WHY JESUS LOVED MARY (MIRIAM) MAGDALENE SO MUCH?
Mary Magdalene, a Jewish woman is mentioned about 12 – 14 times in the Bible, more than most of the apostles and more than any other non-family woman in the Bible. In 8 of the 14 instances her name is mentioned in connection with other women, of which she is always named first. In the 5 times she is mentioned alone, it is in connection with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:9; John 20:1, 11, 16, 18).
She was born in Magdala, known for its primitive textile factories and dying works as well as fishing activities, a thriving city on the coast of Galilee about three miles from Capernaum. She travelled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his ministry, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. She loved and served Jesus with a spirit of gratefulness and forever faithful to her Lord:
- she was the last at the cross to witness Christ’s death and, following Joseph of Arimathea to see where Jesus’ body would be laid (Luke 23:55),
- she was the last to leave His tomb after night had fallen (Mark 15: 47),
- intending to honour Christ by anointing His body with spices and perfumes, she was the first to visit the tomb on resurrection morning (Mathew 28: 1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24: 1; John 20:1), and
- the first to carry the news that Jesus had risen from the dead (John 20:18).
1.0 Fullness of satan to the fullness of God’s Grace
Luke 8: 2 and Mark 16: 9 do tell us about her is that she had been possessed by seven demons, which probably caused her to have bouts of insanity, and that Jesus cast them out of her. What a moment that must have been! Remember, the number seven in scripture is a symbol for fullness or completeness. One way to imagine the effect is that the fullness of Satan within her was replaced by the fullness of God’s grace. After her deliverance, she became one of Jesus’ most loyal followers throughout His ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
2.0 One of the women followers of Jesus
Luke 8: 1 articulates that Mary became one of the women whom the Gospel describes as followers of Jesus. During that time, it was a scandalous situation as far as the religious leaders were concerned. During that period women lacked the status to be called a “disciple”. Only men could be disciples. But Jesus changed that and called them to be his followers.
3.0 A true servant to take care of her Lord’s needs and served Him beyond her capabilities
Mathew 27:55-56 spell that Mary followed Jesus from Galilee to care for His needs. She was with the group of women including Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary the mother of James. She cared for Jesus’ needs out of her own physical and financial ability (Luke 23:55; Mark 16:3-4). She was at the tomb right after dawn to anoint His body. Moreover, Mark 15:47 tells that as a true servant she also paid attention to the details where the body of her Lord was laid.
4.0 Stayed around her Lord, especially during the difficult days
John 19:25 says that Mary never left Jesus through the ugliness and gore of the crucifixion. The verse says, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene”. She stayed close as she could to the cross and afterwards waited to see exactly where they put His body.
5.0 She received great reward and recognised the Lord’s voice
Mathew 28:9-10; Mark 16:9-11 & John 20: 11-18 are the evidences that Mary’s faith, hope and love in her Lord led her to have great reward. She was the first to whom Jesus appeared and spoke after the resurrection. After the Sabbath was over the women went to the tomb and were surprised to find Jesus’ body missing. Mary went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them. They came and found the tomb empty and went back home, but Mary stayed behind weeping. In John 20:16 we read, Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. What a marvellous example of John 10:27, which says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”. Mary was overjoyed and didn’t want to let Him go. Jesus told her to release Him and to immediately go and tell the disciples that He is alive. She obeyed even though they didn’t believe her report (Luke 24:11, it states, “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not”.)
Lord’s work for Mary Magdalene and her loving ministry to Him constituted that she owed much, gave much, loved much, and served much. In spite of her past experiences, Mary Magdalene was accepted by the God and her companions. She is a wonderful example of a woman whose life was poured out in response to God’s extravagant grace.