I just love a good make-over story, don’t you? Whether the transformation includes a new wardrobe, new physique, or a new floor plan, there’s just nothing like a good before-and-after story.
Thankfully, the Bible is full of before-and-after stories. After all, God is a God of transformations. And one of my very favorite is that of Mary Magdalene. Talk about a drastic transformation!
We are introduced to Mary M. in Luke 8:2 where we are told that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her. Seven!
Can you just picture the scene? One day, Mary—surely the outcast of the town—meets a man like no other. The man is not repulsed or fearful. The man wants nothing from her. He does not walk the other way or lower his eyes in disgust. No, this man walks towards her. This man looks her in the eye and speaks to her. And instantly everything is changed. Mary is freed.
We are told in Luke 8:3 that following her encounter with Jesus, Mary spent her entire life supporting His earthly ministry.Jesus freed Mary of her past, then she gave her future to follow Him. Click To Tweet
Mary’s hope—her joy, her purpose, her very identity—was found in Jesus, and Him alone.
And so she stayed. She sat at His feet. She learned from His words. She served. She followed.
Even when following meant walking in confused horror to the foot of a cross. When following led her to shuffle to a garden tomb in broken despair behind the dead body of her Savior. And when following meant rising before dawn to journey back to that garden tomb, not knowing that everything was about to change once and for all.
We will never know this side of eternity what word Jesus spoke to free Mary of the demons (or if He even spoke a word). But we do know the word He spoke to free her from her grief. To free her of the chains of sin. To free us all from the power of death.
One word changed everything.
A single word sent ripples across creation, and through every grave.
The first word spoken by the newly risen Savior. And it was a name.
Mary. Not Mary Magdalene. Not Mary the former demonic. Not Mary with a shameful past. Not Mary one of many.
Just Mary. His Mary. His daughter. His Creation. His cherished one, bought with a price, and bestowed with eternal life.
Listen for a moment to the whisper of that early morning. Can you hear your name on Jesus’ newly risen lips?
The One who knows you and loves you more than any other, calls out to you.
Mary heard her name and was forever changed. And then she was given an assignment:
“Go and tell my brothers….” John 20:17
Jesus had a mission for Mary. Just as He has a mission for us. If we have heard Him call our name, then we too must go and tell others. We must go and tell about the One who has the power over strongholds, and demons. Over diseases, and addictions. Over life and death.
For when we have heard Jesus speak our name, we cannot help but be forever changed.
Lord, you are the God of transformations. You have the power to set free and make new. You have the power to quiet our hearts and stir up our passions. Father, we ask that you would transform us to look more and more like Your Son. Your love is the ultimate makeover. Change us by Your great love and by Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, amen.