Who are the 3 Marys in the Bible: Role models for modern women

Marys in the bible

The Bible is filled with stories of remarkable individuals whose lives offer lessons for us all.

Among these, the narratives of the three women stand out.

Each of these women are called Mary:

  • Mary, the Mother of Jesus
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Mary of Bethany

These women played a pivotal role in the story of Christianity, demonstrating faith, resilience, and devotion.

As a result, women get inspired by their stories even today.

In this article, we’ll explore the lives of these three Marys and focus on their significance as role models for modern women seeking to live a life of purpose and faith.

Mary of Nazareth: The mother of Jesus

Mary of Nazareth, often referred to as the Virgin Mary holds a central position in the Christian faith.

She is depicted as a humble woman chosen by God to give birth to Jesus Christ – the Son of God.

Her story begins at the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel visits her and reveals that she will conceive a child by the Holy Spirit.

Despite her initial fear and confusion, Mary’s faith in God remains unwavering.

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” — that’s her response that reflects her devotion and surrender to God’s plan.

Mary’s journey continues as she experiences the joys and sorrows of motherhood.

Whether it’s Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem or his crucifixion at Golgotha, Mary stands by her son, offering support and love.

Her steadfast faith and unconditional love for her son make Mary of Nazareth an enduring figure in the Christian faith.

Simply put, she’s a symbol of obedience and trust in God — that’s how she sets an example for all believers.

Mary Magdalene: The faithful follower

Now, let’s focus on Mary Magdalene — another prominent Mary in the Bible, known for her unwavering devotion to Jesus Christ.

Contrary to many misconceptions, the Bible does not explicitly identify her as a prostitute. Instead, the Gospel of Luke describes her as a woman from whom seven demons had been cast out.

Following her deliverance, she becomes a faithful follower of Jesus, providing for him out of her own means.

Her dedication is most evident at the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

As the Gospels narrate, Mary Magdalene stays at the cross when many others flee, witnessing Jesus’ suffering and death.

The depth of her devotion is further underscored by her being the first to discover the empty tomb of Jesus on Easter morning.

According to the Gospel of John, she is also the first person to whom Jesus appears after his resurrection.

Mary Magdalene’s life represents transformation and steadfast faith. Her devotion to Jesus, even in times of intense grief and uncertainty, makes her an influential figure in the Christian tradition.

Mary of Bethany: The devoted disciple

The third Mary we encounter in the Bible is Mary of Bethany — a figure often recognized for her acts of devotion towards Jesus.

She is introduced in the Gospel of Luke as the sister of Martha and Lazarus, living in the village of Bethany.

Unlike her sister Martha, who is busy with serving, Mary chooses to sit at Jesus’ feet, listening to his teachings. This act signifies her eagerness to learn and her prioritization of spiritual nourishment over worldly duties.

The most significant account involving Mary of Bethany is found in the Gospels of John and Mark, where she anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.

Despite criticism for her extravagance, Jesus defends her action, stating that she has done a beautiful thing to him and her act would be remembered.

Mary of Bethany’s story symbolizes the importance of spiritual devotion and the value of understanding Jesus’ teachings. Her actions serve as a reminder that faith often requires us to put aside worldly concerns and focus on our spiritual growth.

Significance of the Three Marys

As you can see, the lives of these three Marys – Mary of Nazareth, Mary Magdalene, and Mary of Bethany – offer profound insights into the heart of the Christian faith.

Each, in her own way, embodies a unique aspect of discipleship and offers lessons that believers can apply in their own spiritual journeys.

Specifically:

  • Mary of Nazareth’s trust in God’s plan exemplifies faith and surrender.
  • Mary Magdalene’s transformation and devotion to Jesus highlights the power of redemption and the strength of steadfast faith.
  • Mary of Bethany’s prioritization of spiritual nourishment over worldly concerns serves as a reminder for believers to seek first God’s kingdom.

In essence, by understanding the lives and contributions of these three women, we gain a richer understanding of their roles within the biblical narrative and their enduring impact on Christian tradition.

The Way to the Cross

The presence of the three Marys at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ presents a profound tableau of faith, devotion, and the diverse paths that lead individuals to witness the central event of Christian salvation history.

In this section, I’d like to focus on how their foot of the cross encapsulates a unique aspect of discipleship and belief:

1) Mary, the mother of Jesus, represents divine calling.

Her path was set in motion by an angelic visitation, marking her with a destiny that would intertwine deeply with the very salvation of humankind.

Her journey reflects a submission to God’s will and a steadfast belief in His promises. It culminates in the piercing sorrow at the cross that had been foretold.

2) Mary, the sister of Jesus’ mother, exemplifies familial association and proximity to Jesus.

Her connection through family ties positioned her within the unfolding narrative of Jesus’ ministry from an intimate vantage point.

Her presence at pivotal moments highlights a journey marked by supportive service and witness to her nephew’s ultimate sacrifice.

3) Mary Magdalene’s path to the cross is carved through personal transformation and redemption.

Healed by Jesus from demonic possession, her life is radically changed, propelling her into the role of close follower and supporter of His ministry.

Her journey is marked by loyalty and leadership, culminating in being the first to witness and proclaim the resurrection.

These narratives underscore how individuals are drawn to Christ through various means — divine call, familial bonds, or transformative encounters with His mercy.

Therefore, the crucifixion scene, with these three women named Mary in attendance, serves not only as a historical account but also as a poignant illustration of how faith, in its many forms.

Samuel Cho

Samuel Cho

I'm Samuel Cho from South Korea, where my passion for writing and Christ intertwines. Through my essays and articles, I aim to bridge the divine with the daily, drawing from Scripture and my own life's journey. My articles often explore how faith intersects with everyday life in an Asian context. With each piece, I invite readers on Biblescripture.net to reflect on the universal truths within our diverse experiences of faith.

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