Mary Magdalene is quite a familiar gal, as she was often on the scene during Jesus' ministry. Her presence was even found at the crucifixion, and her tears soaked the ground just outside where Jesus was laid.
Many people have adopted an unbiblical view of Mary. But truly, who was she?
Who Mary Wasn't
First of all, Mary wasn't Jesus' wife. This is an outright heresy that must be put to death. Jesus was not married, nor did he pursue a wife. There's nothing in Scripture that would draw a person to such a conclusion.
Another misconception about Mary Magdalene is that she was sexually impure. This claim trails back to 591 AD, being found within a sermon given by Pope Gregory the Great. In his sermon, he aligned Mary with the woman caught in adultery and the woman who anointed Jesus with her hair the night before his death—something the bible doesn't do.
Unfortunately, this incorrect information has been carried through the years as a sort of tradition, but there's nothing in Scripture that connects Mary Magdalene to these accounts. She may have been sexually promiscuous, but since we don't know for sure, it would be wise to stick to the facts.
Who Mary Was
Mary was a woman tormented by seven demons until the day she met Jesus. He was gracious to her, casting them out and giving her eyes to see him as Lord (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2).
He freed her from her infirmities and sin, and from that day forward, she became a faithful follower.
Mary, along with other women, began traveling with Jesus and the disciples, striving to provide for their needs. She gave her life to serving the Savior who would soon serve her by dying in her place (Luke 8:1-3).
And when He died, she was there (Matthew 27:55-56). The majority of the disciples had fled, but there stood just a few people, including Mary. She had been recognized as a follower of him, but her love for Jesus outweighed her fears.
She loved Jesus deeply. And he loved her.
Mary was the first person Jesus spoke to after his resurrection (John 20:11-18), and when she recognized Him, she fell to His feet and clung for dear life. Oh, how she loved her Savior.
Following Mary's Example
I often wonder how I'll react when I see Jesus face to face. Will I cling to him as Mary did? I believe so.
We cling to the beautiful and treasure the most valuable in this life. Mary knew who held within Himself the most value and beauty ever to exist: Jesus, the One who always has existed and always will. All other "treasures" waste away in time. But as Christians, we must cling to the ultimate Treasure.
We can follow in the faithful footsteps of Mary Magdalene. We can (and should) live our lives in gratefulness to God for how He's freed us from sin, and lay them down to serve God and build His Kingdom. We follow Him, even through fear, suffering, or death. And friends, we must love our Savior deeply with every ounce of our being.
Let us cling to the One who is making us into faithful followers with every step.
"And he answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27 ESV