Mary Magdalene is rightly seen as one of the heroines of the Christian faith. She was there at the foot of the cross when Jesus breathed his last; she was there when he blindsided death and revealed Himself firstly to her and then to the apostles. But for me, it's not just the obvious headlines that make Mary Magdalene a hero; it’s the bits in between.
In Luke Chapter 8, verses 1 to 3, just before Jesus dives into probably one of the most famous parables (the Parable of the sower), Doctor Luke tells us that Jesus is travelling round, from village to village, preaching the gospel, accompanied by the 12...and some women! You see, I've put the exclamation mark there because in first century Palestine, it wasn’t the done thing for a woman to be seen travelling around with the men!
In addition, one of these women, Mary Magdalene, had a bit of a reputation. She's the one who had 7 (yep, Seven) demons cast out of her. So here’s a woman, with a dodgy past, following Jesus. It would have been easy for Mary to not follow Jesus. She could have 'stayed at home' and hidden away to avoid having to share that 'demon' story everywhere she went. But she didn't.
Mary refused to let her past determine her present situation, and in turn refused to let her present situation (being a woman!) determine her future. She knew her Lord; she trusted Him with her past and followed Him towards the future.
I think Jesus is looking for heroes today. Women and Men who will be the person He has called them out to be; to trust Him with their past and allow Him to use it for His glory. In that sense, the Hero needs heroes. He's calling us to step up.
Questions for application
- What might we be holding onto that Jesus has already forgiven and forgotten?
- What do we have in our hands that God might be asking us to put MORE in His hands?
- How do we feel about being a 'hero' for Jesus? What might that look like?