N.B : I am using the Hebrew names of Yeshua and Miriam.
Mary Magdalene and Jesus, as quoted in different Bible versions refer to the same persons. I am pointing it out just to avoid to useless controversy.
Who is Miriam of Magdala ?
We know very little about Miriam of Magdala. The Gospels give us brief references about her. We know from the Gospel accounts that she used to be tormented by 7 demons and that Yeshua delivered her. After undergoing this exorcism, she became a disciple and started following Yeshua. She is one of the most faithful follower to our Lord.
She is named among the female witnesses of the crucifixion and she is also the first to be honored with the sight of our resurrected Lord.
Myriam of Magdala is also mentioned in some apocrypha such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Miriam, that goes back to the 2nd Century. However, the messages delivered in these apocrypha should be handled with care because they refer to some esoteric, gnostic teaching, a heresy from the 2nd Century.
As for the writings being recently excavated and stating that Yeshua was married with children to Miriam of Magdala should be done away with. I call them « unholy sources » and I do consider that the true follower of Yeshua who believes and respects our Lord and Savior should consider them as dirty boulevard press.
First of all, if Yeshua had been married, the Gospels would have spoken about it. The Gospel of Matthew did not hide from us that Yosef, Yeshua’s adoptive father had a normal, marital relationship to Miriam, Yeshua’s mom after our Lord was born. Brothers and sisters of Yeshua are mentioned in the Gospels as well.
Secondly, if one consciously knows that Yeshua is IHVH in the flesh, the thesis of Him being married is instantly ridiculed. Hashem marrying a woman ? Nonsense.
Third, Yeshua walked in purity during His whole time on earth. His « marriage » was His duty to accomplish His Father’s will and to bring Salvation to humanity. His life is a life of total abnegation, even of His own person.
So, if you respect Yeshua the Messiah of Israel, you should envision His relationship to Miriam as something beautiful, pure and holy.
On a side note, the ruins of a synagogue in Magdala where Yeshua supposedly preached have been found recently in Israel.
What the Gospels say about Miriam of Magdala
The Gospel of Luke mentions Miriam along with other female followers. Luke also points out that Miriam, along with her demonic possession, used to suffer from infirmities :
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, about of whom had come seven demons and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
Her name appears later again in Luke chapter 24 where she is mentioned along with another group of females spreading the Good News of our Lord’s Resurrection, but facing male disciple’s disbelief.
Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.
The Gospel of Matthew reports of Miriam of Magdala and the other Miriam coming to the tomb after Shabbat. The Resurrection is announced by an angel of the Lord who exhorts them to announce it to the other disciples.
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.He is not here, for he has risen,as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold,he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
In the Gospel of Matthew there is no record of Miriam’s encounter with Yeshua, but John offers us a touching report.
The scene at the tomb in the Gospel of John
« Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white,seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
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.”At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
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.”
Jesus said to her“Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic,“Rabboni!”.
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.’”
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. »
An ocular witness of Yeshua’s crucifixion must have felt confused and in despair after Yeshua’s death. One must also consider that the disciples feared persecution after these tragic events. Their hearts were probably filled with grief and anxiety.
Miriam of Magdala was the kind of person to be very close to our Lord. Yeshua’s death left her in deep sorrow.
Today we are having the full picture of Yeshua being the Messiah of Israel. But back in the 1st Century, although Yeshua had foreseen and announced crucifixion and resurrection, most disciples were unable to understand the prophetic meaning of our Lord’s sayings.
Let us meet Miriam at the tomb. She is about to witness the greatest miracle that will give hope to all mankind. Deeply affected, heartbroken, she is sitting outside of the tomb, weeping.
Then she sees two angels asking her about her pain.
Miriam was looking for Yeshua’s dead body and thought that somebody had stolen it.
She then glances at someone she mistakes for the gardener. Her eyes are blind to see Yeshua.
I have been asking myself why so many times.
Had Yeshua’s post resurrection appearance changed to the point He was unrecognizable ? Or was it because He now possessed a glorified body ?
Did the depth of her pain contribute her shift in perception ?
Matter of fact, she is able to know it is Yeshua by the familiar tone of His voice.
Her deep sorrow is now changed into joy.
Miriam will now be able to tell the other disciple’s that she’s seen the Lord.
What a beautiful testimony from the first female to experience the glory of the Resurrected.
Copyright© by Isabelle Esling