#76 Women of the Bible: Mary Magdalene (1)
Updated: Oct 26
Although Mary Magdalene is mentioned 13 times in the New Testament we know very little about her. We know she journeyed alongside Jesus and the 12 disciples with some other women and helped provide for them (Luke 8:1-3). We read that she was looking on Jesus at His crucifixion (Matt. 27:55-56) and that Jesus first appeared to her after His ascension from the dead (Mark 16:9. We also know that she had had 7 demons (Luke 8:1-3).
Whether those 7 demons affected her physically or mentally would be guesswork, but we do know that this demon possession would have left Mary Magdalene an unhappy and tortured soul. Although there is one devil, there are legions of evil spirits in this world that can and do possess people and make their lives miserable.
Jesus had a power never seen before on the earth to command evil spirits to leave. Remember how King Saul used to get tormented by an evil spirit? The man after God’s own heart, David, would be summoned whenever that evil spirit afflicted King Saul so that he could strum and sing worship and praise music that caused the evil spirit to flee for a period. David, himself, had no power over the evil spirit. David only had the power to make the atmosphere so inhospitable to that evil spirit that it would have to leave.
Not so with Jesus! Jesus just had to say the word and those evil spirits left the person they were tormenting. So surprising was the power that Jesus had over the evil spirits that “The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching-and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him" (Mk. 1:27).
Jesus wasn’t an ordinary man like David –He was ‘God with us’, Emmanuel. On many occasions the Jews clearly understood His claim to be God and so they wanted to put Him to death. For example: "We are not stoning you for any good work," they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God" (John 10:33).
Jesus blessed His followers with the same power that He had to command evil spirits to leave: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons” (Mk. 16:17). Clearly the sign that you are a follower of Jesus is that you will have power over the Enemy!
Mary Magdalene was delivered of evil spirits by “The Christ of God” (Luke 9:20). It is still “The Christ of God” who delivers people from physical and mental afflictions today. Just like when Philip went to Samaria and preached Jesus and ordered afflicting spirits to leave people, there was great joy (Acts 8:5-8), so there is today when Jesus is preached and we see people miraculously healed.
The prophets foretold this happening (Acts 2:16-21 quoting from the prophet Joel) and we are living in the Kingdom where Jesus is reigning. Jesus is real and the signs that He is real and is reigning are real. Is Jesus your Lord and Saviour? Is Jesus your King? If He is, ask Him to reveal Himself more and more to you so that you can live under His anointing.
All references are from the NIV.