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13 When the Jewish leaders in Thessalonica heard that Paul had been preaching God’s message in Berea, they went there and caused trouble by turning the crowds against Paul.
12 You should know that the Jews who left your country have moved back to Jerusalem and are now rebuilding that terrible city. In fact, they have almost finished rebuilding the walls and repairing the foundations. 13 You should also know that if the walls are completed and the city is rebuilt, the Jews won’t pay any kind of taxes, and there will be less money in your treasury.
Women of the Bible
8. Mary Magdalene
Why does the name of Mary Magdalene endure in Christianity? Why is her name praised throughout the generations? It is because Jesus wanted her name to be known.
During Jesus’ lifetime, who could understand her behavior? She was ridiculed as a woman of a low background. When she poured perfumed oil worth 300 denarii on his feet, all the disciples mocked her and Judas Iscariot protested her actions. Yet Jesus declared that her name would be remembered wherever the Gospel is preached. He said so because her offering to Jesus at that hour was greater than the devotion of his disciples or anyone else. In fact, her act of devotion to Jesus matched Jesus’ own devotion to God. (4:107, March 16, 1958)
When Jesus was petitioning to Heaven in the Garden of Gethsemane, his three disciples fell asleep; they did not listen to the voice of his prayer. However, Mary Magdalene recognized the divine value of Jesus. She washed his feet with her own hair after pouring perfumed oil on his feet. In this manner, she assured the glory of the Lord Jesus at his resurrection. At the time, his disciples ridiculed her behavior and attempted to stop her. Christians do not know that Jesus was deeply grieved at their attitude, a grievance that remains to this day.
Jesus Christ lived in sorrow, walking a lonely path that no one recognized. Only Mary Magdalene comforted him, empathizing with Jesus’ divine heart for the past, the present and the future. For this reason, he blessed her with joyful grace and elevated her to stand in the forefront of God’s will. (2:212, May 26, 1957)
Mary Magdalene appeared insignificant compared to the disciples, yet when Jesus passed away, she was the one who visited his tomb. Mary loved Jesus—who was still a bachelor—more than anyone else. She followed him everywhere, sharing the ridicule, the cursing and the ostracism he suffered. Because she longed for him so earnestly, when Jesus was resurrected he appeared to her first. Mary Magdalene is a role model for Christians throughout the world, showing the path that they should walk in the latter days.
What was the life of Mary Magdalene? She so loved Jesus that she forgot about what to eat or what to wear. She lived only for him, with an unchanging heart. She was not attached to her life; she did not think about saving face. Her faith was exemplary among all Jesus’ disciples. Christians in the Last Days should have the faith of Mary Magdalene. If you can have the same heart as Mary Magdalene, you would have the tears God shed over the 6000 years of the providence welling up in your eyes, and you would recognize how much you are indebted to Heaven. (4:258-59, June 29, 1958)
When Jesus was resurrected after the cross, he turned Mary Magdalene away when she tried to embrace him. He was not in a position to say, “Mary, my Bride, let us go to the Father together.” Jesus had worked hard to restore the Bride that [Heaven] had sought for 2,000 years, looking forward to the day when he could embrace his Bride. It was the Father’s will that Jesus come before Him rejoicing with his Bride, receive God’s marriage Blessing and become the True Parents… but Jesus departed this world without receiving the Blessing by which he could restore the position of humanity’s true ancestor. This is the sorrow of both God and Jesus. (5:187, January 18, 1959)
Among the disciples, Jesus loved Judas Iscariot in particular. He made Judas his object partner, through whom to restore God’s primary Will. Jesus intended to use him in order to erect a woman in the position of Eve, but to do this they should fulfill the roles of the personages involved in the Fall. Specifically, God’s Will required that Jesus set up Judas’s wife as the new Eve. This woman was Mary Magdalene. She had been Judas’ lover, but now as a disciple she was absolutely obedient to Jesus. So, just as Satan had taken Eve from Adam, Jesus [as Adam] planned to take Judas’s woman to be the new Eve. That way the three of them would fulfill God’s will according to the Principle.
Accordingly, Jesus first acknowledged that Mary Magdalene belonged to Judas Iscariot. Then Jesus commenced the providence by choosing her to be his Eve. While this fundamental providence was going on, in the meantime Satan was fully on the attack, mobilizing the Pharisees and scribes against Jesus. Regardless, had Judas Iscariot trusted, obeyed and attended Jesus in this matter, they would have established the foundation for the fulfillment of God’s Will. But Judas was full of discontent and confronted Jesus. That was the beginning of his rebellion against his Teacher, which culminated when he sold out the One Man unique in all human history for a mere 30 pieces of silver. (Wolli Wonbon 242-43)