The real Mary Magdalene

Engraving from 1892 showing Mary at the tomb of Jesus.

He (Jesus) 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.

One aspect of Jesus’ mission was to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. He called upon people to acknowledge God’s claims on their lives and submit to His rule. Christ will one day return to the earth and establish God’s rights with power, but here at His first advent we hear the call of grace and recognize its liberating power.

Those who accompanied the Lord experienced that power. Among them were not only the twelve disciples but also women who had been freed of evil spirits and healed of diseases. They all followed Jesus and served Him with their life and their possessions.

Mary Magdalene is here mentioned for the first time in the gospels. Contrary to modern tales about this woman, the Bible reports of demonic possession, not of moral faults in her life. The liberation that she experienced prompted Mary and the other women to serve the Lord with a deep and pure affection.

Mary Magdalene is later mentioned only at the crucifixion, the entombment and the resurrection of Jesus From the risen Lord she receives the significant task of announcing the Lord’s ascension to His disciples.