Mary Magdalene went from possessed with seven dark spirits to spiritual perfection in Christ
Jesus spent much time in his short earthy ministry traveling about Galilee preaching and teaching to crowds of spiritually eager people who gathered about Him. The twelve disciples Jesus had hand-picked through divine direction of God traveled with Him, serving and learning along with those gathered around Jesus to hear His sermons and teachings. Others followed after Jesus and His inner circle of twelve because they had been personally healed or touched in some way from various spiritual and physical maladies through the supernatural power and truth of God.
Jesus noted three certain women who were following after Him, one of them was Mary Magdalene, who this verse notes, was made spiritually whole or purified after having seven devils removed from her by the supernatural power of Jesus. Mary of Magdalene is mentioned in all four gospels as each writer was inspired to record a few details of her life and salvation, however, the Bible does not give expansive details of her miraculous deliverance or her spiritually unruly life beforehand: Mary was spiritually, physically, and morally bankrupt and had seven evil spirits residing within her prior to her personal meeting with Jesus in repentance for her sin and was miraculously healed of all spiritual ill. This spiritual newness of life first brought her to her knees, leaving her emptied of evil and darkness, and ready to be filled with the truth of God and zealous for following His short earthly ministry. She, like many who are anxious to profess their salvation to others, have been released from a multitude of sin and shame, having seen their own sinful reflection in the mirror against the holiness and perfection of God, changing their mind about sin to agree with the righteousness of God.
Mary Magdalene, was a resident of the city of Magdala which was located on the shore of Galilee, and other ladies mentioned were delighted to follow after Jesus giving whatever they could; physically, emotionally, and spiritually towards helping Jesus reach others with the teachings and truths of God. Imagine the wonderful testimony Mary Magdalene gave others about the pit in which Jesus found her and how He lifted her out of the mud and slime, cleaning her spiritually ill heart, and introducing new spiritual life to her which was a great example serving as a great encouragement to others as they heard the Truth delivered by Jesus to their ears and hearts. Certainly Mary was anxious to tell others what Jesus had done in her life as occasions arose to give her testimony; especially speaking to the lives of those who may have been familiar with her before she met with Jesus on a personal level.
Not only did Mary follow Jesus to get her own spiritual health in order, but she followed Jesus for what she could take from Him to give to others. Likely she ministered to the needs of Jesus as He preached and served the crowds for many long and arduous hours. Mary was willing and available to serve others according to God’s will for her life.
In fact, Mary Magdalene became so eager to serve Jesus that even in His arrest, trial, and death sentence she so desired to be near Him, her faith not wavering at this late hour in His life. She must have been perplexed at the events at hand, not completely understanding what was about to take place in Jesus’s life, but had a compelling desire to be near Him in both His life as well as in His physical death. Certainly her devotion and love for Jesus is one mankind needs to emulate more emphatically today.
The Bible tells us she stood by the cross with two other ladies as Jesus was about to be put to death:
Imagine how awful that was to experience the agonizing and excruciating pain of Jesus Christ as He hung on the cross in person. To stand beside His mother Mary and the others who had gathered near the cross of Calvary and hear first-hand or intimately His suffering and those in the crowd that sought death for Him railing against Him, even while He was innocent. The crowd unanimously moved to bring social justice by choosing rather to allow a criminal go free and for Jesus to suffer incomprehensible torture and physical death. His physical death, however, was the will of God coming to pass through the willingness of Jesus to die for the entire sin debt of mankind.
Mary Magdalene was one of the first-hand witness to this great spiritual event with only His resurrection surpassing the importance of His physical death as the Bible records His tomb was found empty on the third day:
Mary Magdalene still had not comprehended the magnitude or scope of Jesus Christ’s life and death. She arose early to go to His grave to prepare His body for burial because she loved Him so. Her life had never been the same since she had come face to face with Him and His life-changing preaching and teaching of the truth. Mary was willing to do whatever as led to help in the ministry of Jesus Christ. This day she set out early in the morning to anoint His precious bruised and broken body with spices and ointment in preparation of a proper burial fit for someone she dearly loved.
Mary Magdalene’s own plans of preparing Jesus’s body were set aside by the will of God for her life. She was given the honor of being the very first person to see Jesus after He had risen from the grave, even before any of His inner circle of disciples knew of His resurrection. Wow!! This was an honor bestowed unto to her, maybe because she had taken on this new spiritual life Jesus gave her with such vigor and spiritual oomph, so excited to be in a personal relationship with her Lord and Master while others serving Him were spiritually lethargic and lacking spiritual vitality for the things of God. We may never know or understand for sure why Mary was imparted with such a great honor of duty for God.
The Bible says:
Jesus Christ resurrected must have appeared to look any other man, not yet having ascended to receive the glory of His Father, that Mary Magdalene did not recognize Him mistaking Him for the gardener. She was so beside herself with concerned of what happened to the physical body of Jesus that she had come to lovingly prepare for burial that she could not see the Truth which was right in front of her! How often do we miss opportunities God has placed right in front of us because we cannot see them through our own prejudice and distorted viewpoint of this world?
Mary Magdalene did not recognize Him as Jesus Christ until He called out to her personally by name. Just like Jesus had called Lazarus and Tabitha by their own personal name raising them from death unto life. When Mary heard his voice utter her name she recognized Him at once as her Lord and Master who had given her new life. Jesus told her to go tell the others that He had risen from the grave unto God His Father in Heaven. What a wonderful message for her to proclaim to His disciples and the others who were near! They had a living Savior and Master!
The book of Luke recorded that Mary Magdalene was accompanied by other women when she delivered the message from Jesus to His disciples that He was risen from the grave and alive! It is amazing that God chose these women to deliver this great news to the others! It would seem logical in our own human thinking that Jesus would have chosen to appear first to His inner circle of disciples with this exciting news but God never makes mistakes or allows something to happen in a way that is contrary to His will and Mary Magdalene carried out His message to the others as He desired.
There is not a single soul, man or woman, who are beyond the saving power of God. The Bible tells us that Mary had seven spirits residing within her. The Bible does not give details about her sickened heart condition before Jesus met her on a personal level. One could imagine that these seven spirits had her physically, mentally, spiritually, and morally bankrupt and in great need of the supernatural presence and power of God and reflect upon their own personal spiritual heart condition as well.
Mary had such great zeal for doing the work of God after her personal salvation and this begs each one of us to ask ourselves what our spiritual temperature for serving God is: hot, cold, or lukewarm? If we are not busy about serving God then we are turning our back to Him and choosing to line up with the god of this world. If we desire to serve god rather than God then we need to check our spiritual pulse to see if indeed we are quickened alive unto new life.
Last, Mary’s life and service to God proves that God will use anyone who is available and ready to serve His will for their life. God was able to take Mary’s life and turn it around in such a way that He even gave her the great honor of meeting with Him on the morning of His resurrection before any other person saw Him and knew that He had risen unto new spiritual life and that no other gods will ever accomplish this. All other gods are dead and buried in the grave but we serve a living Savior who gives us the grace, mercy, and power, as He did for Mary Magdalene, to live each day in this dark and evil world spiritually successful according to His will and way.
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