I Want To Be Like Mary Magdalene


I want to be like Mary Magdalene, the Mary of Magdala after she met Jesus that is.

What a great story of redemption and courage.  Mary is another example of what can take place in a life when Jesus is allowed to step in and take over.  Our past does not have to dictate our future.

When we hear the name, Mary Magdalene, we will most likely think of a demonically possessed prostitute from the ghetto.  The Biblical recount of her story does confirm that she was controlled by seven demons, but I cannot find one verse that says she was a prostitute.  I also find nothing in scripture that tells me Mary was from a poor family.  The scriptures actually lead me to think otherwise, though a deeper historical study may prove me wrong.

“Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.” – Luke 8:1-3

The women that followed Jesus cared for Him and the disciples out of their own “substance” – their own property.  Whether it be actual monetary wealth, or the wealth of things, they had to already have had something in order to provide for them.

~ Physically wealthy yet emotionally poor ~

What we do know about Mary, is that the first half of her life she was controlled by seven demons.  It was when she met and accepted Jesus that she was set free from her tormentors.  She was freed from a life of shame and struggle.  She went from being an outcast to becoming one of Jesus’ disciples.  Mary never forgot what Jesus did for her.  Her life’s testimony from that time forward was filled with love for Him.

It’s ironic to me, not only did God chose a woman, this alone went against the culture in those days, but He chose a woman who had been possessed by demons to be the first one to see Jesus after He rose from the dead.  Can you imagine the thoughts that might have filtered through Mary’s mind as she made her way to the rest of those she now called her friends, and now grieved with?

Her first trip back was to tell them that she went to the grave and that it was empty.  Think about it for a moment.  This woman, who’s companions were once demons, had to go back to those who witnessed her in her moments before Jesus set her free.  They saw the evil that gripped her.  Mary was bound by the same familiar presence that just nailed Jesus to a cross and tortured Him three days earlier.

She must have wrestled with her thoughts.  “They’re going to think I’m crazy!”  “What if they think I’ve given up and allowed my past to come back and take me over again?”  “What if they think I am a phony and tricked them the way Judas tricked us all?”  “Oh but I must tell them, so they can find out what has happened to Him.”  “What else matters at this point?”

~ Now emotionally rich and full of courage ~

With her fist tightly gripping her clothing, pulling it up enough so she would not trip, Mary ran as fast as she could.  With each step gaining speed and her heart beating faster and faster, courage began to rise in Mary.  “What else matters now?  I must tell them!”, her mind resolved.  “I’ll go to Simon Peter and to John!”

Bursting through the doors, her clothes were tousled and dripping with sweat from her sprint, John and Peter looked through their own heartache to see this distraught woman trying to speak.  Mary grabbed just enough air to get the words out.  She finally squealed, “HE’S GONE!”  JESUS IS NOT THERE!”  “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”  Tears streamed down her cheeks as she collapsed at John’s feet.

~ Courage is worth it ~

They believed her!  Wasting no time, Peter and John bolted from where they were standing and ran as fast as they could to the tomb of their friend, Jesus.  Mary followed.  Once Peter and John arrived and witnessed that Jesus was truly gone, they turned and went back to their homes, but Mary stayed.

Mary stood weeping outside of the empty tomb.  She was trying to make sense of these last three days.  Every tear that poured from her eyes had too many questions to find words for.  She was exhausted in every way, but Mary found strength to look again into the hollowed out rock.  “Jesus, where are you?”  “This cannot be happening.”  “This makes no sense.”  Her mind was racing while she remembered her days spent with Him.  As her heart cried His name, “Jesus”, her eyes were opened to see.  Two angels in white were sitting in the tomb, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

~ He spoke ~

“Mary!”

Mary of Magdala Holds Onto Jesus

Mary, stayed in her place of pain long enough to see the truth and hear from heaven.  She saw the logical truth through her human eyes, but her heart knew there was more that her eyes could not see, so she stayed.  She stayed in the place where she last knew Jesus was until her answer came, until she knew her next step.

Through all of the emotions and all of the confusion, she heard His voice call her name, “Mary!”  “Teacher!”, she cried out with overwhelming joy as she clung to Him.  Jesus told her the truth of what was happening and gave her the instructions to go tell the others.

There’s so much to learn from this small glimpse into the life of Mary of Magdala.  Her journey led her from being spiritually ravaged to being made spiritually complete as she embraced the resurrected Jesus.  This brings a whole new level of hope to us all as God uncovers the dark areas of our own hearts.  If we will face our pain, ask the questions that plague our minds, and be willing to wait there for Truth to reveal Himself, we too can be completely free to run forward.  I’m sure she felt totally hopeless and alone, but Mary wasn’t left weeping at the tomb.  She was willing to wait there until the answers were revealed, and because of this she was able to set out on her next run, renewed with words of hope.  Her physical strength was restored by the words of Jesus, “go find my brothers and tell them..”  At this point I probably would have struggled to let Jesus out of my sight, but in faith, Mary leapt to her feet and ran as fast as she could to deliver the joyous news.  “HE’S ALIVE!”

Jesus is just as present and alive today as He was standing in the garden with Mary of Magdala, and He’s alive in our circumstance right now.  The question is, do we have the courage to wait in faith on Him?  If so, it is in this place where our eyes will be opened and our ears will hear Him call our name.  It is in this place where we’ll breathe in hope again and where our strength will be restored.  Our past will no longer dictate our future.  We will be more than able to run in strength and courage when He says, “Go and tell.”

Her life’s testimony from that time forward was filled with love for Him.  This is how I want to be like Mary Magdalene.

~Shannan

“Diamonds can be found in the trials of life.”

I can truly say, the night the most pain-filled storm sliced through my heart is also the night of my greatest treasure – God’s embrace!

“Love Remain’s”

The story of Mary of Magdala, John 20

7 Comments

  1. Elaine Witts said,

    04/24/2013 at 11:50

    Yes, Shannan, Jesus is the Reason for any season! God Bless.

  2. kimberlywyse said,

    04/24/2013 at 11:50

    Your ability to express beautiful devotional thought is wonderful! I’m enjoying reading your blogs more and more every day. Wow!

    • 04/24/2013 at 11:50

      Thank you my sweet friend! You’ve walked with me a very long way 😉

  3. Cathie Thorpe said,

    04/24/2013 at 11:50

    Shannon ~ No truer words “Love Remains”!!! Loved this devotional so much. I’m seeing so much growth in you and I know where your strength comes from ~ Our Jesus, our Redeemer, our Strength, our Friend, our Savior. God Bless you, Love Cath

  4. Juliette Tuttobene said,

    04/25/2013 at 11:50

    You mentioned “Diamonds” so I must tell…
    Eric took me on a surprise date, Saturday night, to see 1964; a Beatles tribute band. To my left sat this girl with a facial bone disorder. I came to know that her name was Jennifer, she came alone so we got to chat. She had the brightest smile and a love for life that touched my heart. I remember her saying, “Life is like a big diamond covered in mud. Some people never bother to shine it, but some people put the effort to shine it until it becomes this big beautiful gift”…
    She gets it.
    I was speechless.

    Blessings!

  5. Elaine Witts said,

    05/17/2013 at 11:50

    I came here today because I am really hurting and I knew I would find a solace and comfort — and once again I draw on your words Shannan and set out, once again, into a world that doesn’t care for me right now. Thank God I have Jesus and His servant, Shannan. xo

    • 05/17/2013 at 11:50

      Elaine, I am so sorry life is weighing heavy on you today. I pray that God’s peace, the peace that passes all our understanding, will flood the depths of your inner-being today. I pray for Holy Spirit to shield you from the fiery darts of the enemy. May He give you the wisdom to take wrong thoughts captive and reveal to you the truth of who God really is – loving, merciful, and full of grace. May He sing over you as you sleep tonight and wake you in the morning fully aware of His presence. In His presence we find all of heaven’s richest blessings. ((HUGS))


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: