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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Would You Like A Name Change?

Gheorghe Tattarescu - Magdalena,
Gheorghe Tattarescu - Magdalena, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).

Some people find it convenient to change their name for whatever reason. It may be because of marriage, divorce, or they may not like their name or for a host of other reasons. Some writers use a pen name or pseudonym to conceal their identity. Since the Bible is such a relevant book, it too features persons who had their names changed. The only difference is, they didn't do it, God did.

In the focus verse above, the woman referred to is Mary Magdalene, a woman who became a follower of Jesus after He delivered her from demon possession. Some accounts of her life state that she was a native of Magdala, a seaside city whose women were known to be prostitutes.  The Bible does not say that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, but it does distinguish her from the other Mary(s) mentioned in the Bible by always referring to her by her first and last name.  

However, on that resurrection morning when Jesus arose from the grave and saw her standing there, her expression anxious and fearful, He said to her, "Mary." At that moment she was just Mary. Not Mary Magdalene, "out of whom went seven devils," (Luke 8: 2) or any past descriptions she may have had. Jesus put all of that aside and saw her only as someone who belonged to Him and someone whom He loved.

Hebrews 8: 12 says, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." People will always remember your past, no matter how much you have changed. You can sing in the choir or serve on the ushers' board, but they still see you as Mary Magdalene. But Our Lord forgets our past, forgets our sins and doesn't bring them up anymore.  Know this: if you have given your life to Jesus Christ, you have a new name, "written in the Lamb's book of life" (Revelation 21: 27). You are not Mary Magdalene anymore, you are "Mary."

You can read more about Mary Magdalene in my book Women For All Seasons available  here

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