Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oops! Occupational hazard...

How do you know that the woman the Pharisees caught in adultery and brought to Jesus is Mary Magdalene?

At first I wondered what you meant by Mary Magdalene being "the woman caught in the midst of adultery."  But then I had to think back to one of my previous studies and whether I said that or not; and, I did—mistakenly!

John 8:1-11
Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Fact is, I meant to say that there is speculation by some in religion who wonder about her identity (particularly Roman Catholicism) that that was her, but no one knows for sure and the scriptures do not let us know (all I do know is that she is a type of Israel, God's adulterous nation). Since this is the only passage about this event, we don't have more light on it.

So what I meant to say is that some think that it was Mary Magdalene, but as what usually happens when you speak for a living like I do, you sometimes misspeak things and your mouth does not cooperate with your mind! So thanks for catching that--I'll mention it to the saints on Sunday and to get it on the tape for those who listen!

Personally, I don't think that Mary Magdalene was an adulteress at all because there is no evidence biblically that she was! What it does say is that she had seven evil spirits in her that the Lord cast out.

Mark 16:9
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Luke 8:2
And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

Additionally, the unknown "sinner" woman in Luke chapter 7 was not Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, because Mary actually does show up later in the book of Luke in chapter 10 and is named!

Luke 10:38-42
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Therefore, I believe that the events of Matthew 26 and John 12 are late in his ministry—right before his death, and that those did involve Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus! But that the woman "sinner" of Luke 7 was not Mary because Mary is mentioned by name later in Luke and that event from chapter 7 happens early rather than later in our Lord's ministry!

Just another note: in the Matthew and John accounts, Mary is verbally attacked by the disciples of our Lord (led by Judas) and the Lord rebukes them. You do not see this mentioned with the "sinner" woman in Luke 7.

Also, a cursory look at the Jewish customs at that time shows that what Mary and this other unknown woman did by anointing him with the perfume, etc. was a custom that was relatively common among Jewish women. It was one of reverence, respect, honour and thanksgiving for kindness extended by another.

Thanks for writing, and for paying close attention to what I say and asking questions. I really do appreciate it and always encourage the saints to do so.

Hopefully this helps! 

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

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