For almost two thousand years, Mary Magdalene was seen as the bad girl, the scarlet sinner, the one whom Jesus the Good Teacher told to Go and Sin no more (John 8:53). With the rise of feminism, the church has claimed that there is no scriptural evidence to prove that Mary Magdalene was the Adulterer the Good Teacher admonished. By doing so, the church feels they have exonerated Mary Magdalene and lifted her up as a faithful student of the Good Teacher.
In my thesis Mary Magdalene: Her image and relationship to Jesus, http://summit.sfu.ca/item/12048 I assert Mary Magdalene and Jesus the Good Teacher had an adulterous affair that made them both sinners according to the Law. History exonerates him and lifts him up as the Messiah because he did not condemn her. More importantly, because he tells her to go and sin no more...people assume she is guilty of adultery and he is not. Exonerating Mary by disassociating her from other stories of women such as the Woman at the Well, Mary of Bethany, and the Sinner Woman of Luke 7, makes Mary a Saint at the expense of the other women. This is just not fair. It keeps the male double standard in place and makes "saintly women" who are sexually chaste the gatekeepers of sexual mores that keep the double standard in place.
Leaders seeking social justice break convention. They call attention to unjust laws. They even break unjust laws to call attention to the injustice and have the unjust law declared illegal. By doing so, they expect to get caught and endure the punishment and evoke a ground swell of outrage against the unjust Law and those responsible for enforcing the unjust Law. To insist Jesus the Good Teacher was without sin and without blemish who substituted himself for the Woman and endured her punishment, compounds the injustice. Failing to name the Good Teacher as the Woman’s correspondent, keeps the double standard in place and keeps Mary subservient to the Teacher’s leadership as his faithful disciple, his student. By acknowledging Mary as Jesus, the Woman Caught in Adultery, Christians can be the Light of the World and lead the world out of sin. Change starts with leaders who are pregnant with love and justice who are not afraid to break unjust laws and overturn sexist and racist interpretations of the Bible.
Simon the Cyrene aka the Black is another leader that has been overlooked. He carried the Cross of Jesus (Mark 15:21) Mark names him as the Father of Rufus and Alexander. Yet church teaching fails to openly acknowledge him as Jesus the Rock and Simon the Pharisee. A Pharisee was a father of the Law and the oral traditions. (Buttrick, George Arthur. “Pharisees.” The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 3. New York: Abingdon; 1962, pp 776-777.) Simon the Pharisee would have been the Father of the Law who doubted Jesus’ prophetic abilities and who judged the anointing Woman a sinner (Luke 7:39-43).
Simon’s identity as an esteemed Father of the Faith is important. The Great Commission of the Faith, is to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18–20). The first Christians equated Mary Magdalene with Mary the Mother of God. For details see my Master of Arts Liberal Studies thesis project. http://summit.sfu.ca/item/12048
Every year at Christmas, Christians celebrate how the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary and how she gave birth to a new conception of God. This new conception revealed God as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in an eternal loving and forgiving relationship. Jesus made flesh is this Trinity. Scripture shows Mary, Simon and the Good Teacher as that Holy Trinity—who strive for peace and justice, forgive one another, and love much. This makes Mary and each person of the Trinity a leader and a follower—a good leader who knows when to be bad!
For further details of the Trinity and Jesus see my peer reviewed paper The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: The Forgiven Sinner published without my permission by Horizon Research Publishing Corporation http://www.hrpub.org/download/20150730/SA6-19690340.pdf
The idea of a married Jesus tantalizes romantics. Perhaps because the idea of pledging one’s faith and loyalty to one person is a grand gesture. Dan Brown, Margaret Starbird, Michael Baigente, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln brought the idea of a married Jesus out of the closet.
Theologians denied the possibility of a married with children Jesus. According to Darrell L. Bock, Jesus is the code that people should turn to. Bock asserts Jesus and the New Testament reveal Mary Magdalene as Jesus’ disciple, not his wife (Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answering the Questions Everybody’s Asking; Mary Magdalene: Her image and relationship to Jesus)
Don’t let Bock fool you. Scripture also reveals Jesus as a Bridegroom (Matthew 9:15; John 3:29, Song of Solomon 5:1). For Bock and others, Mary makes a better witness to the risen Jesus if she is an unmarried disciple sharing the role of bride with seven women with the same name in the New Testament (Breaking the Da Vinci Code). This reinforces the idea of God’s kingdom being like Solomon’s, where the King has many wives and or lovers (Matthew 25:1-10).
Seven women with the name Mary is a great clue. People assume each time Mary is described that she is a different Mary. Perhaps it is because they assume the King in The Song of Solomon is Jesus. Again, watch out. The fact that the Woman of the Song lets go of the King in favour of the Stag who loves her is another clue that is easy to miss. The Stag is also thought to be Jesus.
To go beyond The Da Vinci Code and unveil the Bride and her Groom requires some bible literacy. It also requires a belief that Love is a redemptive affair. If Mary Magdalene is the Bride of Solomon’s Song and the Teacher is the King Mary does not hold onto, then Mary’s beloved will be the Stag her companions are expecting. This Stag will be the husbandman and father, the Lord of the Gospel, that Mary is looking for when she first encounters the theologians and the Teacher outside the tomb (John 20:14-15).
Limiting Jesus to the role of Teacher, limits our faith and keeps him and his disciples bent over like the bent over woman of the Gospel (Luke 13:11). We need to stand tall and realize Jesus comes among us when we realize our resurrection story in light of Solomon’s Song. Indeed, Jesus is the King, the Stag and the Woman coming up from the wilderness leaning upon her beloved (Song of Solomon 8:5).
Did you know that Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer –the littlest reindeer with the antlers and the bright red nose is FEMALE…even though she has a male name.? If you don’t believe me…check out http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/wildlife/6487154/Rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-is-a-female.html
Poor Rudolf the other reindeers laughed HE HE and called her names like "HE" and maybe even Dorcas or Dork for short.
Then one foggy night Santa, being all tarnished with soot came to say…Rudolf…with your nose so bright…will you guide my sleigh tonight?
The story of Christmas told to children is a story we adults can glean clues of divine truth from. All is quiet not a creature is stirring…no one is speaking up. Why does Santa come down the chimney? Why does he come down from heaven…from the night sky through such a narrow opening? Why does old Saint Nick come under the cover of darkness? Why is “he” wearing a scarlet suit?
Now you know if you’re naughty you’ll get the gift of coal and if you’re nice you’ll get Candy…hard rock candy cane shaped like a shepherd’s crook. People from Chania on Crete may get that one. Did you know that Crete was once called “Candia or Candy” by Brits? And guess what Simon the Cyrene and Cretans lived in the same province during Roman times. Did you know Cretans were one of the first Christians to welcome Simon the Rock and the flames of the Holy Spirit? Acts 2 http://sundayteacher.com/vcmedia/2414/2414925.pdf
But why coal? Why would Old Nico, Mr. Noddy, give naughty kids a block of coal in their stockings? Why would poor little beggars who run around the city stealing to keep warm, need a lump of coal?
Did you know that there was a Christian Father called Simon who carried the Cross of Jesus? Many Christians believed he was black because his relatives came from Cyrene. Today many simply say there is no proof that he was black. Some even ask. What difference would it make anyway? Well if Simon is the Rock that was rejected, what does that make Simon? Sshh…not a creature was stirring not even a wee biddy didymous.
Back to the name Dorcas. Did you know that Dorcas is the Greek translation of the Aramaic name Tabitha meaning “gazelle”? A Dorcas gazelle is also known as an ariel gazelle, a little deer with horns and a reddish brown, a rufus coloured coat.
Did you know that Simon the ROCK raised Dorcas from the dead? You can read about it in Acts 9:36-42.
As you can see, much can be gleaned from a simple little Christmas poem with Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer leading the way.