Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to nbsint.org
A lot has been thought about Mary Magdalene, particularly these last 30 or so years partially from novels and plays that have been out. For instance, many people's understanding of her has been shaped by the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, where she is portrayed as Jesus' girlfriend practically. And then of course there is the Da Vinci Code, where the message there is that she might be one of the disciples painted into Da Vinci's last supper portrait. However, in the gospels we don't find all of that much about her. For instance, in Mark's gospel in one of its other endings, which is a later part where we are told that Mary had seven demons excised from her, but that doesn't appear in the main gospel or any of the other gospels. She is one of the followers of Jesus. She is one of the many women who provided for Jesus and his disciples when they were going about to all the towns and villages and gully. She even followed Jesus all the way down to Jerusalem and was there to the bitter end, was there at the Crucifixion, and we are told specifically that she was one of the women who came to the tomb. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, Salome in Mark's gospel, and when they do not find that the body is there, they are told to go, and tell the others so you could very well argue that Mary Magdalene was the first of all the angels if indeed she went and proclaimed, ""He is not there. He has risen."" So, Mary Magdalene has an important role to play in the life of Jesus and the early church.