Journey to Jerusalem

In our lives we all have had those moments where a voice over a phone or a voice from across a room has gotten our attention. And it is because that voice is a voice that is familiar to our ears.
I was in a restaurant one time and a group of people were talking a few tables over and a voice began to speak and I automatically turned to see who it was, it was a friend that I had graduated with from high school that I hadn’t seen in many years. But his voice was familiar.
We all probably have stories like that. But probably not to the extent of what a scripture this morning will describe. This morning we are going to take a look into a moment that Mary Magdalene heard a familiar voice.

The word of Conversion

If we turn to Luke 8:2 we find a little information about Mary Magdalene. This scripture is making mention of the women that traveled along with Jesus and the disciples. But within it gives us glimpse of where Mary Magdalene started. The first time she heard the voice of Jesus.
Luke 8:2 NKJV
and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,
Have you ever wondered what the first meeting of Mary of Magdala and Jesus the Son of God was like? Mary was a woman that was possessed by seven demons and by tradition was considered a prostitute. Did she cry out in scorn at Jesus, as others had? Did she cower in fear in a dark corner, afraid of His power? We can spend a lot of time in that thought but all in all what matters most is a woman came face to face with the Master and heard the words of conversion, “Be Whole.” Mary experienced transformation.
As we sit here this morning let me ask you a question. Is your life in need of change? Is there an evil spirit that keeps you tied up in knots? Is it the spirit of selfishness? Fear? Hate?
An anonymous poet wrote this:
Oh, I wish there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of beginning again
Where all our sins and mistakes
Could be laid aside like a shabby, old coat
And never be put on again!
There is such a place! The place where you meet Jesus. He can change your life just as he changed the life of Mary Magdalene!
I think it is significant that Mary was the first person to see the risen Lord. Think about it. Mary had one of the most dramatic conversion experiences.
There is a message that God wants us to know about resurrection and conversion.
Without Christ’s resurrection, there can be no conversion.
Paul wrote,
Philippians 3:10 NKJV
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
The resurrection power is what changes people.
A dead Christ can change no one.
Paul told the Corinthians
1 Corinthians 15:17 NKJV
And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
The power of sin nailed Jesus to the Cross; the power of God raised Him from the dead. That same power continues to work, and if you will repent of your sin and trust Jesus, His power will change you today.

The word of appreciation

As we look a little further in Luke 8:2
Luke 8:2 NKJV
and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,
Luke 8:3 NKJV
and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
Looking into this scripture we can see that Mary made her life about service to Jesus and His mission.
Conversion should result in committed service
We are not given any clear details as to what Mary and the others did to help serve in the mission all we know is what the scripture says, they “provided for Him from their substance.”
What I think this means is, that we use what talents and gifts that God has blessed us with to Glorify Him.
Ephesians 2:10 NKJV
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
We are His workmanship: He has made us who we are.
Created in Christ Jesus for good works: to do good work.
That God prepared before hand.
I think God appreciates our ministry. I think Mary heard the words of appreciation from Jesus everyday.
I want you to take note of something. Jesus notices our ministry. The woman and the two mites in Luke 21 was noticed and he noticed all that were giving what they had the rich and poor. This also can be thought of as those with more talents and less talents or gifts.
In Luke 21:1-4
Luke 21:1–4 NKJV
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
There is something I want you to know. God notices and God appreciates your ministry.
In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:21
Matthew 25:21 NKJV
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

The Word of Commission

When Jesus spoke her name, Mary realized it was Jesus and embraced Him in adoration.
John 20:17 NKJV
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
“Do not cling to Me.” It was not a time of worship.
The resurrection is not something that grasp onto and hold onto selfishly it is something we share.
Mary must have understood, she “went to the disciples with the news: I have seen the Lord!
A Newspaper had this interesting editorial about Easter, “Easter is usually a quiet occasion…Millions of Americans make a special effort to go to church on Easter Sunday. Easter is a wholesome kind of holiday. It gives all of us an opportunity to recuperate in a small measure from the harassments of daily life.”
That is not what the Lord intended. The resurrection is the one thing that gives us power to enter into the harassments of life and change the world. It is ironic that for Christians, Easter events take place inside the church building. We dress up and go to church where we enjoy our programs and decorations.
Jesus said the big event should be outside the church, “Go Tell!”
When we take a moment and look at the commissioning of Mary it should illustrate something to us. The Lord desires every disciple to share the resurrection news
Jesus’ appearance to Mary ( a woman with a scandalous past) sent shock waves throughout the band of disciples. The 11 disciples probably thought that one or all of them should have been the first to see Jesus. Isn’t that just like Jesus to use the person that is considered the least likely?
The special ingredient is Love.
He will use any of us to tell the good news.


Jesus still speaks. His voice can be heard. That familiar voice, are you listening?
Revelation 3:20 NKJV
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
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