The Cured Demonic
It is strange how the painter’s brush can lie and be guilty of a vile slander. Again, the vitality and self-propagating power of a lie is marvelous.
The name of Magdalene is chiefly associated in the popular mind with the picture of a voluptuous though sad woman, with places of refuge for fallen women.
There is not the slightest evidence in the Gospel narratives or in the writings narratives or in the writings of the early church fathers, that Mary Magdalene had ever been a woman of ill repute. She had been possessed of seven demons, and Jesus cast them out, freeing her from the awful malady. It would be unspeakably cruel in those days to assume that every insane woman was an abandoned character. Insanity does often come as a result of sin, but insanity is not proof of sin.
Demoniacal possession in the days of Christ was more than insanity. The powers of Darkness seem to have been let lose when the Son of God came to earth. The special manifestation of God’s benevolence was mat by the special manifestation of demoniacal malignity.
Mary had probably been a poor, wild, craving creature like the Gadarene demoniac, and the terrible affliction resulted in an emaciated form and a face with scars and deep lines. When she was cured, every drop of blood in her veins went out in gratitude to her Deliverer and she followed him, with Mary, his own mother, and ministered to him of her property. She was, no doubt, a woman of mature years, like the mother of Jesus, and next to her is the most prominent female character in the New Testament. She was last at the cross, last to leave the tomb, first to visit it on the resurrection morning, and first to carry the news that Christ had risen.
Christ’s work for Mary Magdalene and her loving ministration to him constitute the type of the elevation of woman to the rank of friendship with the man. She no longer has slave, but his co-worker and equal, capable of accepting responsibilities and sharing equally in the results.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.