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From Desolation to Dedication


Last year, we studied Proverbs 31 - Woman of the Bible. I was looking out for her name but she was not in the list. Thank God for this opportunity that I can write an article about her.

 

I was intrigued by this woman the very moment I read about her. She was from a fishing town called Magdala on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. She was mentioned by name, 12 times in all the 4 gospels, many more times than some of Jesus’ 12 disciples.  She travelled and supported Jesus financially in his ministry, indicating that she was probably wealthy. She was the key witness of his crucifixion and resurrection. 

 

Can you guess who she is? Need more clues?

 

She was demon-possessed. Mark 16:9 and Luke 8:2 give us a glimpse into the background of her life story. She was not just possessed; she was VERY possessed, with a total of 7 demons. You should have guessed who she is by now: She is Mary Magdalene.

 

Demonic possession is a state in which demons take full control of a person’s body without their consent. How did a demon-possessed person look like in the scriptures? Specific accounts of possessed persons may exhibit an “inability to speak” (Matt. 9:17), experience “blindness” (Matt. 12:22-23) and “intermittent seizures” (Mark 9:20), become “exceedingly fierce” and practise “social isolation” (Matt. 8:28). They may be seen “bounded with fetters and chain” (Luke 8:29), “without proper clothing” (Luke 8:27), and inflicting “self-harm” (Mark 5:5). 

 

From these examples, we can probably conclude Mary Magdalene must have suffered severe physical and psychological trauma. One could only imagine how desolated Mary Magdalene was. She had lost all control of self and dignity. She was a prisoner of her afflictions.

 

 And then came Jesus. Only Jesus could save Mary Magdalene in her state of desperation. Only Jesus could see who she really was inside. Because of Jesus, her life completely turned around. Not only was she healed, she became a devoted disciple.

 

  1. She left her old broken life and journeyed with Jesus, serving, and supporting Him financially as he preached the word (Luke 8:1-3). She lived a new life of gratitude and generosity.  

  2. She was among the few brave disciples who stayed close to Jesus in His trials and witnessed His crucifixion even after some fearful disciples fled (John 19:25). She must be in excruciating emotional pain to see her beloved Master suffering & hanging on the cross.  

  3. She was the very first to be at Jesus’ tomb. The scripture records that she saw where Jesus was laid (Mark 15:47), and arrived at the tomb with sweet spices very early in the morning, while it was yet dark on the first day of the week (Mark 16:2, John 20:1). She was desperate and eager to honour the body of her Lord. 

  4. She was the very first to whom Jesus appeared to upon His resurrection when Mary Magdalene was weeping at the tomb because she couldn’t find her Lord’s body. (Mark 16:9, John 20:11-18). Her love for the Saviour of her life was true and sincere.

 

Can we identify ourselves with Mary Magdalene? 

 

Though we are from different walks of life, we have something in common - Sins used to bound us. We were once blind in our iniquities, slaves to sins and deprived from spiritual freedom. Our souls were darkened by sins, and leaving a void in our hearts that nothing could fill. We were on the path to eternal death and judgement till we found our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As Jesus healed Mary Magdalene, He is now the same physician who healed us & set us free (John 8:31).

 

Mary Magdalene responded to Jesus with a life of gratitude and giving. She responded with a life of love and dedication. How will we respond today? Will we … respond the way Mary Magdalene did?

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