I'm very picky about the books I read. Devotionals are at the top of the list of types of books I normally do not buy because they are a study of the Bible from another's view point. There are very few I've read and would recommend. The devotional book, I'm sharing today is one I would not recommend to just anyone but someone who I know is grounded in the Bible. There are things the author and I do not agree upon; like the facts in the story of Dinah and her horrible situation and Leah never finding joy in her marriage, just to name two. Knowing how to pick through one's view point to get to the meat of the Biblical principles is a valuable tool.
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As I mentioned early, you'll need to pick through Mrs. Taylor's view point on certain matters, but over all I enjoyed the study in the book A Look Within by Faith Alvis Taylor. Included in the book there is a study on Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Miriam, Hannah, Michal, Esther, and Mary Magdalene.
When I got to the chapter on Mary Magdalene, I really learned a lot. There is not a tremendous amount of information about her in the Bible. But what is there, really tells a lot about what kind of person she was.
In every verse that Mary Magdalene is mentioned - Jesus was there also. The only thing is, Mary Magdalene was in the crowd that followed and ministered unto Jesus. (Matthew 27:56-61, 28:1-7, Mark 15:40-41, 47, 16:1-11,Luke 8:1-3,Luke 24:10, John 19:25, John 20:1-18)
This word minister according to Webster's dictionary means: to give aid or service.
I can only imagine what it must have been like to minister to Jesus. To be there and offer a cup of water, to gather food and prepare it for Him to eat. Or to take a message to someone. What a real blessing to would have been.
Mary Magdalene not only ministered unto Jesus when He was alive, but she tried to minister unto Him when He was hanging on the cross and at His burial. How sad, it must have been to be at the cross that day and then at the tomb that evening. I can't even imagine what must have been going through Mary Magdalene's mind.
When I read about when Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene in the garden after He arose, I get chills up my arms. To think Jesus chose her to be the first he appears to. Why? I think it has a lot to do with how she ministered unto Jesus and how she believed in who He is and what He came to do. I think her character had a lot to do with it.
What kind of character do you think Mary Magdalene had? I think she was Believing - she believed everything Jesus told her. I think she was Faithful - she was there in the "background" doing all that she could to help His ministry. I think she was Trustworthy - she could be sent to deliver a message about the resurrection. I think she was Competent- she could handle any job that was placed upon her. I think she was a Friend - she was with Jesus' mother Mary at one of the darkest moments in her life. She was there at the cross, watching all that was going on and at the sepulcher when Jesus was being buried.
Why would Mary Magdalene spend so much time ministering to Jesus? I believe that Mary Magdalene was extremely Grateful, for all that Jesus had done for her. At one time, she was a possessed women walking around the town, now she was a follower and believer of Jesus.
Mary Magdalene is one of many who are mentioned in the Bible, who had a "past," but they served the Lord. We can be just like this, no matter what our past maybe like. Jesus doesn't require us to give up our lives and families to serve Him. In fact we know what is required of us when we read Deuteronomy 10:12-13 And now, Israel, what do the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord the God, to walk in all his ways and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy god with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
When I think about all that Jesus went through, for me, for us. Why can't we give our whole lives to Him?
|A Look Within: A Women's Bible Study
By Faith Alvis Taylor / JourneyForth