Mary Magdalene gets some pretty gaudy press. She’s labeled a prostitute among other things, and a Jesus groupie. One thing most people (me included) are surprised to hear is her being called an “apostle”.
Of course the term “apostle” is applied to such stalwart servants of Jesus as Peter, James and John; these are the “messengers” of God, the apostles, ones sent by heaven above to change the world. Mary was just a hanger-on, somebody to wash feet and cook…right? I mean, what else could she do? She didn’t have the best reputation and she wasn’t one of the boys. What kind of resume´ could Mary Magdalene bring to the table?
Well, for starters (if you’re making comparisons):
...Mary didn’t cower outside of Pilate’s home when Jesus was arrested, denying she’d ever known him – like Peter.
· .....Mary never thought Jesus was crazy – like Jesus’ brothers.
· .....Mary didn’t scatter and hide with the rest of the “apostles” when they nailed the Christ to a cross.
· .....And Mary never persecuted the church like Paul, who wrote a third of the New Testament.
No, Mary was certainly NOT like the other apostles; Mary was an apostle TO the apostles. Jesus chose Mary to deliver the most important message one human ever gave to another. Jesus said to her: …go find my brothers and tell them….
Mary’s “apostle-ship” is no different than Peter, James, John, Paul and the others. They were great sinners too; forgiven, called and sent!
And, just in case there’s any doubt, remember Mary washing Jesus’ feet? Here’s what Jesus said about Magdalene, that great sinner:
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47-48 (NLT)
Add that forgiveness to Jesus’ calling Mary to “go tell” and you have an apostle’s resume´ as valid as any of the boys Jesus called.
So…the point is…
The point is not about who can stand in a pulpit on Sunday at 11am. The point isn’t about ordination, titles and bragging rights. The point is about standing in our calling, despite the approval or disapproval of those who presume to judge.
Mary preached the Gospel; she told what she’d been told to tell!
And isn’t it just that simple?
For You, Today…
How’s your resume´?
A little spotty?
Are you not a poster child for the credential-minded?
Stand firm in the Lord. Forgiveness never checks our pedigree; God looks at our repentant heart and willing hands.
You sins are forgiven – now…GO tell!