Women in the Bible

Women in the New Testament - Mary Magdalene

This devotional is written by Aileen Mogues. St Mary's has been home for 19 years, even when I haven't been there. When my daughter is asleep I watch videos of her over the years. I think there are probably better ways to spend my free time?

John 20:11–18

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying?'

'They have taken my Lord away,' she said, 'and I don't know where they have put him.' 14 At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?'

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'

16 Jesus said to her, 'Mary.'

She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' (which means 'Teacher').

17 Jesus said, 'Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."'

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: 'I have seen the Lord!' And she told them that he had said these things to her.


I was recently driving on a very grey day. The clouds were dark, it was drizzling, cold and yuck and I was grumpy about it. I felt like it looked. I focused on the road, the clouds and the misery of it all. At a Junction I stopped and for the first time I really looked up, above the clouds I saw a glimmer of light, I noticed the flowers and trees beginning to bloom, all this colour of spring in the grey. I felt my shoulders loosen, I took a deep breath. I felt so much better seeing beyond the grey. Over the years I've noted a consistent trait in myself that you may identify with. When something difficult happens, I tend to focus all my attention and energy on that thing. Focusing on what's gone wrong, and been painful, then feeling like there is no hope in the situation. The reality is that the thing itself may be really hard, it may be 'hopeless' and grey and yuck, but God is calling me to place my attention somewhere else. Mary, so filled with grief and despair that her entire attention is on the dead Jesus. The dead Jesus is what she expects to find. Her grief and anxiety are just compounded as she sees the situation seemingly get worse and worse which always seems to be the case when bad stuff happens, "Bad things come in threes" and all that. Even when Jesus is standing right in front of her, she can't see him. Jesus is ALWAYS standing there with us, he's alive, he's won the victory and He has a solution for everything that appears impossible and overwhelming. He calls our name and gives us "beauty instead of ashes" Isaiah 61:3

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