Mary, Mary and Mary
The Paragons of True Femininity
In the Bible, there are many
people with the same names. In the pages of the New Testament alone, there are
already six women named Mary. Let us study three of them:
1) Mary the Lord’s mother,
2) Mary called Magdalene, and
3) Mary of Bethany.
Their spirituality, their faith
and their sincerity are shining examples for all Christians, especially for the
women of today.
Mary the Lord’s mother
Mary the Lord’s mother is neither divine nor to be
worshipped. The Roman Catholic Church has been perpetrating the lie that Mary
is the Mother of God blasphemously calling her the ‘Queen of Heaven’. They
claim that she embraces perpetual virginity, that she is immaculate and that
she has ascended to heaven to assume a mediatory role between Jesus and Man. Many sincere but
uninformed Catholics have been misled. As a result, they actually worship Mary
Undeniably, Mary has extraordinary virtues. God was
pleased with her and she was blessed among all women (Lk 1:28,42).
1’he Gospels recorded three instances when Mary pondered over the things which
she had heard, keeping them in her heart. The first was when the archangel
Gabriel. who was sent by God, to Nazareth
in Galilee, greeted Mary (Lk 1:28-29). The
second was when the shepherds spoke of the good tidings the angels had brought
to them after the birth of the Saviour Jesus (Lk 2:15-19). The third was when
the twelve year old Jesus was in the Temple.
When He asked his mother, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that
I must be in my Father’s house?”, Mary did not
understand what he was saying but she kept all these in her heart (Lk 2:41-51).
These three incidences revealed that Mary was quiet,
humble, gentle and a woman of profound thoughts. In the face of the unexpected,
she would not pass hasty judgements nor act impulsively. Neither would she complain nor grumble, unwilling to accept the situation.
Instead she would react with calmness and meekness, seriously pondering over
what the will of God was. The Bible says; “Therefore do not be foolish but
understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph 5:17). It also says; “Blessed is
the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of
sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the
Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps 1:1-2). We must search the
Scriptures, ponder over it, meditate on it and pray seeking to understand more
of the will of God. In this regard, Paul exhorted the Colossian Christians to
be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and
understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him,
hearing fruit in every good work …” (Col 1:9-10). If we are able to ponder and
meditate on the Word, the will of the Lord will not be strange to us.
Mary called Magdalene
Mary Magdalene was the one
possessed by seven demons. After the Lord had cast out all the demons, she
believed in Him. She not only served the Lord with zeal, she also provided for
the Lord and His disciples out of her means (Lk 8:1-3). In offering her
substance, she demonstrated her gratitude towards the Lord and helped greatly
in the Lord’s ministry. Everyone treasures his own property and would not
simply give it away. But Mary willingly offered hers to the Lord.
Many believed because they had
their sicknesses and diseases healed by the Lord. Although some know how to
give thanks for the grace of the Lord some forget the grace completely. The
nine lepers who were cured by the Lord are but to name a few.
has plans for world evangelism. Manpower and strong financial backing are
necessary. King David and his people provided much wealth and property for the
construction of the temple (1 Chron 29:1-9). Nehemiah made great sacrifices during
the rebuilding of the holy city (Neh 5:14-19). The same sacrifices have to be
made if the full gospel is to be proclaimed to all corners of the earth. Should
we not then follow Mary Magdalene’s footsteps in providing liberally for the
When Jesus was on trial his
disciples deserted him. When He was crucified, they were in hiding. However, a
few women followed Jesus up to the foot of the cross; among whom
was Mary. She had the courage to follow the Lord to the end. She was firm in
her faith even before her enemies.
Jesus said; “So everyone who
acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father who is in
heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father who
is in heaven” (Mt 10:32-33). In times of trouble, men often fail to acknowledge
the Lord. Even His dearest disciple, Peter, denied Him three times. Yet Mary’s
genuine love for the Lord was so great that it impelled her to draw near to the
Lord even during His sufferings.
Mary was quick in spreading the
good news about the Lord’s resurrection. After Jesus’ death and burial, the
eleven apostles and the other disciples were disappointed and dejected.
However, on the first day of the week, when Mary Magdalene and some other women
came to visit the tomb Jesus appeared to them and asked them to tell His
disciples about His resurrection. They left in a hurry, afraid yet filled with
joy. Are we still dragging our feet, reluctant and unwilling to proclaim the
good news? Do we share the enthusiasm that propelled Mary Magdalene?
Mary of Bethany
Once Jesus came to Bethany and was in the
house of Simon. As He sat at the table, this Mary came in with a costly
alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured it over
His head. Indignantly some objected querying, “Why was the ointment thus
wasted?”. And they reproached her. But Jesus said,
“Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me”.
Then Jesus added that wherever the gospel was to he preached, what she had done
will be recounted in memory of her (Mk 14:9).
Judas claimed that Mary’s jar of
ointment was worth three hundred denarii, equivalent to almost a year’s income.
Evidently, that jar of ointment was indeed precious. According to Jewish
custom, the nard ointment was part of the bride’s dowry. On the wedding day the
ointment would be applied over the body of the bridegroom so that the whole
room would he full of its fragrance. to signify a
prosperous and happy family. Yet, Mary of Bethany offered the ointment to the
She broke the jar and anointed
the Lord with the whole jar of ointment and not just a few drops. Our love for
the Lord is likened to the ointment. Do we break the jar and let the ointment
flow lavishly or do we just let it trickle from the jar?
When the Lord went to her house,
she sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teachings. The Lord commended
her saying, “Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away
from her” (Lk 10:42). The value of the Word is reflected in Jesus’ words; “Do not
labour for the food which perishes but for the food which endures to eternal
life” (Jn 6:27).
When her brother, Lazarus died,
she went to Jesus and fell at his feet saying, “Lord, it you had been here my
brother would not have died”. When Jesus saw her weeping, He was deeply moved
in the spirit and troubled (Jn 11:32-33). She loved her brother dearly. That
was why she wept so bitterly over his death that even Jesus was deeply moved in
Only true and genuine love can
move and comfort men. We should have concern for one another; sharing our
griefs and joys. Perhaps through our true love for another, we might bring him
back to ‘life’.
New Feminism and True Femininity
The ‘New Feminism’ or popularly
known as the ‘Women Liberation Movement’ has almost totally infested Western
society. A shocking fact is that it is now threatening the Orient, overturning
well established social norms and tearing up the traditional family unit.
Impressionable young girls in their attempts to ‘keep up with the times’ are
beginning to ingest wholesale the new morality of the so-called ‘liberated
women’. In so far as their ideas are in conflict with biblical principles,
young Christian girls are advised to follow the examples of
the three Marys They are the model of what true femininity really is.