An Encounter with Jesus

Oct. 10, 2014 Janet Parshall

Session Transcript

Janet Parshall unpacked the story of Mary Magdalene found in John 20 at True Woman '14 in order to show us what it means to go from thinking we know who Jesus really is to embracing totally Jesus for who He is.

Mary Magdalene is mentioned in all four gospels and is named more times than any other woman in the New Testament save for Jesus' mother. She was a woman from whom Jesus had removed seven demons. Seven!

That means at one time Mary Magdalene was likely overcome with depression, suicidal thoughts, uncontrollable rage, cursing, voices in her head, hatred of those around her, unidentifiable fears, self-mutilation, exhibitionism, loneliness, and possibly even homelessness.

But when Mary's life was emptied of demons, her desire was to follow Jesus. He had changed her life, and now she couldn't bear to be apart from the One who set her free. He became her all in all.

In fact, now that she was a financially successful woman, Luke 8:3 tells us that Mary Magdalene helped fund Jesus' ministry.

She loved him, no question about that. But did she really know who Jesus was?

All too soon that fateful day came when she stood under His cross and heard Him say, "I'm thirsty," but she couldn't fill his cup. How she wept when He cried, "It is finished!" . . . because she didn't yet know who He really was.

She prepared for the saddest Sabbath she would ever observe, and then something happened.

She showed up at the tomb that Sunday morning and saw that the entrance of the tomb had been removed. She ran-hysterical-to Peter and John, and told them, "They've taken the Lord out of the tomb!" (She doesn't know that; she's just guessing that.)

Mary goes back to the tomb, wailing from the depth of her being, and looks inside this time. That's when she sees two angels clothed in white. They ask, "Why are you crying?"

She should have been dancing with delight for the earth-shattering, prophesy-fulfilling, grace-providing, death-conquering event that had just taken place! But she wasn't. She wasn't dancing because she didn't know Him.

Then someone else asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"

She cried, "Sir, if you've carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and then I will get Him." But all her "why's" dissipated in one simple word, "Mary."

It was Jesus!

For the first time, Mary understood that more than Jesus, He was the Christ.

Of all things. The first eyewitness of Christ's resurrection is the former mad woman from Magdala. A woman! And now she's commissioned by Christ to go and tell others. Mary of Magdala goes from being a mad woman to a missionary because of what Jesus Christ had done for her.

How about you? Do you really know Jesus? Not just know Him by name or that He existed historically or have a vague familiarity from attending church, but . . . do you know Him intimately?

You may know a good deal about Christ by a kind of head knowledge. You may know who He is, where He was born, and what He did. You may know His miracles and sayings, how he lived and suffered and died.

But unless you know the power of Christ's cross by experience, unless you know and feel within that the blood shed on that cross has washed away your own particular sins, Christ will profit you nothing. Unless you are willing to confess that your salvation depends entirely on the work that Christ did on that cross, He will profit you nothing.

Do you know Him?