Mary Magdalene is a very interesting person in the gospels. Many things are also recorded of her in various historical church records also, which I am not fully aware of. But as to what is seen in the Bible itself marks her out from every other women mentioned in gospels, probably next to Mary the mother of Jesus. There are several lessons we can learn from her life.
She hailed from a Jewish home in the southern Galilean town of Magdala, the reason for her name. Bible does not describe her personality, history or character, but mainly of her presence as a witness throughout Jesus’s crucifixion, burial & resurrection. Her past history before meeting Jesus is not known much. But over the centuries, Western Christian doctrine, renaissance art & literature, modern media have depicted her as a prostitute, love interest of Jesus even to the extreme as his wife. But there is definitely no biblical basis to any of this. Today she is officially recognised as a saint by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican & Lutheran churches with different interpretations though.
Some historical sources say later she evangelized even up to Southern France, accompanied St.John to Ephesus, died & buried in Selcuk, Turkey (medieval legend suggesting her as John’s wife).
But the probable reason she first met Jesus is mentioned in Luke 8:2/ Mark 16:9- as like many other people in need of a healing. But she needed more than just physical healing, she needed deliverance. This term is common Christian terminology but less understood maybe. It denotes the act of being rescued or ‘set free’. That means it had to do with some captivity and always needs a saviour (also another person). Healing is a process, but Deliverance is a momentary action. It is done in a moment! When a prisoner is set free, it does not need days to finish that act! But healing needs time to complete in whole.
We all need Deliverance in many dimensions of our life. The biggest miracle they say is the salvation of a lost sinner, and in all sense it is true because it is not merely some healing, but a deliverance! The setting free the bondage of a sinner, who is under the captivity of Satan can be done by no one else or methods except Christ Jesus. Luke 4:18 ‘aphesis (to let go) mentions one of the purpose of Christ’s ministry on earth. I believe further ahead in our journey; also we would need deliverance wherever and whenever captivity to dark powers is to be released in our lives Rom.8:21; eleutheroo– corruption (phthoro-subject to corruption /moral decay). When we eagerly (Ps.107:1-6, 20; Col.1:21-23) seek the Lord and His will, our good God will help us be delivered from such corruption. But also important is what we do after receiving this freedom.
# In Mary’s case it is clearly mentioned 7 evil spirits she was delivered from, but which ones we don’t know or cannot simply assume. Derek Prince, who was mightily used in deliverance ministry has mentioned several instances of ‘anger’ ‘depression’ ‘envy’ evil spirits manifestly come out from people. Is such kind of deliverance given any importance in today’s churches? Why not that Gal.5:19-21 are manifestations of evil spirits?
# After her deliverance, Mary is a very loyal follower (disciple) of Jesus and also a key supporter/sponsor with other ladies who were key financial supporters during Jesus’s ministry (Lk.8:2-3; Matt.27:55-56, Mk.15:40-41). After every deliverance, do we stick to the deliverer or forget him?
# Mary stays close to Jesus in his most hardest suffering time. Even when his other disciples stayed at a distance, she never bothered what society would say about her to stay close to a sentenced criminal. How do we react when the going gets tough and adverse to our faith?
# Mary goes ‘all-out’ after being separated from Jesus for 3 days. Nothing could constrain her- fear of dark, physical weakness, enemies, imperial guards & seal, big stone! What are our real excuses? (Mk.16:1-8, John.20:1)
# Mary was a ‘people-person’. In the previous instances she is seen as one among the others, not alone. But she was probably the initiator for the last instance, because all authors mention her name in specific- meaning she motivated the other 2 women to go with her and later Jesus entrusts her to release the ‘Breaking News’ to his 11 disciples. After deliverance, is there a change in you enough to influence others?
# Mary becomes the Exceptional one for Jesus! She caused Jesus the Victor Champion to even stop his heavenly victory procession to The YHWH, abruptly, just to pacify her longing desire. Jn.20:17 Can I be that exceptional person who can prompt a change, even in divine agenda?
May be it is true you are just a believer, a woman, a child, a teenager or an isolated youth now- but is it possible you can become that exceptional one for Jesus? Even if people whom you started with are backing out or mediocre, will you like Mary, persist to go that extra mile to experience & witness for Jesus?
Does your deliverance mean enough, to drive you to be Extravagant in your love for Him?