Mary Magdalene: A Devoted Follower

Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Lord and delivered the message to His disciples.

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Cappellone di San Nicola, Basilica di San Nicola da Tolentino, Tolentino, Italy

Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' most loyal followers and was the first to witness His resurrection. Her name, “Magdalen” comes from the town where she was born Magdala.

While historically many have portrayed Mary Magdalene as a repentant prostitute, recently scholars disputed this belief. Numerous questions about her life remain unanswered. What exactly were the "seven demons" that Jesus healed her from? What was the nature of her relationship with Jesus? What happened to Mary Magdalene after Jesus' resurrection?

What is clear from the Bible is that Mary of Magdalene was healed by Jesus and became a devoted follower. She traveled with Jesus and the disciples. She was there when Jesus was nailed to the cross and cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” She witnessed Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.

Here is Mary Magdalene's story from the Bible:

• Mary Magdalene was delivered from seven demons
And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out. (Luke 8:2, NIV)

• Mary Magdalene financially supported Jesus’ ministry
 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (Luke 8:3, NIV)

• Mary Magdalene witnessed the crucifixion and burial of Jesus
Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.  (Matthew 27:55-56).

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. (Matthew 27:61, NIV)

• Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and reported it empty
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” (John 20:1-2, NIV)

• Mary Magdalene saw two angels in the tomb and spoke with them
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. (John 20:11-13, NIV)

• Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Lord
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. (John 20:16-18, NIV)

• She delivered a message to the disciples
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:10, NIV)

Read 10 Remarkable Women of the Bible.

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