Series: The Word
Philippians 4:5 CEV
Luke 8:1-3 ESV
Matthew 27:55-56 ESV
Mark 16:9-11 ESV
Galatians 5:22-24 ESV
Galatians 5:24 The Message
I know this is the second time for this “word” but it seems like gentleness is uncommon in this day and age. I’m not sure if that’s why I’m drawn to it again, but I get a nudge…
The truth of the matter is that rough boisterous character is pretty common today.
Philippians 4:5 tells us, “Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here.”
I am a huge fan of the movie “The Chosen”. Understand that I’ve watched various stories about the life of Jesus through the years and while they were good, The Chosen accomplished something none of those movies were able to do.
The Chosen made me think and re-think about the personalities of the characters.
One of the characters that has moved me from the movie is Mary Magdalene. Until I saw the movie I had not considered that who Mary was before she knew Jesus made her who she was after she met Jesus.
I think that’s because Mary (or any of us) cannot deny our previous experiences.
Mary was a very different person before she met Jesus.
Luke 8:1-3 tells us, “Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.”
Before Mary met Jesus she had seven demons.
She was living a nightmare day and night. She was possessed. She did not understand or know peace until she met Jesus.
We know from Matthew 27:55-56 Mary Magdalene was at the cross when Jesus was crucified and died, “There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”
We know from Mark 16:9-11 on Sunday morning after Jesus had been crucified and died Jesus appeared to Mary, “Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.”
Mary went to the tomb and while there Jesus appeared to her. She was the first to see the risen Lord.
In the movie The Chosen we see Mary depicted as a woman who struggles with her past. She remembers who she was and what Jesus did for her.
In the movie I was ‘struck’ by Mary’s thoughtfulness.
She is a gentle soul.
She is considerate and thoughtful.
It’s almost as if because Mary remembers and struggles with who she was before she met Jesus, so her new life in Christ ‘took on’ extreme gratitude that spills out of her in the form of thoughtful consideration.
Her gentle nature is a supreme gift that came about because Jesus healed her.
Jesus rescued her.
He set her free from extreme torment and torture.
Because she had suffered terribly before she met Jesus I had to wonder when I watched the movie if Jesus gave her an extra extra measure of gentleness.
Gentleness is one of nine Fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-24 Paul wrote, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
When I was young I read verses 22-23 and I memorized those. Then one day I read the verse (24) that follows. Those who have Christ belong to Jesus. And those who have Jesus no longer rely on ourselves (the flesh). We look to Jesus. Jesus gives us the fruit of the Spirit.
The Message says in Galatians 5:24, “Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.”
Mary Magdalene knew she belonged to Jesus. Even though in the movie she temporarily struggled because of her human condition, she was crucified with Christ.
Jesus gave Mary Magdalene (also called Mary of Magdala) a gentle spirit.
The woman who had been tortured was now set free and filled with the gentleness of Christ.
Years ago I regularly taught a children’s book about the Fruit of the Spirit and I would tell the children the fruit from the tree is an outpouring of the inner nature of the tree. In the movie Mary’s gentleness was apparent because it was generously poured into her from Jesus.
Spiritual Practice: Gentleness
Sit with Jesus. Ask Jesus to give you an extra measure of one Fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control.
In God, Deborah