Women Followed Jesus: Mary Magdalene

In addition to his disciples, Jesus had many others who followed him. I found 34 references about “a large crowd who followed Jesus”.

Mary Magdalene was a faithful follower of Jesus

Women were part of the crowd who followed him, support him and the disciples and were part of his inner circle.  “oon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him,  along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. “   {Luke 8:1-2}

Another passage to support this is “many women … who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him”.  {Matthew 27:55-56}  We are told there are many women, more than we are told about in scripture. But, we are going to take a closer look to the handful of women who are mentioned in scripture and followed Jesus. The places where the women are mentioned in scripture indicate how vital they were to Jesus ministry.

Even when Jesus hung on the cross, it was the women who stood nearby at the cross and were the first to discover the empty tomb.

One of the best known women who followed Jesus was Mary Magdalene.

“Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.”  {Luke 8:2}

When Mary Magdalene met Jesus she was demon possessed. We don’t know for how long, but they had overtaken her body and most likely ruined her life. Jesus cast these seven demons from her. Her devotion to him shows her faith after he delivered her from the torture and pain the demons cast upon her body, mind, and spirit.

Mary Magdalene is often mentioned first in the list of women following Jesus, only surpassed by his mother, Mary. This tells us Mary Magdalene was a leader and important among the women. One scholar states, “Mary Magdalene occupies a similar position among Jesus’s female followers as Simon Peter does among the male apostles.”

Mary Magdalene recognizes Jesus when he speaks her name

Mary is believed to have come from the town of Magda, which was near the Sea of Galilee.

Many scholars believe that Mary Magdalene must have been wealthy to be able to support Jesus ministry.

Mary Magdalene was at the cross when Jesus was crucified. She was among the women on that Sunday morning when they approached the tomb to finish anointing his body. She was the one who ran to tell Peter and John that the Lord’s body was missing.

Scripture tells us Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, when she later returned, and she did not recognize him at first. When she realizes who he is, she exclaims “Rabbani or teacher”.

Scripture does not provide any additional information on Mary Magdalene after Jesus resurrection and ascension, but we can be sure she was an important leader among the women of the early church.

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