Mary Magdalene - Loyal Follower of Jesus

Meet Mary Magdalene: Set Free From 7 Demons by Jesus

Mary Magdalene in the Bible
Culture Club / Contributor

Mary Magdalene is one of the most speculated about people in the New Testament. Even in early Gnostic writings from the second century, wild claims have been made about her that simply are not true.

We do know that Jesus Christ cast seven demons out of Mary (Luke 8:1-3). After that, she became a follower of Jesus, along with several other women. Mary proved to be more loyal to Jesus than his own 12 apostles.

Instead of hiding, she stood near the cross as Jesus died. She also went to the tomb to anoint his body with spices.

In movies and books, Mary Magdalene is often portrayed as a prostitute, but nowhere does the Bible make that claim. Dan Brown's 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code invents a scenario in which Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child. Nothing in the Bible or history supports such a notion.

The heretical Gospel of Mary, often attributed to Mary Magdalene, is a gnostic forgery dating from the second century. Like other gnostic gospels, it uses a famous person's name to try to legitimize its content.

Mary Magdalene has often been confused with Mary of Bethany, who anointed Jesus' feet prior to his death in Matthew 26:6-13Mark 14:3-9, and John 12:1-8.

Accomplishments of Mary Magdalene in the Bible

Mary was deeply devoted to Jesus and stayed with him during his crucifixion when others fled in fear.

Mary Magdalene was honored by being the first person Jesus appeared to after his resurrection.

Because Mary Magdalene was charged in all four Gospels to be the first to share the good news of  Christ's resurrection, she is often called the first evangelist. She is mentioned more often than any other woman in the New Testament.

Strengths

Mary Magdalene was loyal and generous. She is listed among women who helped support Jesus' ministry from their own funds (Luke 8:3).

Her great faith earned special affection from Jesus.

Life Lessons

Being a follower of Jesus Christ will result in hard times. Mary stood by Jesus as he suffered and died on the cross, saw him buried, and came to the empty tomb on the third morning. When Mary told the apostles Jesus had risen, none of them believed her. Yet she never wavered. Mary Magdalene knew what she knew. As Christians, we too will be the target of ridicule and distrust, but we must hold onto the truth. Jesus is worth it.

Hometown

Mary Magdalene was from Magdala, a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

References to Mary Magdalene in the Bible

Reference to Mary Magdalene can be found in the Bible in Matthew 27:56, 61; 28:1; Mark 15:40, 47, 16:1, 9; Luke 8:2, 24:10; John 19:25, 20:1, 11, 18.

Occupation

Unknown.

Key Verses

John 19:25
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. (NIV)

Mark 15:47
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid. (NIV)

John 20:16-18
Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means "Teacher").

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her. (NIV)

Key Takeaways

  • Mary Magdalene, one of the most prominent females in the Bible, appears in all four Gospels as a loyal follower of Jesus.
  • When Mary met Jesus, he cast out seven demons from her.
  • Mary Magdalene cared for Jesus and his disciples out of her own wealth.
  • Mary stayed with Jesus at the foot of the cross. She and other women bought spices to anoint the body of Jesus and appeared at his tomb in all four Gospels.
  • Mary was one of the first to receive the news of Jesus' resurrection.
  • Mary Magdalene is the subject of much controversy, legend, and misconception. There is no evidence to back up claims that she was a reformed prostitute, the wife of Jesus, and the mother of his child.