Being misunderstood can happen when others have false information, misperceptions, half truths, personal biases or prejudices toward a person or a situation.
We all have been misunderstood…some of us more than others.
- Say something that comes out wrong…misunderstood.
- A child is labeled as unable to learn because he can’t read and later find out that he has a learning disability and is a very bright child…misunderstood.
- Someone is painfully shy and comes off as being too good to talk to anyone…misunderstood.
- A jealous person makes up lies about you on Facebook…misunderstood.
- A speaker comes off as having it all together, when in truth, if you get to know her, you would find she is a real person with real problems…just like you…often misunderstood.
In 1970, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote “Jesus Christ Super Star”. In that famous production, Mary Magdalene, as stated by Liz Curtis Higgs in her book, Mad Mary, said “When the Mary Magdalene character sang ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ that she had something other than pious devotion in mind. Not only did the movie’s interpretation of Mary Magdalene include a lurid past, but Mary’s presence didn’t look too respectable either.”
Having become a Christian, I was studying the scriptures and realized that I needed to revisit the true identity one of the most notorious women who followed Jesus during his ministry. I found that she was not at all what history had made her out to be. The Bible tells us a different story as to who this Mary Magdalene that negates popular, false ideas that have arisen about her throughout history. I found that this women, outside of Mary who was the mother of Jesus, was the most amazing of all other women who followed Jesus.
- Mentioned 14 times in the New Testament
- Luke 8: 1-3 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;
- She was from Magdalene, thus the name Mary Magdalene. It was a prosperous town of about 15,000, on the western shore of Tiberius. It had an active trade of fish, fabrics and turtle doves and pigeons. It was also known for the harlotry that was practiced there and was the area where Jesus did most of his ministry.
- Mary Magdalene was not a harlot. She was a sinner like you and me.
- She was tormented by Satan’s demons and was in desperate need of the Savior. Jesus came to the area andHe healed her from the demons and she became a new women. She was made totally whole as if she was never demonized.
- Mary Magdalene, among a couple other women, financially supported Jesus and the disciples (Luke 8:1-3).
- She witnessed Jesus’ death and was the first person to see Him resurrected (John 20:11-18).
- And she likely awaited the descent of the Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended (Acts 1:14).
Now she was, for the first time in only God knows how long, free to think, to speak, to love, and to be a real person with feelings! For the first time in her life, she experienced grace, and peace, and a new purpose in life. She had truly been transformed and knew that she could not live without Jesus, her Savior.
As Christians, we have the responsibility to make sure that we have the historical facts correct when it comes to the Bible, even things that seem insignificant. Understanding Mary Magdalene in the biblical account, should serve as an example of God’s caring grace in saving those who are under Satan’s control. Our sins are not fatal. They are forgiven and forgotten by Jesus when we confess Him as our savior. God calls all of His children to focus on what is ahead rather what is behind them and to live lives loving God and others well.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12).
“…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).