The Two Marys
Two Marys! Both so beloved of Jesus, their names have evoked all manner of revered wonder among Christians throughout the ages.
Mary, Mother of God
We know that the first Mary was the Mother of our Lord and Savior. She conceived her son miraculously through the Holy Spirit when she was already betrothed to Joseph. Despite the marriage not having been consummated, (the “home-taking” ceremony had not yet taken place), Joseph believed Mary’s story of her encounter with the angel Gabriel telling her she was the chosen one to bear the son of God. Accompanying Joseph to Bethlehem to be counted, as required by law to aid in tax assessments, her time arrived and Jesus was delivered of Mary in a stable, because there was no room at an inn. The tale of the birth of Jesus is perhaps the most revered and beautiful story contained within the texts of the Gospels!
Mary of Magdala
The other Mary was Mary of Magdala. As Jesus traveled from village to village accompanied by his disciples, he not just spread the message of God but performed many healings and miracles, as well. According to Luke 8:2 NIV (and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;) and Mark 16:9 NIV (When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.) Harlots are talked about frequently in the Hebrew Bible, (interestingly, authored by men only), and while the title became somehow attached to Mary of Magdala, nowhere does it say she was actually a prostitute. She gained favor with Christ having been the one who washed his feet, drying them with her hair and applying a soothing balm to them, and thus began her following and burgeoning relationship with Jesus, the extent of which continues to be a hot topic of debate, even today. There is some controversy about how the other disciples reacted to this woman becoming a part of their inner circle, and whose confidences and opinions were given great consideration by Christ, but despite what may have been difficult days as she was dismissed by some of the assemblage, she continued in her devotion to her Master. Mary of Magdala is featured more prominently in the gospels at the time of the crucifixion, named as a witness of the three key events that occur at this time…. she witnessed the crucifixion, she was there at Christ’s burial, and she was present when His tomb was found to be empty.
In recent years, discoveries have taken place that threaten some long-held beliefs among both theologians and the many sects, orders and denominations that comprise Christianity in our world. Now I do not support any stand one way or the other regarding these discoveries at this time. I merely think that there is much about the life of Jesus as well as particulars of the days he shared the word of His Father with the world that are, as yet, unknown. And it may well be the discoveries that are happening at this time in history will fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of His earthly days. These discoveries include an apocryphal book, written in the 4th century, and which is referred to as the Gospel of Mary(1.). It was first discovered in 1896, but not released to the public until 1955. Now while it is not considered to be Canonical (conforming to orthodox or well-established rules) nor a Gospel (focused on recounting the teachings of Jesus during his life), it does provide to us a glimpse into Christianity that existed 1500 years ago! The second is referred to as the Gospel of Jesus Wife(2.). Also written in Coptic in the 4th century, translations of it contain words never seen before in any scripture…. “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’ ”.
Faith does not preclude us from wanting to understand all that we can regarding the things that we have been taught are sacrosanct. I know that learning is a huge part of the mind, heart and soul that was given to me and the rest of you, as well, by our Heavenly Father. It is, after all, how we become the very best person we can be and I know that being our best must also be something God wants for all of us, as well! If it were otherwise, would He then have endowed us with such a thirst to learn and a hunger to understand? I do not think so. You may or may not agree with me. In fact, you may be outraged with me for sharing these things with you today! Either way, that is fine, just as long as you are taking just a moment out of your day to consider, to learn about and think about all of these amazing possibilities!
1) But they were grieved. They wept greatly, saying, How shall we go to the Gentiles and preach the gospel of the Kingdom of the Son of Man? If they did not spare Him, how will they spare us?
2) Then Mary stood up, greeted them all, and said to her brethren, Do not weep and do not grieve nor be irresolute, for His grace will be entirely with you and will protect you.
3) But rather, let us praise His greatness, for He has prepared us and made us into Men.
4) When Mary said this, she turned their hearts to the Good, and they began to discuss the words of the Savior.
5) Peter said to Mary, Sister we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of woman.
6) Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember which you know, but we do not, nor have we heard them.
7) Mary answered and said, What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you.
8) And she began to speak to them these words: I, she said, I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to Him, Lord I saw you today in a vision. He answered and said to me,
9) Blessed are you that you did not waver at the sight of Me. For where the mind is there is the treasure.
10) I said to Him, Lord, how does he who sees the vision see it, through the soul or through the spirit?
11) The Savior answered and said, He does not see through the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind that is between the two that is what sees the vision and it is […]
The Gospel of Mary 5: 1-11
Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry