Divine insight BY HUMPHREY MUTANDWA
Mary Magdalene was an unmarried woman and thought to be a prostitute. The Jewish culture at that time rarely celebrated women, so historians who recorded the story of Mary Magdalene left out the part that she was a successful tradeswoman.
The system celebrated and counted men only, and it is amazing they even told Mary’s story as they did. Bible scholars of our time believe there were some women whose testimonies were recorded as men’s. Some recorded Mary’s story and said she must have been a prostitute, which leaves the question: Could it be that the only women who could succeed at that time were prostitutes or maybe wealthy because of the family they were married into? Were there no businesswomen? As a prostitute, could she have ministered to Jesus financially or she had another source of income?
Society never celebrates strong women and at times a woman’s value is measured by her role in the home and not in the market place or even the number of children she bears for her husband. When I looked at Mary, I noticed even when she started following Jesus, she didn’t lose her source of income. We can easily assume, then, that she must have had a trade. It would be unthinkable to suggest that she continued sex work after she had started following Jesus. Neither does the Bible indicate that.
Magdala was a coastal city of economic trade, which leaves me to believe Mary was a participator in the trade. The place of a woman in the market place is never supported because men are uncomfortable in the company of strong women. Could it be the reason many successful women are single or it’s a matter of them also finding a balance between work and home?
The lioness is a stronger hunter than a male lion, but that does not shift the role or take the pride from a strong male lion. The male lion can have many lionesses in his pride and still has control of the pride. Mary was said also to have infirmities. Would the infirmities mentioned in Luke 8 have allowed her to be involved in the sex trade? When you look at how she came to follow Jesus, you will be amazed that Christ would walk with someone involved in sex trade.
In our generation, God is raising women who can stand in the market place and also be in the home as strong support to their husbands. A lioness is a strong hunter, but also a good mother that takes care of her cubs. Some say behind every successful man there is a woman. But then this strength was only in the support of the husband at home, but I believe the strength of the woman, if it goes beyond the home, we can see a better world.
Women in our time are taking over in their spheres of influence and I believe God is raising hardworking women to lead in industry and in business in our time for a purpose.
God bless you.
Humphrey Mutandwa is an anointed minister of the gospel and teacher of the Word based in South Africa. He has written several books including The Enoch Generation, Truthfulness and Theophany. He blogs at mtandwa.blogspot.com and can be contacted via e-mail or WhatsApp on +27 610286350.