Luke Chapter: 7 Mary Magdalene, Who?
The 7th chapter of Luke may seem to be just filled with more stories of Jesus healing people and bringing some back from death. He heals the servant of a Roman soldier – the Centurion. If that seems strange, it may seem even more strange that Luke describes the soldier as one who is a good man who believes in the things Jesus is doing. He brings a widow’s only son back to life right from his funeral procession! The ministry of Jesus had already included lots of similar events. Those were miracles to all who observed them … and told the stories over and over.
In this chapter, though, Luke puts heavy focus on the sinful woman who came to wash the feet of Jesus. It is possible that this woman was Mary Magdalene. Many believe that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, which made her approach to Jesus even more important. She goes to him in complete humility, admitting her sins, attesting to her love of Christ. Jesus forgives her sins. There is no Biblical text that defines Mary Magdalene as a prostitute. This is something that was “created” long after she walked with the disciples, following Jesus. Here again, Luke recognizes the significance of a woman.
Luke leaves us with a big question in our minds, as we read this chapter. John the Baptist sent a couple of his followers to question Jesus. They told Jesus that John wanted to know if He was in fact the Messiah. The implication is that John questioned the fact that Jesus hadn’t bailed him out of his mess with Herod and his imprisonment. There are Bible scholars who believe the timing of John’s beheading and Jesus’ crucifixion is misrepresented in the Gospels. Had Jesus already been crucified and resurrected prior to John’s death? Other scholars suggest that God doesn’t always relieve us from our misfortunes, therefore John had to deal with his. This is a question I will have when I get to Heaven, unless Daddy sends me an answer sooner! He and I certainly had this debate more than a few times … just as we debated the notion that Mary Magdalene was more to Jesus than a follower!
I’ll leave you with those two tidbits!
My take-away from this chapter is that it is absolutely ok for us to not understand everything that happens during our life’s journey. I’ll mention again that I was taught from early childhood that everything that happens in life was planned by God at the beginning of time. That is a huge concept, but I don’t doubt it. I was also taught that everything that happens in life, happens for a reason. If I ever doubted that, and I don’t remember a time when I doubted that, I certainly believe it now. I have lived long enough to become wise and it is clear to me that some of my experiences that might not have been perfectly comfortable … have led to things that were indeed incredibly positive. I also believe that I still have time to have experiences that will further confirm that concept.
I’ve mentioned my dad in a couple of my blog posts about Luke! My parents were good Bible teachers, but my dad was especially good with children. He taught junior high boys in Sunday School for many years, and in the opening of each Sunday morning, all classes spent some time together. I was proud of my dad always, but one of the best things I ever heard him tell was this story:
“We want you to come to Sunday School no matter what. If you think your clothes aren’t nice enough, know that we don’t care and we’ll help you get some new clothes. If you don’t have transportation to get here, tell us and somebody will pick you up and bring you. If you think you need a hair cut, tell us and we’ll get you one from our church member barber!” The best part of his brief message was this, “When I was a little boy, my family didn’t have any money. I was invited to Sunday School and the first time I went, I had a nickel to put in the offering. The second time I went, I had another nickel to put in. The third Sunday I went, I didn’t have any money to put in the offering and the teacher asked me where was my money. I didn’t go to Sunday School for the 4th time.” Daddy went on to tell all the kids that they didn’t need money to put in the offering … they should just come to Sunday School. I have inherited his story-telling gene, and I am blessed!
He loved pie … all kinds of pie!
Please follow this link to the recipe on my blog!