Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mary of Magdala

{A Blog Post I Wrote in Israel}

We visited a “bonus” site today. One that was recently excavated, a town called Migdal or what we would refer to as Magdala. The archeologists are finding that this was no small town as once presumed. It is quite possibly much larger than it seems, with lots of history waiting to be uncovered.

But it wasn’t the site that the LORD used to teach me a lesson today.

It was the person in the bible who came from this town, Mary of Magdala or whom we would call . . . Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene is mentioned in all 4 gospels and is the most consistent person present with Christ. There are no stories shared in the gospels about Mary Magdalene other than the fact that Jesus cast out 7 demons from her. She is so insignificant that her lineage isn’t even given, just the town from which she comes from, Magdala.

She was a nobody. She was a demon possessed women who was healed by Jesus and remained close to him ever since. She was obscure, in the background, with very little of a story.

This nobody would soon become the first witness, the first believer, and the first one to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus. She was the one who went to the tomb early in the morning, grieving the loss of her LORD. She was the one who would recognize Jesus and run with all of her joy and excitement to share that “He is risen” with Peter, John, and the rest of the disciples.

Mary Magdalene, this nobody, followed closely to the LORD, served Him, and proclaimed him. That is her story in the bible. She was not a great bible teacher full of knowledge like Paul, or a prophet who would tell of the future like Isaiah, or a mighty queen like Esther. She was simple, plain, in the background. She was a woman of gratitude, of devotion, and of faith.

Mary of Magdala should’ve been an outcast because of her demon possession. Instead Jesus casts out the demons to welcome her in. She should’ve been considered a nobody but because of her devotion to the LORD, she is somebody.

Mary Magdalene’s life was spent doing 3 things . . .

Following Jesus.
Serving Jesus.
Proclaiming Jesus.

She is famous for her gratitude, her devotion, her faith, and her love for the LORD.

Today in Magdala, the lesson is much more than archeology. This God we serve is the kind of God who would choose a nobody, out of a village in Israel, heal her, restore her, and lavish his love and grace upon her. Our God looks beyond our reputation to call us to Himself to make us sons and daughters of the King. He gives us a new reputation, and new heritage, a new life. And our response should be just like Mary Magdalene’s, one of devotion, one of gratitude, and of love. Let our response to God’s gift of salvation be just like hers, that our lives would be defined by:

Following Jesus.
Serving Jesus.
Proclaiming Jesus.
Let us live like Mary of Magdala in devotion to our LORD and our Redeemer . . . Jesus.

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