Magdalene's Light


From time to time someone from our board will share some insight into our program or a spiritual encouragement for our staff, participants and donors. 

Why the name Magdalene’s Light?

Who Was She? 

There are several women named Mary spoken of in the New Testament. It was a common name for Jewish women. We have decided to connect our ministry to Mary of Magdala, a small town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is about 5 miles south of Capernaum where Jesus’ ministry was headquartered.

Outside of the crucifixion and resurrection narratives she is only mentioned in Luke 8:2.

She is not to be confused with the Mary of Luke 7, who was a “sinful woman”, which generally means a prostitute. Nor is she to be confused with “Mary of Bethany” from John 12. In the past this has been a common mistake. One of my all-time favorite bible movies, Jesus of Nazareth does this. We can be sure the prostitute of Luke 7 would have been especially devoted to Jesus. We know very little about Mary of Magdala. Perhaps she could have engaged in prostitution as well, but they are not the same woman.

We do glean several things about Mary of Magdala from Luke 8:2; 1) She would have been a follower of Jesus from very early in His ministry. 2) Was possessed by 7 demons before Jesus healed her. 3) Over time she became a devoted and close associate of Jesus. Even though the disciples all fled Jesus, she followed Him to Calvary to be crucified and is one of only 3 women who knew where he was buried. She saw Him resurrected early on the first day of the week after that. 4) She would have been a resourceful woman, as she, along with “many others” helped to fund the ministry of Jesus out of their own means.

Mary of Magdala was a woman who had a radically transformed life because of Jesus. We know nothing of her life after the resurrection from the Bible. But it does seem clear that out of love and devotion she dedicated the rest of her life to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ to all who would listen.

She is a model for us to follow today. We chose Mary Magdalene as our name’s sake because the same promise of redemption that she had is available to all of our participants. Our goal is that our participants would reflect these qualities as well.