The Same God
It's interesting to consider the different
perspectives of who
Jesus really was during his earthly ministry,
who he was in the figure of
what he was there to accomplish
The Same God who is Yeshua Incarnate, is the same God who
instructs the adversary.
He's both the Lion of adversity who prowls
in the night,
and the Lion of Judah who conquers and delivers from that adversary.
He's the god who ordered Jesus to instruct Judas
to betray him,
and the same God who afflicted Mary with seven demons,
precisely so that
Jesus could CURE her of seven demons,
all for his Glory.
During Yeshuas ministry, everyone was under OT law.
It's funny, the NT wasn't even a thing.
The resurrected Jesus and earthly Jesus were unique.
We know that anger is a sin, and we also know that
Yeshua often got angry at the religious leaders.
The diety of the resurrected Christ was sinless,
but how can a human man in a physical body be sinless?
Jesus the man was human, perhaps he was only
after the crucifixion and appropriation for our sins,
after he had glorified the father?
It's very interesting to contemplate the differences in
his human form and resurrected form,
the kingdom of this world, and the kingdom to come...
The Gospel of the Kingdom, and the Gospel of Grace.
Jesus was sinless, because God deemed him sinless.
He was fully human, with the fullness of diety
indwelling in him.
He didn't pass enough as "God" by
the majority, the leaders, or even those
closest to him.
We know Mary was portrayed as a sinless Virgin,
but chosen as a vessel for unmerited grace.
We don't know what Mary Magdalene's sins were,
all we know
is that she was afflicted, like likely with a disease,
which again, was derived from the authority of God.
And there's the widely accepted belief that
Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple or married.
Why did the Pharisees and
common Law of his day
as such a controversial, rebel sinner-
when Most Christians today think the opposite?
We intimately know the Holy Spirit,
how well do we know Jesus as the man?
According to Luke 3:1,
John the Baptist began his ministry
in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign; AD 28 or 29.
Jesus began His ministry shortly thereafter, so, around AD 29.
As for the end of His ministry, we know that it culminated with
His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
According to John’s Gospel, Jesus attended
at least three annual Feasts of Passover through the course of
His ministry: one in John 2:13,
another in 6:4, and then the Passover of His crucifixion in 11:55–57.
Just based on that information,
Jesus’ ministry lasted 2 years, at the least.
Because of the amount of things that Jesus accomplished and the places
He traveled during His ministry, many scholars believe there was another Passover, not mentioned in the Gospels, which fell between
the Passovers of John 2 and John 6.
This would lengthen Jesus’ ministry to at least 3 years.
We can add more time because of all that took place before
the first Passover of Jesus’ ministry in John 2.
By the time of that first Passover
(in the spring of 30),
Jesus had already traveled from the area of the
Jordan to Cana to Capernaum to Jerusalem.
He had been baptized by John (Matthew 3:13–17),
been tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–2),
began His preaching ministry (Matthew 4:17),
called His first disciples (John 1:35–51),
performed His first miracle (John 2:1–11),
and made a trip to Capernaum with His family (John 2:12).
All this would have taken several months, at least.
Add to that the
40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension
and we have a total length of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
From His baptism to His ascension, the late summer of 29 to
the spring of 33, we have approximately 3½ years.
From a human perspective, the ultimate reason why
Jesus’ ministry was so short is that He was crucified--cut down
in the prime of life, as they say.
Leading up to Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion were a
falling away of many followers
a division of public opinion concerning Him (John 7:43),
and of course the mounting wrath of the religious leaders
Human wisdom would have advised Jesus to tone down
His rhetoric a bit, not rock the boat, and find some common
ground with the power brokers in Jerusalem.
If Jesus had wanted to retain His adoring crowds,
He could have continued to wow them with miracles every day
(especially the edible ones, John 6:26)
He could have heightened His mass appeal by crafting a “positive” message, elevating His listeners’ self-worth, or in some other way tickling ears.
If He had wanted to prolong His ministry,
Jesus could have avoided confrontation altogether--
He would have had no ministry.
The truth is that Jesus’ ministry was short because,
in three-and-a-half years, He accomplished everything
He had been sent to do.
His ministry was no longer than it had to be.
Jesus finished the work of preaching the gospel to Israel
(Luke 4:43) and redeeming mankind (Hebrews 7:27).
Jesus’ ministry was carried out in total submission to the
authority of the Father
(John 6:38; 7:28).
Jesus spoke only what the Father told Him to speak and
did only what the Father told Him to do
(John 12:49; 14:10).
His single-focused goal
accomplish the Father’s will
And that’s exactly what He did. God sent His Son on a mission,
and soon it was mission accomplished.
The crucifixion did not cut Jesus’ ministry short.
The crucifixion was the whole point of His ministry.
Jesus was born to die, and His life was His to give:
“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord”
Just before His arrest, Jesus prayed,
“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing
the work you gave me to do”
On the cross, Jesus knew
“that everything had now been finished”
(John 19:28), and just before He died He said,
“It is finished”
Jesus’ ministry was short, but it did not need to be any longer.
The Law was fulfilled, the prophecies were realized,
and the salvation of mankind was secured.
We all think we know Jesus well,
but do we?
Jesus was fully divine and fully Human.
He wasn't always calm and keeping the peace,
there were distinct times during his earthly ministry
where the man got... Angry!
What does this other side of Jesus look like- the side
we don't showcase often?
Who really knew him?
In the Gospel of Mary,
which isn’t officially recognized by the Church,
Mary Magdalene is framed as the
only disciple who
understands Jesus’ spiritual message,
which puts her in
direct conflict with the apostle Peter
Mary describes to the
other apostles a vision she has had of
Jesus following his death.
Peter grows hostile, asking why Jesus would especially
grant Mary — a woman --a
Mary Magdalene’s special understanding
of Jesus’ message,
and Peter’s failure to recognize her validity for that reason is
very significant of scripture.
The twelve disciples didn’t quite “get” Jesus in the
same way Mary Magdalene did.
The disciples are waiting for Jesus to overthrow the Romans and
create anew kingdom, one without death or suffering.
Following Jesus’ death,
Mary Magdalene has come to the conclusion
that “the kingdom is here and now.”
The Church has historically sidelined Mary not just because of her gender,
but also because of her message. The Church specifically promulgated
the idea that she was a sex worker in order
to “devalue” her message
(Perhaps God had further reasoning for that)
Mary Magdalene’s alternative ideas proved too dangerous
for the Church to allow them to spread.
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene under-minded
Church bureaucracy and
favors personal understanding.
The City Magdala
("Tower or Castle" in Hebrew) resides on the south west corner of
The Sea of Galilee.
This was the main location to salt and cure fish for this area.
This city also was a shipbuilding center (arcs or vessels),
a trading center and a wealthy town. The population was mainly Gentile.
This city was also known for dye works and primitive textile factories.
Mary was known to be an educated craftsman who used her skills
in the town's textile trading community. She would later became the
sole provider for
Jesus Ministry through her own resources.
This city was also a well known seaside resort for the
Romans and the Greeks.
Its reputation was " What happens in Magdala stays in Magdala"
This town had a bad reputation for many years from the Jewish perspective and this would be
reflected onto Mary Magdalene's mythology.
The name Mary
was derived from the ancient Hebrew name Miriam.
Miriam was the name of Moses’ sister in the Old Testament.
This name may have come from a
root meaning “beloved,” or from a word meaning
“bitter” or “rebellious,” a reference to the
biblical Miriam’s life as a slave in Egypt.
The root of the name “Mary” is derived from the notion
of trouble and sorrow
or in (Greek form for Miriam - "Strong".)
Being a common name during this time period, this Mary was
distinguished from all others by being referred to as
which identifies her as being born in Magdala,
a thriving city on the coast of Galilee about three miles from Capernaum.
(The Blessed Virgin Mary refers to herself as "Handmaid of the Lord" as a sign of humility and respectfulness in the presence of great men, prophets and kings. In that instance of the Annunciation from the angel Gabriel because he was a messenger of God. The term Handmaid comes from two Hebrew words (shiphchah and ‘amah) both meaning a female slave.
The Virgin Mary was a simple humble maid who was deeply in love with God, her faith knows no boundary, when She accepted God’s invitation to be the mother of the son of God)
Being known for its textile factories and dye works.
Mary Magdalene was connected in some way with the industry,
which enabled her to help support the ministry of Jesus.
Mary grew up in a Pharisee Jewish home, a faith
strictly observed and full of love. Women then were not taught how to
read, but Mary learned secretly.
Women were expected to have children and manage the home, education was not necessary or expected. In the synagogue, women were separated from their husbands and banished to the back of the worship hall.
"God her oath"
Shortly after the child was born, the Canaanite idol
took possession of Mary's mind and started to
demand her obedience
Before Mary could fight back, there were
seven devils living within her.
Mary could no longer handle the devils within her and she
told Joel the whole story. Joel took Mary to see the town's rabbi.
After many long hours and rituals, the devils remained with her.
Soon the whole village knew about Mary's devil possession and they wanted her to leave and never come back. Joel would raise Elishiba with the
help of the extended family. Soon, Mary was given a cloak, a walking stick, a bag of water and food good for three days and she left.
The town's rabbi suggested she go to
and hopefully a prophet or holy man could heal her.
Many days later, Mary stumbled down a steep hill and
found the Jordan River.
Her cloak was in tatters, the food and water long gone and
the sacks lost somewhere in the wilderness. Mary wanted to die.
Yet the Jordan River revived her,
even in her weakened condition.
Resting by the side of the river, Mary heard voices in the distance.
"Repent, for the world is coming to an end"
Mary raised herself and very weakly started walking
towards the voice,
leaning on trees and rocks along the way.
The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 3: 1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius
Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
Around a bend in the river, she saw a man standing in the middle of the Jordan River, baptizing men and women by full immersion.
Mary fell to her knees, she was so tired and weak. Two strong men came to her sides and lifted her back up. John and Simon introduced themselves and offered to help her. Mary said she was living with seven demons
and no one could help her, she wanted to die.
John and Simon said they knew of a rabbi, a healer, who had performed amazing healing. This rabbi came from Galilee. Did she want to meet this man? Mary weakly said yes.
Mary was half carried, half walked to a small clearing
away from the river, to a small
campsite and a large tent.
The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 8: 2-3
The twelve were with him, as well as women who had
been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
including Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them from their resources.
John and Simon introduced Mary to Jesus. Mary was lowered to her knees, she was so weak. Mary told Jesus her life's story and the demon possession. Jesus asked if she wanted to be healed. Mary shook her head, yes.
Jesus placed both hands on her head and after praying to God,
a large cry came out Mary's mouth. Each demon came out and
Jesus demanded they no longer live within anyone.
Mary collapsed to the ground, yet she felt freed of the demons,
their voices and their demands. Slowly John and Simon raised her back up and placed her besides the fire.
After feeding her,
she fell sound asleep and slept through to the next morning.
Mary, an Apostle of Jesus
The next morning, Mary, who was now 27 years old, decided
to stay with Jesus and this group of fellow believers and
devote her life to this
wonderful teacher, this healer, this amazing Rabbi.
For three years Mary followed Jesus and the Apostles as they traveled throughout Israel. Jesus preached and healed the sick and lame.
Jesus taught using Parables and
often the Apostles would ask for an explanation.
Jesus sent the Apostles in pairs
to towns to teach and heal.
Jesus paired Mary with John
(was John really Mary, and were Jesus and Mary really together?)
Together for forty days
they visited several towns around Nazareth. Mary healed Suzanna,
a woman in the town of Korazin possessed by demons.
Both John and Mary were surprised and felt in awe
of the power Jesus had given them.
After all the Apostles had returned and proclaimed their successes
to the group, Jesus said they would be
baptized by fire.
During Jesus missionary journey,
Mary visited Magdala to inquire about Joel and Elishiba.
Mary was ridiculed and forced to leave town
without any knowledge of her husband and daughter.
None of the Apostles
truly understood Jesus message,
except for Mary.
Her savior had given her a gift of deep visionary insight,
which scared her at time and exhilarated her at other times.
Mary was part of the inner circle, along with John and Peter.
This close relationship
would haunt the story of Mary for centuries to come.
Riot in Jerusalem Temple
Pontius Pilate detests the Jews and so starts a riot in the Temple and there are many Jews killed and injured. One of those badly beaten is Joel.
Joel's extended family cares for him and slowly takes him home to Magdala.
Mary is found and told that Joel is dying. Mary comes to Joel's bedside
despite the anger of the family. Joel dies in her arms.
Mary is thirty years old, and yet she has lived a lifetime of
grief, despair, saving grace and amazing apostleship.
The Anointing at Bethany
Some Bible scholars say that Mary Magdalene was the
woman who anointed Jesus as a prelude to his death.
The Gospel According to Mark 14: 3-9
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger,
“Why was the ointment wasted in this way?
For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her.
But Jesus said,
“Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he
must go to Jerusalem and
undergo great suffering
at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed,
and on the third day be raised.
And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying,
“God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.”
But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!
You are a stumbling block to me;
for you are setting your mind
not on divine things but on human things.”
Then Jesus told his disciples,
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves
and take up their cross and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake
will find it.
For what will it profit them if they gain
the whole world but forfeit their life?
Or what will they give in return for their life?
“For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father,
and then he will repay everyone for what has been done.
Truly I tell you,
there are some standing here who will
not taste death before they
see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
On Palm Sunday, last Sunday the Jews welcomed
Jesus as the King of the Jews at the
Waiving palm branches, laying down their cloaks,
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
The people were yelling
"Hosanna, to the Son of David". Hosanna means -
"Savior come and rescue me, Son of David!".
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest heaven.
"Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our father David."
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest."
All week Jesus and the Apostles were in the Temple, teaching,
healing and no one laid a hand on any of them.
Jesus lead the Apostles in the Passover Meal.
He said such strange things to us, we did not understand.
This bread is a symbol of my
body broken for you. This wine is a symbol
of my blood which is shed for you.
What does all this mean, we were afraid to ask!
Judas disappeared down the stairs and out into the night.
Now the faithful were alone in the upper room. "I have wished so ardently to celebrate this Passover with you," Jesus said. "You are my chosen ones.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new command, love one another.
As I have loved you, so you should love one another.
This is now all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for each other.
Then on Thursday night, in the
Garden of Gethsemane,
Jesus was arrested as a rebel!
Crucifixion and Burial
Friday morning Jesus was crucified and died. Joseph of Arimathea received permission from Pontius Pilate and Jesus body was taken down from the cross.
Jesus body was buried in Joseph of Arimathea's cave hurriedly as it was Friday night.
A large stone was rolled in front of the tomb
Now it is Sunday morning and Mary said that
she must get up and find my way back to the sellers of
Oils and Spices
I have a few coins still left in my robe. I will take what I have and purchase what is needed and anoint my Rabbis body as my parting gift to Him.
The spices Ethiopian myrrh, galbanum (a waxy sweet gum from Syria),
Spikenard Oil from India.
Walking quietly, Mary leaves the Upper Room. It was in this room that after the crucifixion was fact, that all the Apostles had returned.
Everyone was so afraid that the Jewish authorities or the Roman centurions
would knock the door down and drag them all away to
either be whipped or sold into slavery.
Yet nothing had happened.
Early Sunday morning, as
the sun was now creeping up the horizon,
Mary was entering the
garden and the tomb where Jesus was buried.
The Gospel According to Matthew 28: 1-7
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake;
for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and
rolled back the stone and sat on it.
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing
white as snow.
For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.
But the angel said to the women,
“Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus
who was crucified.
He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.
Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and
tell the disciples,
"He has been raised from the dead, and indeed
he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.'
This is my message for you."
Mary was stunned and backed out of the grave site.
Mary found a place to sit and began to weep.
She was so tired and so emotionally drained.
Looking up she saw a gardener and went over to him.
Sir she said, can you
tell me where they have taken my Rabbi.
The gardener raised his hat and said
"Mary, do you not recognize me."
Mary was stunned. Could this be Jesus?
He was dead three days ago, I saw him die on the cross
and lowered into his mother's arms!
" Go and tell the others I am going to ascend
to my God and your God!"
Suddenly, now fully refreshed, no longer tired,
no longer emotionally drained,
Mary runs back to the Upper Room. Bursting into the main door
and running up the stairs, she shouts
Jesus is Risen!!
Peter and John call everyone together and question Mary.
Peter believes Mary is like the rest of them,
emotionally drained and very fearful of what can happen next.
Mary remains adamant
that Jesus is the garden
standing outside the tomb.
Peter and John look at each other and both run down the stairs and run across Jerusalem to the site of the tomb. There Peter looks in and finds two angels ready to answer their questions.
The angels tell the Apostles that Jesus is risen as he
has foretold them so many times before.
Jesus left the grave site and travelled to Emmaus along with two other travelers and explained the role of Messiah to them.
Jesus appears often the
after his resurrection,
bringing comfort, love and grace to them. At the fiftieth day,
Jesus sends the Paraclete, the Great Comforter, the Holy Spirit to them all
Wisdom is poured into their hearts
and now they
truly understand Jesus ministry and their role
to spread the Good News to all.
Tensions begin to mount again between the Romans and the Jews. The Romans see these Christians and Jewish off shoot and persecute everyone. By the 60's AD most of the Apostles have left and moved to Pella, in Jordan. In 67 AD the tensions boil over into a war, which starts in Jerusalem.
The Romans call "The Legio X Fretensis"
(Symbol is the bull, the symbol of the goddess Venus)
out of Damascus to destroy these Jews once and for all time.
This legion kills, burns the towns and crucifies everyone along their path,
starting in Galilee. Magdala is decimated.
By 70 AD Jerusalem has fallen
Temple has been destroyed.
The last stronghold of Masada falls in 73AD.
The Jewish culture is finished, the Diaspora (dispersion)
of the Jewish faith begins.
Mary and John leave Para, Jordan in 70 AD
and travel to Ephesus.
Here, they support the church
started by Paul.
The main goddess in Ephesus was Artemis and was beloved
by the citizens of this wealthy town. Artemis was the
daughter of Leto and Zeus, and the twin of Apollo.
She is the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals, and fertility.
She is the helpers of midwives as a goddess of birth.
This was the beginning of her role as guardian of young children and patron of women in childbirth. Being a goddess of contradictions, she was the protectors of women in labor, but it was said that the arrows of Artemis brought them sudden death while giving birth.
Artemis was a divinity of healing, but also brought and spread
diseases such as leprosy, rabies and even gout.
In Ephesus, a principal city of Asia Minor, a
great temple was built in her honor,
which became one of the
"SevenWonders of the Ancient World"
The cult statues of the Ephesian Artemis differ greatly from those of mainland Greece, whereas she is depicted as a huntress with her bow and arrows.
Those found at Ephesus show her in the eastern style, standing erect with
numerous nodes on her chest.
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 19 23-29
About that time no little disturbance broke out concerning
A man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the artisans. These he gathered together, with the workers of the same trade, and said, “Men, you know that we get our wealth from this business. You also see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost the whole of Asia this Paul has persuaded and drawn away a considerable number of people by saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be scorned, and she will be deprived of her majesty that brought all Asia and the world to worship her.”
When they heard this, they were enraged and shouted, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” The city was filled with the confusion; and people rushed together to the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s travel companions.
Many riots over the years occurred between the Artemis citizens and the Jews and Christians. John in his 80's is sent to Patmos, a Roman prison, as he continued to stir up the populace of Ephesus. Many biblical scholars
believe this is the John who received epiphanies and
wrote the Book of the Revelations
Man's Law isn't God's Full Law
We don't know if Jesus was in a relationship or if
he was married by man's law. God cleverly designed the scriptures so that
special revelation would develop over time and understanding.
This is why he sent prophetical artists to depict the scriptures
such as Da Vinci and Michelangelo, who were light years ahead of their time.
What did they know?
No one could have believed any special revelation that came from
only one man's mind, so they painted.
And people have contemplated and analyzed their work for centuries.
That was a piece in God's plan.
God is especially elusive regarding the evolution of creation to revelation,
and he does that so that we have a hunger to know the truth, and deeper relationship with him, and who we are in his design.
The gospel of John is purposefully unique and metaphorical.
What we know about his closest disciple is especially limited, as is his relationship to Mary.
In the first century, it was illegal for women
to testify as a witness, and I believe this has much to do with
the origin and writer of the Gospel of John.
Certain Gospel accounts were omitted from the biblical cannon per his design, and later found-partially, per his design. The final location of both Mary Magdalen and the Arc of the Covenant are both a mystery.
According to Eastern tradition, she accompanied the Apostle John to Ephesus,
where she died and was buried.
Perhaps no figure in history is as controversial or mysterious as Mary Magdalene. A devout follower of Jesus, Mary followed him to the very end, and was the first to witness his resurrection. Since then, she has been labeled such things as a prostitute, Jesus' wife, apostle and writer of the Gnostic Gospel of Mary. Although her name has been cleared of the prostitution label,
the mysterious life of Mary Magdalene is still heavily studied and
strongly debated, especially in recent times.
Mary's appearances are few in the Bible, mostly during
the days surrounding Easter weekend,
but her actions and the effort to identify her have made her into a major figure in Christianity. During the time of Jesus, the demons that were cast would most likely have been a form of mental illness, rather than seven vices that many Christians longly believed and which strengthened the case for her label as a prostitute or actual demons that entered her body. After the exorcism of the "demons" she became a devout follower of Jesus.
After Jesus' death,
the most controversy around Mary Magdalene's life would unfold.
In all four Gospels, she is the first to witness Jesus after his resurrection.
Believed to be the Jesus' favorite by the apostles,
Mary is asked to reveal secret teachings given to her by Jesus
while consoling the apostles. After her revelation,
which is found in the Gnostic Gospel of Mary,
she has a disagreement with Peter about the teachings.
This is the beginning of strengthening Peter's role in Christianity
while lessening that of Mary's.
Gnosticism was not accepted into early Christianity due to its strange views, during the formation of the early church. Gnostics believe that the salvation of the soul comes from internal knowledge of the mysteries of our world, rather than purity of the soul.
Where Mary went and what she did after she left the apostles is debatable.
One of the most extreme is that Mary was pregnant with Jesus' child and went to France, where her descendants eventually founded the Merovingian line of kings, made famous recently by the Da Vinci Codes by Dan Brown. Brown's book, a highly fictitious book, depicts Mary as the Holy Grail in Da Vinci's "The Last Supper," rather than the chalice that he drank with. Brown's work was highly influenced by the book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, which was the basis of his writing.
Some believed that Mary and Jesus were married since most Jewish men married and Jesus was closest to Mary, although no evidence supports or denies that claim.
Most western Catholics, separated from the East after the Great Schism, believe she fled to France in a boat with Mary, Lazarus and others and lived out her life in a cave for 30 years before dying at the Chapel of Saint-Maximin, located in the Aix En province, about 75 miles northeast of Marseille, in the Southeast of France. In the Eastern traditions, Mary is believed to have left Jerusalem with Mary, mother of Jesus, and traveled to Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey.
Both traditions only add to the mystery that surrounds
the life of Mary Magdalene.
Although many aspects of Mary's life are debatable, we do know that she was a diligent follower of Jesus and the first to witness his resurrection. Only in the past forty years have we revealed that her identification as a prostitute was false, which means that there is still more to learn about this Biblical mystery. With the amount of research and writing being done, it is likely that the future will yield some answers that either put to rest or raise more questions about the life, death, relationships, and apostle status of Mary Magdalene.
We think of Jesus as being the prince of peace, which,
his ministry was to bring about the fulfillment of a future era of peace,
but in all realistic terms he was a very divisive, radical and controversial figure who was constantly in opposition with the majority of
thinkers and leaders in his day. He hung out with all the outcasts and sinners, spoke out against authority, drank wine, hung out in bars, spoke as he had the authority of God,
and of things that were unseen and usually rejected.
As people began to witness his miracles, his following grew among the outcasts...
but not until the later part of his physical ministry.
Criticism of Jesus has existed since the first century.
People didn't know what to think of him.
His popularity grew over time, mostly after his ascension.
Those who know him personally, acquire that
knowledge through personal experience and/or personal revelation.
This can not be communicated through human reasoning.
Jesus was criticized by the Pharisees and scribes for disobeying Mosaic Law.
He was decried in Judaism as a
failed Jewish messiah claimant and a false prophet by
most Jewish denominations. Think about how utterly radical that is...
to turn everything everyone knew upside down.
Judaism also considers the worship of any person a form of idolatry,
and rejects the claim that Jesus was divine.
Jesus' own family, followers, and contemporaries seriously
regarded him as delusional, possessed by demons, or insane.
The Pharisees and scribes criticized Jesus and his disciples
for not observing Mosaic Law.
They criticized his disciples for not washing their hands before eating.
(The religious leaders engaged in ceremonial cleansing like washing up to the elbow and baptizing the cups and plates before eating food in them)
Mark 7:1–23, Matthew 15:1–20.
Jesus is also criticized for eating with the publicans
The Pharisees also criticized Jesus' disciples for
gathering grain on the Sabbath
Jesus made a lot of utterances and off-the-wall claims.
The most striking characteristics of the utterances of Jesus were his
claim to Godhood
(which was only uttered by his followers and enemies),
for which some of the Jews attempted to stone him, and a few succeeded in handing him over for crucifixion
(which Pilate himself, didn't feel it was right or correct to do),
for committing blasphemy:
"We are not stoning You for any good work," said the Jews,
"but for blasphemy, because You,
who are a man,
declare Yourself to be God."
There was also the tone of authority
adopted by him
and the claim that spiritual peace and salvation were to
be found in the mere acceptance of his leadership.
"Take my yoke upon you ... and ye shall find rest unto your souls"
"whosoever shall lose his life for my sake ... shall save it"
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me"
indicate an "assumption of power"
which is certainly unique in
Jewish history, and indeed accounts for much of modern Jewish
antipathy to Jesus, so far as it exists.
Jesus' family and contemporaries regarded him as
delusional, possessed by demons, or insane.
He came to do anew thing, and it was far from expected.
Think how crazy that is,
the majority thought he was Insane!
And when his family heard it,
they went out to seize him, for people were saying,
"He is beside himself"
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said,
"He is possessed by Be-el′zebul,
and by the prince of demons
he casts out the demons"
— Mark 3:21–22
The accusation contained in the Gospel of John is more literal.
There was again a division among the Jews
because of these words. Many of them said,
"He has a demon, and he is mad;
why listen to him?"
— John 10:19–20
In the latter half of the first century and into the second century,
Jewish and pagan opponents of Christianity argued that
the miracles and exorcisms of Jesus and his followers were the result
of magic, which was associated with demons and the occult.
The most significant Criticism of Jesus' was
his mental health.
The majority of his day seriously questioned
Jesus' sanity by claiming he was
insane for believing he was God and the messiah.
He wasn't believed.
The Scribes thought he suffered from religious paranoia.
In fact, that was the common assumption
for all of the disciples as well as anyone who
encountered religious experiences,
such as Mary
Many of us have this picture of Jesus as a passive white guy
that speaks in hushed tones and always holding a sheep.
We are in accurate in thinking of Jesus as a mild-tempered,
never raised his voice, kind of guy.
That was not Jesus.
He got mad on many occasions.
The question we need to ask is: what made Jesus mad?
We will look at what made Jesus mad in a minute.
First, I want to address righteous anger.
We often view anger as an emotion we should avoid- a sin.
But our anger isn’t the problem,
it’s what we do with our anger that determines if we sin or not
In fact, there are things in this world that should make us angry.
We should be outraged by injustices, violence, greed, poverty,
and death that run rampant all around us.
That should stir up an anger deep within us because it’s just not right.
That anger is good; it’s a righteous anger. It’s the same anger that God feels when he sees the evil that is so pervasive in the world.
Righteous anger over evil is good, but in our anger, we should not sin.
In other words, we might be tempted to fight evil with evil.
Through Jesus, we are shown a better way.
When stones are thrown at us, we don’t throw them back. Instead, we love. Yes, that’s unfair. Yes, that could cost us. But only love can truly stop evil.
Correction and disagreement can be love.
And that’s exactly what Jesus did. He got angry, but was never violent.
The Human Condition
Humanity exists in a broken state, a fallen world.
That should come as no surprise, the evidence is everywhere.
You see sadness and anger in Jesus response.
Jesus was so overcome by the human condition,
the death a friend faced, that he wept.
Jesus is reacting to the fallen condition, Feeling
distraught over their suffering.
Jesus feels empathy, but he responds with anger.
In John 11:38, Jesus was deeply moved
and yelled for Lazarus to come out.
Rules Being Placed Over People
The religious leaders in Jesus day tended to
value adherence to the law over caring for people,
which is not what God intended. The rules God established
were supposed to help his people stay
in right relationship with him and others.
The heart of the law
was missed in the pursuit of following
In other words, they cared more about obeying
the rules preciously
that they missed what the rules were
supposed to lead to.
Jesus continually broke the rules that the religious set up.
Now to be clear,
Jesus didn’t break the law that God had established.
Rather he broke the extra rules the religious leaders put in place
to protect the law,
and that made a lot of people mad.
Maybe the best example is Jesus healing on the Sabbath
(Matthew 12:10, Luke 13:10-17, Luke 6:7, John 9:16)
Jesus pushed back on this attitude and showed that
people were more important. He healed people
right in front of the Pharisees,
just to show how serious he was.
We love to think we are better than them, don’t we?
At least I’m not as bad as so and so…
We often think too highly of ourselves; we aren’t as good as we think we are.
And Jesus got mad at those who thought they were all that.
Most commonly, Jesus got mad at the religious leaders because really,
they were just religious phonies.
They pretended to be good, but in reality, they were just as messed up as everyone else. But they refused to admit and acknowledge their own sin.
Jesus famously calls out this hypocrisy by saying they
wash the outside of the cup but ignore the inside
They cared more about what people thought of them,
that they would appear to be righteous.
In doing so, they ignored the dirtiness of their heart.
In other words, they ignored what was more important
for the sake of appearances.
It’s important to note Jesus wasn’t mad at them because of their sin.
He was mad because they pretended they were better than they were.
Jesus came for the sinners and the diseased,
He rebuked the self-righteous...
The religious leaders that pretended to have it all together,
while ignoring the sinfulness of their heart.
Making It Difficult For People To Get To God
Jesus often got mad at the religious leaders because
they made it hard for people to get to God.
They complicated the rules, sold sacrifices for a profit,
and belittled those who weren’t as “good” as them.
All this so they could look better and feel better about themselves.
Let's not point fingers. We do this ALL the time; We are no better.
This attitude made Jesus mad.
What ultimately caused Jesus to flip tables in the temple twice?
(John 2:13-17, Matthew 21:12-17)
The religious leaders were
"selling the sacrifices"
required by 'God’s law' for a 'profit'
In other words, poor families who traveled far
and at great expense to follow God’s law were extorted,
when they should have been helped.
Jesus saw that they were not using resources
toward God's Will and purposes. They weren't helping the
those who sacrificed at great expense for God.
The didn't have the correct perspective, and they weren't
using God's resources appropriately, but for their own will.
This example is portrayed with the woman using
all of her expensive perfume to wash
Jesus feet and anointed his head, she wasn't wealthy
like the religious leaders, but had spent her entire years wages
on anointing Jesus through listening intently to his every word.
Hypocrisy is where we see Jesus at his angriest.
He makes a whip and drives them out.
They were making it harder for people to get to God
all so they could decide for themselves how to use
God's given resources and money
Jesus often got mad when people had ulterior motives
or selfish ambitions. He critiques the Pharisees for praying
loudly in public, they were doing so for their own gain.
The Pharisees cared more about what people
thought and how they were viewed.
It was all a show.
God's not really after a submissive
people who blindly follow him.
in a relationship with his people.
He wants our heart.
Often what happens is we miss that the rules
are there to bring us closer to him.
We see this attitude through Jesus. He saw through the facades that people
put up. They were doing the right actions, but for the wrong reasons.
Jesus was more interested in what was going
on in their hearts and not what they portrayed outwardly.
His anger came out when someone was being kept from him.
Jesus wanted all people to have
the opportunity to know his love for them and
when that opportunity was squashed
by a rule, a person, or a system, he got mad.
During his journey, he was visited by two women,
the unnamed sinner in Luke 7 and Mary of Bethany,
both of whom anoint his feet and dry them with their hair,
similar to the way Magdalene anointed him
shortly after his death.
In 591, Pope Gregory the Great stated that
all three were in fact one woman, Mary Magdalene,
and this is how she became labeled as a prostitute,
or the unnamed sinner. However the Second Vatican Council
removed the prostitute label in 1969 after much debate and
Biblical evidence that there
was more than one Mary and that Mary of Magdalene and the
unnamed sinner were two different figures.
There is a resistance to accept Mary Magdalene as a spiritual leader.
Why would men not want women in positions of spiritual leadership?
Jesus and Mary Magdalene both are rejected by their families.
Is it possible to find one's true family outside of blood lines?
How does this relate to the biblical concept of
one new humanity in Christ?
The physical and spiritual seeds of Abraham?