So Many Mary’s!
Can you imagine walking with Jesus when He lived on earth? I would have loved that! I should have been named Mary.
I could have been Mary, the mother of Jesus. Now there’s a woman who played no small part in Jesus’ life. She carried Him in her womb, gave birth to Him, nourished Him, and taught Him to walk and talk and use good manners. She probably taught Him to pray and instructed Him in the ways of God and told Him about the things God did for the children of Israel. She may have led Him to faith in God!
There’s no doubt that she had a great influence on the greatest Man who ever lived.
For instance, there’s the time that Mary insisted that Jesus do a miracle at the Wedding at Cana when they ran out of wine. That turned out to be a good thing – the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.
She had a mother’s influence over her son. I’m sure she loved Him as no other. Her love probably gave Him strength and courage to endure all that He went through in His life. His mother had extravagant love for Him.
What about another Mary in the life of Jesus? Mary Magdalene? What would it have been like to be set free from the control of seven demons by this Man who did miracles wherever He went? She was radically changed.
She became one of His most loyal followers. Her name is mentioned prominently in the Bible any time the women followers of Jesus are mentioned. She used her money to support His ministry and followed Him wherever He went. She served Him and ministered to the needs of Jesus and His followers. Her love for Jesus was extravagant. She must have left all to follow Him. She was forgiven much so she loved much. Her extravagant love, devotion, and gratitude were obvious to all.
And there’s this other Mary who made such an impact on Jesus’ life that He said her story would be told wherever the Good News is preached. Mary of Bethany gave away her life savings, her dowry, her chance for a “happy” life when she broke the alabaster jar and poured out the expensive perfume to anoint Jesus.
Some accounts say she poured it on His head, others on His feet, but we know that oils work well wherever they’re applied on our skin. We women know these things. She really ministered to Jesus at a time when He surely needed it. He knew He was headed for the cross and that a harrowing ordeal that would end in His death was fast approaching. She exhibited extravagant love, giving, gratitude, and worship by this act. And he was touched by her devotion.
These Mary’s were spiritually sensitive women. They knew that Jesus was the Messiah and they treated Him as such. They honored and revered Him. They gave Him their all.
And Jesus honored them. He took care of His mother and made sure that another would take care of her after He was gone.
He honored Mary of Bethany by proclaiming that her story would be told wherever the Gospel is preached.
He honored Mary Magdalene, who believed in Him all the way to the cross and even to the tomb by appearing to her first after He rose from the dead and sending her as an apostle to the apostles. He gave her a message to deliver to the apostles that He had risen and would ascend to the Father. He showed that He respected her as a witness even though the custom of the time said that a woman was not a credible witness.
And in this story we see the personal nature of His relationship with her. When He said her name she recognized His voice.
He also elevated the status of women by speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well. She, in turn, testified to her whole village about Him, and many Samaritans believed that He was the Savior of the world.
Through the experiences of all these Mary’s – and there were other Mary’s! – and through the Samaritan woman and the women who supported Jesus’ ministry we see that women are very influential. We women can use our influence for good or for evil. These women influenced many men – including Jesus – for good.
They were spiritually sensitive and recognized Him as the Messiah. they helped men to see Him as the Messiah. Women of today can do the same thing. Churches are filled with women. Studies show that Christian women are more devout than Christian men.
So what should we do about that? I believe we should use our influence to bring men to Jesus. Women who walk with Jesus become women who lead men to Jesus. But we should do it in the manner described in 1 Peter 3 – by our kind conduct and godly life win them without a word. The job is to show them Jesus not tell them they have to go to Jesus. We must learn how to tell them the message without telling them what to do about it.
Men need women to show them Jesus. God has made women in such a way that men are attracted to them, and the best and highest purpose for that is to help men to find their way to Jesus.
To bring it home, we wives should truly be helpmeets to our husbands by showing them Jesus and behaving in a way that attracts them to Jesus and impacts them for Jesus. Our extravagant love, devotion, service, and giving are sure to make an impact on our husbands. And our extravagant belief, worship, and intimacy with Jesus should stir up a hunger in their hearts for more of Jesus in their life.
If he’s captivated by our love, he may be captivated by our Lord.
This post was originally written for a blog series at https://www.angelpenn.com called Biblical Women of Influence.
Go to this series to read about many other biblical women of influence by other wonderful bloggers. It will encourage and inspire you!