselves before they follow Christ.
Mary Magdalene is not Mary Magdalene, she’s a proof that no one is too sinful to be a partaker of the imputed righteousness of Christ.
“He who knows the depths of the world’s misery and despair, knows by what means to bring relief. He sees on every hand souls in darkness, bowed down with sin and sorrow and pain. But He sees also their possibilities; He sees the height to which they may attain. Although human beings have abused their mercies, wasted their talents, and lost the dignity of godlike manhood, the Creator is to be glorified in their redemption.”– A Call to Stand Apart 66.3