Mary, the foot washer was the sister of Lazarus. The family lived in Bethany.
The period between 30AD and 33AD listed many confusing Marys, including Jesus’ mother. Mary of Magdala and Mary of Bethany worshiped and followed the same God. They inhabited the same world. Maybe they talked when they met.
Mary of Magdala, also called Mary Magdalene, comes from Mary's city of birth, Magdala, near the Galilee River. Jesus met her there when he healed her of seven demons.
She did not crash Simon's party and wash Jesus' feet. The woman who washed Jesus' feet shocked Simon the Leper and party as "that sort of woman" which implies sexual sin. He criticized Jesus because he let her touch him.
The only demon-possessed people in the Bible that I remember:
1. The man who kept breaking his chains. He frightened people. No worries about sexual sin with him: only a disturbed girl might want him.
2. The servant girl who followed Peter to tell everyone that Jesus was God. She angered Peter and he cast out her demon, destroying the income of her owners. No sign of sexual sin.
3. Jesus healed a man of a blind and mute spirit. Matthew 22:3
4. He healed Mary Magdalene of seven demons. Luke 8:2. Nowhere does it say Mary's seven demons were sensual. Did she have a deaf and dumb spirit? Did she have an embarrassing flow of blood that continued for years? Was she simply ill?
Please correct me if you remember other instances of demon possession in the Bible.
Mary of Magdala supported Jesus financially. Where did she get the money? Did her husband give it to her? Or did it come from a widow's estate? Why do we imagine her unmarried?
Jesus chose her to find the empty tomb, and then to meet him on the road after his crucifixion--special moments he gave to her first. He assigned her to tell the others. He loved her as his faithful servant.
What do you think?
Painting by Domenico Zampieri (born 1581, Bologna, Italy)
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Patricia Annalee Kirk