Mary Magdalene's life changed irrevocably. Nothing could be done to change what had happened. After finding the tomb empty in John 20, the other disciples returned to their homes. Mary could not leave.
Jesus was sitting near the temple treasury one day, observing all who passed by. He witnessed many wealthy people give large sums of money to the treasury. He also saw a woman—a poor widow—give two small copper coins, worth just one penny. But Jesus declared, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44).
In the past few years, numerous people have asked me why I make such a big deal about gender equality. Have I experienced such extreme inequality? What traumatic experience drives my activism? Why am I so passionate and outspoken about this issue? People often assume that a tragic event in my personal life led to this behavior.
Christians are used to hearing about Joseph and Mary, usually around Christmas. Then, they’re the supporting cast, and Jesus is the focus. They certainly don’t often come up in conversations about Christian marriage. Perhaps they should.
Tucked away in the story of the growth of the church, a few verses in Acts 16 detail how a top Christian leader endangered both himself and his ministry for the sake of a person with all the counts against her.