Memphis Teacher Residency

The Two Mary’s

I am finishing up reading through The Gospel of John. Late last week I read John 20:11-18 (see below) and the story of when Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene after his crucifixion.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo′ni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Mag′dalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

The passage reminded me of John 19:25

So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother (Mary), and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag′dalene.

So, at the cross of Christ stood two (really three) Mary’s… Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Madalene. Which made me think of whom these two women were… Mary the Mother was the virgin. Mary Magdalene was the demon-possessed (probable) prostitute, “from whom seven demons had gone out from her” (Luke 8:1-3). Knowing the identity of each woman made me think, “Wow, Jesus came for the PURE and the PROSTITUTE. For the ‘PERFECT’ and for the ‘WICKED'”.

These two bookends of morality imagery encompass the entire scope of humanity. I journaled after reading these passaged: “Jesus goes to all creation. To all spectrums and everywhere in between. To the rich and poor; to the high and low; to the male and female; to the insider and the outsider; to the powerful and to the marginalized. To the good and bad. To the right(eous) and wrong. No one. No matter their gender, wealth, status, race, job, zip code… is outside the need for and love, affection and invitation of Christ. He is For all and To all.”

And so will we.
We, too, will be FOR all and TO all.
And to a world that is often FOR and TO only the most powerful, we will show love by being FOR and TO the least powerful to bring life and hope.

It is the way of Christ for us and for the world.