Mary Magdalene: Devoted Disciple of Jesus Christ
Scripture: Mark 15:37-16:13
Lesson: We can be set free from our past and become devoted disciples of Jesus.
Her Story – Summary:
“We know little about this woman other than that her name indicates that she was from Magdala in Galilee. Somewhere in Galilee she met Jesus, who cast seven demons out of her. She then joined the band of disciples and followed Jesus wherever he went (Lk 8:2), ending up in Jerusalem at the foot of the cross when all the male disciples had fled (Mk 15:40; Jn 19:25). She observed Jesus’ burial (Mk 15:47) and witnessed the events surrounding the resurrection. Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; and Luke 24:10 group her with the other women who go to the tomb, but John gives her the role of first to discover the resurrection, first to report to the disciples, and first to see the resurrected Christ as she lingers by the tomb weeping after all the others have gone (Jn 20:1, 2, 11–18). This faithful disciple, however, was not allowed to touch her Lord (Jn 20:17).” 1
A Woman Set Free and Devoted Disciple
Scripture doesn’t tell us much more about this Mary. No family is mentioned. Nothing specific about her life prior to meeting Jesus. We could infer from scripture (since there was no mention of Mary’s family) that either she had no living members, or, most likely, they had disowned her due to her demon possession.
He accepted her into His inner circle. She was so thankful that Jesus set her free. Mary ministered to Jesus in life:
“Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while ministering to Him. Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.” Matthew 27:55-56 NASB
Mary wanted to minister to Jesus in His death, too:
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.” Mark 16:1 NASB
Mary became devoted to Jesus. She became a disciple, joined His family and served Him. The joy of her salvation overflowed into her life. Mary Magdalene was an overcomer. That’s plain to see by looking at how she lived after being delivered. She did not dwell on her past. Mary walked out of her life of demon possession and into her life as daughter of the King of Kings. No looking back.
The biggest blessing Mary received from her life of service and devotion to Jesus was being the first person to see our risen Savior! What an honor. She didn’t hold this special moment private in her heart. She proclaimed it!
“Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.” John 20:18 NASB
Study Questions/Journal Prompts
1: What lesson is God teaching you through Mary’s story? How can you apply it to your life?
2: Are you still labeled by your past? In Christ, you are a new creation! Take the old labels and lies you have believed about yourself and replace them with the truth of who you are in Christ Jesus.
1 Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Mary. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, pp. 1411–1412). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
Ellen is passionate about scripture and her desire is to see women dig into God’s Word and thirst after Him with all their hearts. A truth dweller and storyteller, she writes at EllenChauvin.com, where she encourages her readers to soak in God’s Word and sprout seeds of faith.
She pens her stories from the Bayou Country of South Louisiana, where gumbo and crawfish reign and majestic oaks provide shade for weary sojourners. When not writing and mining the depths of God’s Word, you can find Ellen digging in her flower beds, relaxing on the back porch, hanging out with her grandkids, or traveling with her husband, John. You can follow Ellen on Facebook and Instagram.