Luke 8:1-3 reveals to us that Mary was healed from several demons. Within the context of the timeframe in which this took place, ‘demons’ could potentially be referring to some emotional or recurring physical illness. Is there something that is terrorizing you internally—emotionally, mentally, or physically? Do you need Jesus to meet you where you are and heal you from those things? Take a moment to reach out to Him in prayer and ask Him to help you heal. If He leads you to reach out to others for additional support, take courage, and go for it!
During the crucifixion of Jesus Mary Magdalene remained steady by His side. Jesus was beaten so severely before he was put on the cross that he was barely recognizable. The soldiers and onlookers mocked and spit on Him. But Mary Magdalene couldn’t imagine leaving someone she deeply loved to go through that alone. Is there someone in your life that is facing grief, depression, or pain? Take a moment to pray and ask the Lord to guide you as you live out Proverbs 3:27 on their behalf. Whether it means taking a meal, babysitting, offering rides, or simply listening, stand by them as Mary did for Jesus.
It was very significant that Jesus called Mary Magdalene by name. Jesus had a habit of calling people by their names because it signified a personal connection. They weren’t nameless, faceless, forgotten people. He sees people (including you) as individuals reflected in God’s image, with intrinsic worth and extraordinary potential. Who in your life needs to be seen like that? Is it a co-worker, a family member, or someone in your local church? Read over Jeremiah 1:5 and pray that God would help you to stop and look around for people to get to know. There’s someone who needs you to see and know them.
Jesus could have chosen to first appear to anyone, and he chose Mary Magdalene. He could have entrusted the task of being the first to share the part of the gospel that proclaims that He has risen to anyone, and he chose Mary. He chose her because of who she was. Likewise, God doesn’t choose you in spite of who you are; God chooses you because of who you are. Read over Matthew 5:16 and reflect on the places God has put you in and the resources He has given you. How can you use those opportunities to serve Him and empower others (both men & women) to experience the love of Christ?
Mary Magdalene brought her whole self to Jesus in His life and His death. She continued to show up with her grief and her pain and her questions. Letting people see all the parts of us and telling the truth about ourselves like that can be terrifying. But when you choose to show up as your whole self to the world—mess and all—you just might get the opportunity t o experience resurrection, too! Reflect today on 2 Corinthians 12:9 and ask the Lord to give you the courage to be vulnerable with a trusted friend or mentor. Walk in victory, knowing that you deserve to be fully seen, heard, and known!
TALK IT OVER
- Who are some of the most notable women in the Bible?
- Who are some of the most notable women in your life?
- When you’ve heard of Mary Magdalene in the past, did you think Magdalene was her last name?
- Who is someone that has faithfully stuck by your side during difficult seasons of life?
- If you were present at the crucifixion of Jesus, what kind of emotions do you think you’d be experiencing? Would you stay like Mary Magdalene did?
- What are some ways our culture/society have limited open doors to vulnerability in the past?
- What are some simple ways we can work to eliminate the stigmas of shame and fear in vulnerability?
- What is something you wish you could do but haven’t had the courage to try?