Salome strained her ears to hear what the group of women were saying. They were all gathered at Martha’s house – her neighbour. They had been gathering there every fortnight for the past year. They would sing, talk in hushed tones, pray and rejoice over one another.
She had no business with them and generally ignored them but today was different. Today was the day Henry left her. He had given her a certificate of divorce as allowed by the law of Moses and just packed his bags and left.
Thirteen years she had slaved for that bull of a man!
Thirteen years she had been on her back catering to his every outrageous demands and he still had the guts to say that she hadn’t pleased him?
She spat on the dust.
The dividing line between her and Martha’s house was so thin so she didn’t have to strain too much to hear them speak. She listened because she was simply glad to be distracted off her suicidal thoughts for a while.
One of the women was speaking:
“I met Him on a certain day when the evil spirits had been on an unusually high torment of my senses. I was frustrated out of my mind but I didn’t know what to do. I felt my senses slipping off; almost as if in just a few moments I would run mad.
You women may have heard of my story.
Then suddenly he was there, standing in front of me. I had not even heard him walk by because I was spent from having been thrown here and there by the demons since morning.
His disciples were with Him and the crowd had not followed Him on that particular day so far out-of-town.
You see, I woke up in my home but found myself so far out in the mountains when I came to myself. The demons would make me walk for miles just scratching my head and body and talking to myself…I had rolled on the rocks a few times that day too and was injured.
He stopped when He saw me and He asked me what was wrong.
At first I didn’t want to answer Him because I had told the religious leaders that I was troubled by demons before but they couldn’t do anything. Instead, they cast me out of the synagogue. They said God could not accept a demon possessed woman in his temple.
But as He stood there looking at me and waiting for my reply, I suddenly felt a brokenness on the inside of me. His smile was so tender, I felt like the little girl I had once been again..
So I replied him ‘I am troubled by demons’.
I waited for his reply. I didn’t know who He was and thought he was just a concerned man.
I waited, holding my breath and expecting Him to walk away just as quickly as He had appeared.
He asked me ‘do you want to be free?’
I looked up at Him with tears in my eyes. I remembered all the years through which the demons had dealt with me and made me an outcast in the midst of my people. I remembered how no man would marry me because when they sighted me when I was sane and came later to see me, I would start spouting off spittle in my mouth and shaking violently. I remembered today, how I had rolled on rocks on the way here..
With tears in my eyes, I said with all my heart ‘yes’.
Then He took me by the hand and said just two words: ‘leave her!’
All of a sudden, I heard a sharp sounding shriek that seemed like it was coming from my belly.
My screams pierced the air as the demons struggled in my body. I fell to the ground and rolled all around in front of Him.
Finally, it stopped.
I could feel that I was free.
He took me by the hand, lifted me to my feet and said just two words again: ‘Mary Magdalene’.
He said it in such a way that I knew that He knew me.
I had been known by the demons for so long that His simply calling me by my name left me in more tears.
I knelt, looked Him in His eyes and called Him ‘Master’.
Then again I thought of what He had done for me and so I added, ‘what would you have me do?’.
He simply looked at me with such love in His eyes and said ‘follow me’.
Oh I love Him so….”
Salome could hear sniffles from the tears of the women all around Mary Magdalene.
She herself was moved to tears. She had demons in her life too. The demons were in her head. They told her she wasn’t beautiful and they had led her to slave away for Henry day after day after day even while knowing that He had been working her as a slave. She simply wanted to be called a man’s wife!
She heard another one of the women sniff and say ‘I know that feeling of feeling like someone when He calls your name’.
They all agreed.
“He called my name too.
He had come to visit me in my house and I was so thrilled that He had stopped by my humble home. I was consumed with thoughts of what to make Him. I went into the kitchen with an elaborate plan for a dinner feast! I began the work with much enthusiasm but the preparations soon overwhelmed me.
I had not seen my sister Mary since I entered into the kitchen. I thought it was just Lazarus who was sitting with Him in the sitting room but when I stepped in, I saw Mary sitting at His feet too. My blood boiled. I was so angry I could feel my blood flowing so hot in me. I calmed myself down and said “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
He looked at me in that loving way of His and answered me: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
I knew that He had reprimanded me in front of my sister. I saw my faults and rightly so but it was the way He called my name that struck me.
I had always felt as if my name could only mean something when it was associated with my serving. Right from when I had been a child, I had only received compliments when I cooked and served the table. No one ever looked my way except I was at my post of serving and so I had always felt visible when I was serving.
But here was Him, calling my name and simply asking me to come sit at His feet too. It broke me. He wanted me. He simply wanted me…”
Oh how Salome ached for someone who would simply want her.
Henry had only looked her way when she did something for him. He had been a Roman Soldier and she knew that she wasn’t supposed to intermarry but she loved him… to her own detriment no less.
Was there really a man who could simply want someone with nothing else attached?
Someone who would simply want her to be with him aside from her warming his bed and cooking his food? She doubted. But Martha had found that kind of man.
She dreamed off into space and stayed there till another one of the women spoke.
“He told me He wanted me too.”
She recognised the voice as that of Susanna. She was a merchant who sold clothes in the market place and Salome had bought many fine linen from her anytime she wanted to look sultry for Henry. They were never enough to keep his eyes from wanting other women when he was at his duty post. The tears flowed down her eyes.
“I had heard the story of how He saved the woman at the well – the Samaritan woman.
It was all over Samaria and then the news entered into Judae too.
He had not only spoken to a woman but had forgiven one who had had multiple husbands!
I had never been married but I had a slew of men that came through my bedroom weekly.
No man had ever offered for my hand in marriage but I had the money from my business to buy any man I wanted and so when they would come with their wives and betrothed to buy my goods I would always find a way to get them into my bed.
I was ashamed of my way of life but it was okay in a way. Unlike the Samaritan woman, no one knew what I was doing.
But I knew and wanted absolution.
One day while He was resting in a house I went to Him.
I think He knew immediately He saw me because He simply said to me ‘woman, your sins are forgiven’
I wept when He said that.
Could it really be true?
But the Pharisees heard and rose up against Him. They questioned Him as to what authority He had to forgive sins.
A paralytic man was there too. We both needed Him but in a different way.
I will never forget what He answered to the Pharisees and He showed that he could forgive sins with signs and wonders following before my eyes.
He answered and said: “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘ Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” —then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house.”
At this miracle I believed He could forgive my sins and wept sore.
He turned to me again and said “daughter, your sins are forgiven”.
Everyone wondered what He meant because I was known as a respectable woman but only I and Him knew.
I went to Him on my knees after I got myself together, lifted up my eyes to His and said “what can I do to show my appreciation?”
I was willing to leave my business and stay with Him on the road.
But immediately I thought that I heard Him say “No. Simply go and sin no more”.
Since then I have lived chaste in secret and in public and availed myself of every opportunity to hear Him speak.
My business has been more prosperous than before. Now I use the money to help the poor and support His ministry.
I am content but one day He told me that He will give me a man like Himself as a husband.
I told Him I don’t want a husband and He laughed. I could see mischief in His eyes.
I simply said that I couldn’t imagine loving another man like I loved Him and if a man comes, he must love Him like I loved Him too.
He looked at me and said “both of you will love me and I will give you a love for your husband that flows from your love from me. Fear not”.
I have carried His words in my heart since. I am satisfied in Him and recently Simon had began to knock on my door”.
The women all laughed and teased Susanna about her upcoming wedding.
Salome smiled sadly too in her spot from where she was eavesdropping.
Could she ever be satisfied with one man and love Him so much that she wants no one else?
Even when she was with Henry, she wasn’t satisfied and she kept wishing for a man who would come and fulfill all her heart desires.
The laughter died down in the other room and she heard a voice say “Chuza’s wealth wasn’t enough to keep me satisfied too. He would travel and leave me at home with the children and more money than I could spend but I never felt loved. I never felt like someone until I met Him”.
Suddenly Salome’ s heart burned within her!
Who was this man who could fill the lives of these women with love and total satisfaction?
Wasn’t that what she wanted in her life also?
Wasn’t that what she had tried to find in Henry?
She wept and wept.
Suddenly she heard a voice say: “go and ask them who He is..”.
She knew Martha was a kind woman and won’t run her out of her home.
She got up before she could second guess herself again.
She burst into Martha’s house and came in to see startled faces looking at her.
She wanted to greet them but her tongue couldn’t move.
The only thing that burned in her heart were the words that came out:
“Who is this man”?
They all looked at her in realization.
Martha knew she must have heard their stories.
No one was ashamed. They all looked at her with love and understanding.
She asked again “who is this man???”
They all said “Jesus!!!”
She felt a fire burning inside her.
Peace like a river and hope like she had not had for thirteen years.
Just at the mere sound of His name, she fell down and wept.
“Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance”
Luke 8:1-3 NKJV
Study Insights and Questions:
Read John Chapter 4
1: Who is Jesus to you?
2: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?
3: Do you think that you are too far gone and He wouldn’t want you?
See John 4
4: Are you more concerned with serving Jesus than being with Him?
Jesus wants you to just BE before Him. He loves you still when you spend time with Him and in fact desires that you simply BE with Him at His feet and with His word before you work for Him.
See Luke 10:38-42.
Look for how to reschedule your days to put being with Jesus first
5: Do you know who Jesus is?
See John Chapter 1
6: Like Salome, do you want to know this man?
Simply believe in Him in your heart and confess with your mouth.
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:8-10 NKJV
Prayer for salvation/rededication
Lord Jesus I come to you. I ask for forgiveness of my sins. Please forgive me. I ask that you come be my Lord and saviour and fill me with your Spirit. Thank you Jesus for saving me.
Begin a relationship with God by staying at His feet with His word. Start with the gospel of John to know Jesus more and join a Bible believing church.
If you need a hand to help you please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
Colossians 1:13-18 NKJV
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