Biblical People

Biblical People: Mary (2) Magdalene

Recent public opinion about Mary Magdalene has not been kind, with people making unfounded assumptions about her. Some think she’s a prostitute or accuses her of an immoral lifestyle, but we don’t find that in the Bible.

What Scripture does say is that Jesus cast seven demons out of her. Regardless of how we understand this, we know that Jesus makes her life much better.

In response, Mary Magdalene shows her gratitude by following Jesus and helping to support him financially. She’s also there, along with a few other women, when Jesus dies and later when he’s buried.

The next day, Mary Magdalene leads a group to his tomb to properly prepare his body, according to the customs of the day. 

Of course, they can’t do this because Jesus isn’t there. Angels at the grave tell her Jesus has risen from the dead, that he is alive. Later Jesus appears to her and tells her to let the disciples know.

This is significant, as two thousand years ago a woman’s testimony wasn’t legally accepted, but to underscore God’s affirmation of women, he has them deliver the breaking news of the most significant event in human history. This makes a female the first apostle after Jesus’s death.

Like Mary Magdalene, people sometimes think or say things about us that aren’t true. While this can hurt deeply, it’s God’s opinion that counts. 

What people say about us shouldn’t matter, but does it? Is our conscience clear before God?

[Discover more about Mary Magdalene in Matthew 27:55–28:10, Luke 8:1–3, Luke 24:1–10, John 19:25, and John 20:1–18.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.