Meet Mary-She was a woman consumed by evil spirits (Luke 8:2). She had, no doubt, lived a life of pain, sadness and trials. Whose life wouldn’t be hard if you were plagued with such evil? Usually these people are tormented and have no peace whatsoever in their lives. Mary had strongholds on her mind. She was a captive.
Then came Jesus, He was everything that she was not. He was peace, He was love, He was joy. He was healing. He came to set the captives free, and he did, set her free. It says that He cast out her demons-all 7 of them. We can see from studying the bible that Mary’s encounter with Jesus was so intense and powerful that her life was changed forever. Where she was once plagued by evil, now life and happiness existed. With this transformation in her life and mind came 100% dedication to the ministry of Jesus.
With this dedication came boldness and fierceness. She sowed financially (Rom 8:3), and she became His faithful follower, along with the twelve disciples. In what was then a “man’s world”, she didn’t let society dictate to her what was acceptable by keeping quiet or just sitting back letting the men do the work. No, she was right there with the twelve, putting in the work and doing what it took to make the ministry of Jesus go forth into the earth. Her encounter produced a boldness that was never quenched.
When the time came and Jesus was crucified, who was there every step through His crucifixion and burial, but Mary Magdalene. It says over and over again that she was there watching all that took place. She watched His brutal death, she watched where they laid Him to rest. She came to take care of Him even in death, but when she came- He was not there anymore. He had risen, but of course she did not know this yet. I can only imagine how devastated she must have been through this whole process, but I am also inspired by her dedication to Her master. Even in death, she was there to ensure that He was treated properly and with dignity. I believe the Lord saw this, and knew her heart because of all the people He had relationships with-in His resurrection He came to her first. I believe her heart was probably in a desperate place, this man who she had just dedicated her whole life to was dead. He saw her heart, maybe even her fear, and came to her in her place of need, and showed her who He was that He had risen. Again, she had a powerful encounter with her Lord.
He is a Savior who loves to encounter us where we are, we see here first He encountered her in her place of sin and anguish, but then He encountered her again in her place of desperation and need. He took what was bad and made it something good, and beautiful.
When I think of Mary Magdalene’s life, I am almost brought to tears by the thought of her place of desperation, and also that our loving Jesus encountered her in such special ways. But what I love most is what she did with her encounters with Him, she took them and was forever changed. She didn’t have an ounce of complacency in her, but was moved to action by what had changed in her life. What was a societal norm no longer mattered, her past didn’t matter, opinions of others didn’t matter. All that mattered was Him and what she had gained by knowing Him. So, I ask you today? Has your encounter with our Lord required this type of change in you? Are you so hungry for Him that nothing else matters but Him? Are you bold in your faith? Are you seeking to make His name known, no matter the cost?
My prayer for us is that we would all have this type of hunger and desire to make Him known, no matter the cost or consequence. No matter the price, that we would encounter Him.
Featured image by Allison Mims