Christ came for the people who knew they are the worst of sinners. The relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene illustrates the souls who appreciate a Savior.
Please read Luke 8:1-3 before starting GraspingGod.com's free Bible study lessons, # 2.13.
Previous lesson: Jesus and the Moneychangers #2.12.
Preliminary Bible Study Questions:
1) Who was Mary Magdalene?
2) Who was the first person to see Jesus' empty tomb?
3) Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married?
Other suggested readings: John 20:11-18 and Mark 15:40-47.
Jesus' life was full of wonderful relationships. Questions such as, "Did Jesus get married?" and even, "Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married?" are very tempting to ask. Let's study the Bible's evidence that can address these specific questions.
Mary Magdalene is an interesting and wonderful woman, so her life should be an enlightening study on many counts. We'll learn who Mary Magdalene is and also who she isn't! That's necessary because there are at least six "Marys" in Scripture, confusing many people.
Mary Magdalene is first mentioned in the Bible in Luke 8:1-3 and she is introduced as a woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons. Yes, seven demons!
Think about that the next time you're dealing with temptation. How would you like to be battling seven powers of hell who reside inside your body? Mary must have been a walking zombie, like something out of Night of the Living Dead. Jesus and Mary Magdalene had an interesting introduction, to put it mildly.
Mary Magdalene was from the town of Magdal and yes, that is what her last name means. Magdal was a town known for prostitution. You can imagine what kind of physical and mental shape she was in, because of the demon possession and possible life of prostitution she led.
Christians, pause a moment, please think about this situation with Jesus and Mary Magdalene. She was a complete mess when Jesus approached her. Satan had seven of his demons living inside of her. She was more than likely a harlot.
What would you have done had you come across this poor woman? Seriously. Would you have attempted to run from her? Or, would you have tried to help her and share Jesus' gospel with her? Think about it, playing it out in your life. Always be looking for where God is working.
Some religions would stone her, but that is not what Jesus did. Nor is it how we are to act. Always remember the story of Jesus and Mary Magdalene when crossing paths with unseemly people.
This passage in Luke also talks about Mary Magdalene as one of the women who were "contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples." Mary Magdalene remembered her past, being eternally grateful to Jesus Christ for rescuing her from such sin and shame. She supported these men with money and Christian service, so the men could minister to other people.
She sacrificed greatly for Jesus' earthly ministry and for the establishment of Christianity. Pretty important gal, wouldn't you agree? Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married? Ha! We'll get to that question in a few minutes. Let's keep digging for facts.
Let's take a break for a moment and clarify the person of Mary Magdalene. As previously noted, there are at least six different "Marys" mentioned in the Scriptures. First, the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.
There was Mary of Bethany, sister to Martha and Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. Yet another Mary was the mother of the disciple James and Joses (Matthew 27:55-61). Some theologians believe this to be Jesus' mother, because Jesus had brothers named James and Joses.
Also, Mary, the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12) who is the author of the Book of Mark. She also provided housing, safety, and food for the disciples after Pentecost. Finally, a woman named Mary from Rome, of which we know little except that she labored vigorously for Paul and friends (Romans 16:6).
Mary Magdalene is NONE of these women, neither can we say with certainty that she is the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50; nor in John 8:1-11.
We'll now address the fact that Mary Magdalene was a very special person in Jesus' life. Jesus and Mary Magdalene began their relationship in an unusual way - in ministry. Mary Magdalene was the recipient of God's grace on this particular day. Jesus cast seven demons out of her. We don't know the details about this exorcism, probably because it wouldn't have been proper for the gospel writers to share Mary Magdalene's appearance at the time. Yikes! You'll have to imagine that yourself.
Luke 8:1-3 tells us that Jesus invited Mary Magdalene on a particular ministry trip along with the disciples and a couple other women. This seemed a bit unusual because women at the time were oppressed in the culture.
Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and the others, had a very memorable time of ministry on this particular trip.
Mary Magdalene got to listen to Jesus preach parables to a very large crowd (Luke 8:4-18). She heard Jesus tell a crowd that his real family isn't his mother and brothers and sisters, but his family is anyone who hears God's word and obeys it (Luke 8:19-21). Mary Magdalene was either close by, or with the disciples in the boat when a huge storm arose. They awoke Jesus and after Jesus castigated them for a lack of faith he calmed the storm.
Jesus and Mary Magdalene spent lots of time together, along with the disciples.
Mary Magdalene also watched Jesus cast a legion of demons out of a wild man. The demons fled into the pigs and the pigs jumped off a cliff into the sea. That had to be a sight to behold! Mary could probably relate well to the wild man except that she only had seven demons.
She also got to witness an older woman being healed by Jesus. Finally, she was nearby when Jairus' daughter was raised from the dead. Mary Magdalene was definitely shown tremendous respect by Jesus at a time when honoring women wasn't done by "real" men. Jesus and Mary Magdalene served God together in an exciting ministry.
There were three Marys supporting Jesus all the way to the cross - Jesus' mother, Jesus' aunt (Mary, wife of Clopas) and Mary Magdalene.
These three Marys watched in horror as Jesus was sentenced, mocked, beaten, tortured, mocked some more and then forced to carry his own cross. Their son, nephew, deliverer and friend was then nailed to the cross, where he hung 'til his death.
These three Marys, along with the disciple whom Jesus loved (John), fully knew that this was the Son of God, their Messiah. No one else fully understood who Jesus was at this point in time. Again, Mary Magdalene was in very honored company.
Mourning ensued for Mary Magdalene. She lost her Deliverer. The One who freed her soul of seven tormenting demons had died.
On the third day after the crucifixion Mary Magdalene and another Mary visited Jesus' tomb in order to apply more burial spices.
After an earthquake struck, an angel from heaven appeared and the women
dropped to their knees and hid their faces in fear. The stone had been
rolled away and Jesus' tomb was empty! Then the angel told the women
that Jesus had risen! The angel instructed them to go tell the
On the way to the disciples' meeting place, Jesus and Mary Magdalene met. Mary had an encounter with the risen Christ! She thought she was speaking with the gardener, but Jesus loudly stated, "Mary!" She was in shock.
She was trying to embrace him. Jesus stopped her and told her to stop because he hadn't yet ascended to heaven. He instructed her to go tell the disciples that she had seen him.
This is a great honor for Mary Magdalene. She was the first person in all the world to see the empty tomb and the risen Jesus Christ! That's the last we read of Jesus and Mary Magdalene's relationship in the Scriptures. Mary is mentioned no more in recorded history.
Okay, okay, I know you're dying to get answers to our study questions! Let's start with the most interesting one: Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married?
Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a beautiful relationship.
Jesus saved her life, but, more importantly saved her soul.
She in turn followed him and supported his ministry, as a disciple. Jesus honored Mary Magdalene in countless ways, many I'm sure aren't recorded in the Scriptures. Don't forget, Mary Magdalene had been a tremendous sinner, full of hellish demons.
But the Lord, as he so often does, calls on the greatest sinners to become his favorite followers. The size and quantity of the sin doesn't matter, but the contrition for the sin certainly does. Sweet repentance is what God looks for in a person and the greater the sin that's forgiven, usually the greater love and loyalty is returned to God (Luke 7:47-48).
Mary Magdalene was blessed beyond comprehension by her Lord, Jesus Christ.
We sinful humans, always wanting to romanticize every story, ought to be ashamed. There are no written accounts of Jesus and Mary Magdalene becoming married. There are no words of intimacy between them and no wedding ceremonies.
Mary calls Jesus her "Lord" (John 20:13) and "Teacher" (John 20:16) but never "Honey!" Nor does she ever refer to him as her husband. Likewise, Jesus never refers to Mary by any name or title that would reveal a marriage between the two.
Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married? Jesus and Mary Magdalene were not married.
In answer to the question "Did Jesus get married?" we can only conclude with an emphatic, "No. Jesus did not get married."
First of all, there is no purpose for Jesus getting married. Secondly, neither are there eyewitness accounts, or any recorded information of any such things.
Jesus is fully God and fully human, and for him to marry a regular human and experience sexual relations would have been an abomination.
Jesus Christ locked certain angels in hell for leaving their natural angelic domain and entering the human domain (aka angels fornicating with humans) (Genesis 6:1-4; Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4-5).
Jesus would not and could not leave his natural divine domain.
Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married? Was Jesus married? No and no. Sorry to sadden you hopeless romantics, but I have to protect the full person of Jesus Christ, that is, both Divine and human.
Jesus Christ was on the greatest mission in the history of mankind - he
had no inclination or time for an activity such as marriage.
Jesus' Kingdom is spiritual and there is no marriage in heaven, with the one exception of Jesus being the groom for his soon-coming Bride, the Church (2 Corinthians 11:1-2). The Church is made up of his true believers and they will all soon unite. Christ's only bride is his Church, of which he is coming soon to gather (Ephesians 5:25-27).
Join our next lesson: Jesus at the Well #2.14
Bible Study Questions:
1) Why do you believe Jesus allowed Mary Magdalene, but not the wild man, to follow him after their exorcisms, even though both had multiple demons possessing them?
2) Notice how people support Jesus' work and ministry after being saved by him. What do you commit to him after all he has done for you?
3) What could be some reasons why the resurrected Christ told Mary Magdalene to not touch him?
4) Jesus is the same today as he was when calling Mary's name (John 20:16). Does this help you grasp how personal he is with those he loves? Can you hear when he calls your name (John 10:27)?
Inspirational Bible Verses:
But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.
Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
In his life Christ is an example,
showing us how to live;
In his death he is a sacrifice,
satisfying for our sins;
In his resurrection, a conqueror;
In his ascension, a king;
In his intercession, a high priest. Martin Luther Quotes
We may not like the Jesus of the historical documents; but like him or not, we meet him there as a divine being on whom our personal destiny depends. John Warwick Montgomery
Anything that one imagines of God apart from Christ is only useless thinking and vain idolatry. Martin Luther Quotes
Prayers of Thanksgiving:
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for saving Mary Magdalene, formerly such a sinner. She is such a wonderful example of someone who greatly changed after meeting you. You can surely heal and save the worst humans, Lord, and because of that special power, all praise and honor goes to you. Help us to see exactly why we need your salvation, no matter our level of sinfulness. In Christ's name, Amen
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