“(Martha) had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.” Luke 10:39; “Near the cross of Jesus stood (Mary) His mother.” John 19:25; “Early on the first day of the week…Mary Magdalene went to the tomb…” John 20:1.
Three Marys; Mary of Bethany, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. Each of them was drawn to Jesus and loved Him so much that she wanted to be near Him.
Mary of Bethany chose to sit at Jesus’ feet although, as a woman, she should not have been with the men. Her devotion to Jesus was stronger than what other people thought of her. She may have been offending the disciples, but she cared more about being close to Jesus than about pleasing the men in the company.
Martha was irritated with her because she thought that helping her in the kitchen was the right thing to do. She wanted Mary to be like her, working hard to serve Jesus. Jesus responded to Mary’s devotion. He defended Mary’s choice. She could help Martha in the kitchen at any other time, but she could not always be near Him, listening to His teaching. She had made the best choice, and no-one could take it from her.
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, His mother stood nearby. She had given Him birth; she had nursed Him as a baby; she, together with Joseph, had raised Him to adulthood. He was her son. She wanted to be as near to Him as she could, even though she could do nothing to help Him. She loved Him. She wanted Him to know that she was there. She wanted to comfort him, to soothe His pain as she had done when he was a little boy. Just seeing her there must have helped Him to bear His pain.
Jesus responded to Mary by giving her to John as his new mother and he to her as her new son. John took her into his home so that she would never need to be alone again.
Mary Magdalene was also devoted to Jesus. He had set her free from many devils and she adored Him with all her heart. She followed Him wherever He went and did what she could to take care of Him and His disciples.
Now Jesus was dead. She had also stood at the cross and watched Him die. She was heartbroken. Her beloved Master was dead, cruelly crucified although He had done nothing wrong. Early in the morning she went to the tomb. She wanted to be near Him even though only His broken body was left.
She was beside herself with grief when she found the tomb empty. She did not even see the angels or hear their message. Her grief blinded her to everything around her. Jesus came to Mary and spoke her name. That was enough to turn her grief into joy. She fell at His feet. Jesus was alive.