Our most recent Mile High Ministries Staff Meeting was graced with a performance based on Mary Magdalene. The performance beautifully touched on a part of the Gospel narrative of Jesus’ resurrection that many of us tend to overlook–the fact that the men snub the first Apostle!
Mary Magdalene has an encounter with the Resurrected Christ. Hers is the first of all the encounters! Jesus trusts her with the message–perhaps knowing the biases of the men in the group. Predictably, the men hear her words and refuse to believe her–something that 2,000 years later, many women are still forced to endure.
This narrative sent my mind racing with a question. How often does God embed our invitations to see and embrace the Gospel directly in the center of our own biases? Joseph’s first invitation to believe the Good News was through a young unmarried woman claiming her pregnancy was the result of a miracle rather than infidelity. For the men in the Samaritan village, the invitation came through a woman who was most certainly shamed within her community. For the Disciples, the invitation came from a woman most likely marginalized by the men in the group.
Maybe the Disciples refused to believe that Jesus would choose to appear to a woman first. That seemed to go against the belief of the day that men were more reliable and had greater access to God. Yet Jesus makes the intentional choice to send the Proclamation of His resurrection with the one labeled “unreliable”. Perhaps He was sending–along with that proclamation–an invitation to put their biases aside and receive the Apostle standing before them.
What biases do you hold on to? Maybe it’s the same for you. Maybe your bias prevents you from hearing the Good News proclaimed from the women around you. Homosexuals? Black Lives Matter activists? Liberals? Conservatives? The Homeless? Immigrants? Children? Felons? Drug Addicts?
The Bible does little to comfort us in this regard. There seems to be a very good chance that your invitations to hear and embrace the Gospel will come straight through the heart of your own biases. God seems to favor this. Maybe God is a cosmic jokester. Or maybe God recognizes our need to face our biases, let go of them, and simply listen.