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Scripture Reading: Mark 16:1-9
Bible Question Box
Question #1: Mark 16:9 speaks of “Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.” Is there anything else mentioned about her being possessed?
Yes, Luke 8:1-3.
1. Mary is introduced by Luke in Luke 8:1-3.
a. “Mary called Magdalene” (from Magdala, a town on western shore of Sea of Galilee, Matt. 15:39).
b. Healed by Jesus of “evil spirits” (Lk. 8:2); the complete number “seven” suggests she had been very grievously afflicted by her demonic inhabitants.
c. The affliction of demon possession was never spoken of as a reproach (a sinful thing), but only as a misfortune.
2. Summary of Mary’s life:
a. Recipient of great salvation, Lk. 8:2 (from demonic bondage to freedom in Christ).
b. Mary showed her gratitude by ministering to Jesus, Lk. 8:2-3; Mk. 15:40-41 (Matt. 27:55-56).
1) Evidently a woman of some means, as she helped provide for Jesus & the twelve, Lk. 8:2-3.
2) Mary was a devoted, faithful & humble follower of Jesus:
a) At the crucifixion, Jno. 19:25.
b) At the burial, Mk. 15:47.
c) Helped prepare embalming spices, Mk. 16:1.
d) Among the first at the tomb after resurrection, Mk. 16:2-8.
c. Mary was the first person to whom Christ appeared after His resurrection, Mk. 16:9.
1) Given a wonderful revelation by Jesus, Jno. 20:11-18.
2) Apostles did not believe her, Mk. 16:10-11.
d. Likely that she continued in Jerusalem with the disciples (Acts 1:14-15).
3. False assumptions & allegations about Mary (& Jesus):
a. She was a converted prostitute.
1) Attempt to identify her as the “sinner” woman of Luke 7:37 – No contextual evidence.
2) Mary is introduced as a new character in Lk. 8:1-2 (“afterward…”).
b. She married Jesus and bore him a son. (The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown)
1) Brown alleges a conspiracy (cover-up) to promote Jesus as deity, when in fact he was only viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet.
“One of the more popular motifs has been to paint Jesus as a happy husband who either escaped or survived the crucifixion and lived in seclusion and marital bliss to a ripe old age. Several books have presented this hypothesis, the most influential being Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh in the 1980’s. According to the scenario presented in this work, Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a child and the bloodline of Jesus is traced in the Merovingian dynasty of medieval France.” (“The DaVinci Code, A Review (2),” Ken Green, Biblical Insights, V:12, Dec. 2005)
2) According to Brown, Da Vinci and others left clues (codes) to decipher the hidden, historical fact.
o Early Christianity entailed “the cult of the Great Mother”
Mary Magdalene represented the feminine cult and the Holy Grail of traditional lore
o She was also Jesus’ wife and the mother of his children
o Magdalene’s womb, carrying Jesus offspring, was the legendary Holy Grail (as seen in Da Vinci’s encoded paining, The Last Supper)
o Jesus was not seen as divine (God) by His followers until Emperor Constantine declared him so for his own purposes
o The Nicean Council of the 3rd Century was the context for Constantine’s power grab and the relationship of Magdalene as paramour of Christ was quashed there
o “Mary Magdalene’s remains and the secret documents that tell the real story were found on the Temple Mount when Jerusalem was conquered in the First Crusade.”
o The “truth” about Christ and Mary Magdalene has been kept alive by a secret society named the Priory of Sion that was lead by great minds like Da Vinci
4. “In the end, Dan Brown has penned a poorly written, atrociously researched mess. So, why bother with such a close reading of a worthless novel? The answer is simple: The Da Vinci Code takes esoterica mainstream.” (Sandra Miesel, “Dismantling The Da Vinci Code,” catholiceducation.org)
5. Mary Magdalene was a woman of faith whose unassuming, humble service honors her. She continues to be an example all disciples can learn from & follow today.
Question #2: What does it mean in Jude 9, when it says Satan argued with Michael over the body of Moses?
1. Jude exhorts us to contend earnestly for the faith against apostate false teachers, cf. 1:3-4, 5-7.
2. Jude warns that these “dreamers” who do three things (1:8):
a. Defile the flesh: Sensual, carnal in their actions (cf. 2 Pet. 2:10).
b. Reject authority: Arrogant, prideful, self-condemning (Prov. 16:18).
c. Speak evil of dignitaries: Blasphemers who ignorantly rail against those in positions of authority, worthy of respect (1:10):
1) Jude 9: Unlike Michael, although the archangel, did not bring reviling accusations against the devil, but gave place to the Lord’s rebuke… (See 2 Pet. 2:11 for commentary on this passage).
2) The reprobates in Jude’s crosshair are puffed up in their prideful estimation of themselves – they rush to argue & contend when they should sit down & keep their mouths shut!!
3. Dispute about the body of Moses – cf. Deut. 34:6.
a. Whether this was a dispute over its disposal or its resurrection, we are not told.
b. Some say this refers to the pseudepigraphal Assumption of Moses – which is pure assumption!
c. POINT: Do not be prideful, presumptuous & self-willed…respect divine authority…give place to the Lord’s judgments (cf. Rom. 12:19-21).
1. Those who dishonor Mary Magdalene with their presumptuous contradicts of the Bible are among the “dreamers” we must reject as we contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3).
2. Instead, like Michael, we will put our trust & confidence in the Lord, the truth He has revealed & the judgment He will execute against sin at Judgment Day.