“Soon afterward He was traveling from one town and village to another, preaching and telling the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary, called Magdalene (seven demons had come out of her); Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward; Susanna; and many others who were supporting them from their possessions.”
Luke 8:1-3 HCSB
Fourteen days ago we began the season of lent. It is a season of preparing our hearts for the celebration of our Risen Savior. My mind takes me back to those Jesus met during the years of His public ministry. Step with me through the looking glass and meet those who were changed because Jesus of Nazereth entered their crazy, messed up life.
At some point in Jesus’ public ministry He met Mary Magdalene.
“At dawn He went to the temple complex again, and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began to teach them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say? ” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? ” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.””
John 8:2-11 HCSB
“Then one of the Pharisees invited Him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of fragrant oil and stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. She wiped His feet with the hair of her head, kissing them and anointing them with the fragrant oil.
Turning to the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she, with her tears, has washed My feet and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing My feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint My head with olive oil, but she has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.””
Luke 7:36-38, 44-48 HCSB
Mary’s life wasn’t pretty. Luke 8:2 says Jesus had cast out seven demons from her. Jesus saw her as a tormented soul. The townsfolk just saw her as crazy, adulterous, and one who should have been stoned. How different are the perceptions of God and the perceptions of man? The Pharisee who perceived himself as holier than others did not give Jesus the proper respect, but this sinful woman who had been shunned and labeled could not quit kissing Jesus’ feet. Her posture toward Him was bowed, but the Pharisee didn’t even provide water to wash His feet.
These two people came into contact with Jesus on the same day, but had two differing attitudes toward Him. What was the difference? One was so thankful for the complete peace Jesus had brought to her life and her mind, the other had closed his heart toward Jesus.
“Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”
John 19:25 HCSB
Mary followed Jesus from the moment He brought sanity back into her world. God memorialized her for all time because of her devotion to His Son.
Take time today to show your devotion to Jesus. Try bending the knee and offering Him the respect He deserves. Jesus is the only One who can bring sanity into your day.