March 11th, 2002
Received by H.
My dear brother,
I think you are aware that our story has already reached the year 26. A few years earlier Herod Antipas had ordered the building of a new capital city for his tetrarchy, calling it Tiberias, in honor of the Roman emperor Tiberius. This city was — and still is — located on the western shore of Lake Genesaret.
You will certainly remember that when the workers dug the foundations for the buildings of the new city, they had found the remains of an old Hebrew cemetery. Reactions burst out immediately. The orthodox Jews refused to live in this city, and Antipas found himself forced to turn to the heathens, so that they would settle in his capital.
Eventually his new city had the character of the Greek towns, with pagan temples, and even the palace of Antipas himself showed ornaments and decorations. These caused the orthodox Jews’ rejection.
A few more miles to the north there was a village of Magdala. In earlier times it was a village of fishermen, very similar to Kpar Nahum, only smaller. But the proximity of the new capital caused rapid growth. Many of the Jewish artisans preferred to live and toil in Magdala, thus avoiding incurring the sin of profaning an old burial ground, and so trade flourished at that location. However, as you know, trade and money also attract another kind of service: in Magdala, brothels abounded. We could say that it was a village of doubtful reputation.
When we returned to Kpar Nahum, we very soon realised that the Master’s fame had spread at lightning speed all over the country. People we met along our way recognized him immediately and very respectfully gave us precedence. We had to pass by Tiberias but Jesus preferred not to enter, and so we walked around the city in order to continue to the north. It would be obvious in the future that Jesus avoided the Greek style cities. Anyway, he would not have found many people there interested in his teachings and the few people who really wanted to listen to what the Master had to tell them always found the opportunity of meeting him in the country.
But, in order to continue with our story, how great was our surprise when we came to Magdala and a “women’s delegation” awaited us! They had found out that we were approaching and intercepted us at the entrance to the village. It was a not very homogeneous group, consisting of the wives of workers and artisans, of prostitutes and ladies of the society.
Do you find this strange? Well, the leader, Mariam, was a prostitute, who lived in Magdala, and she knew everybody in the town. She was not a cheap prostitute, but a woman of extraordinary beauty who sold her body very expensively. Mariam of Magdala, or Mary Magdalene, as you know her, had a select clientele among Tiberias’ society, and she also had friendships among the women of this society including Yokhan, one of the wives of Kuzan, Herod’s administrator. Many of the women were sick, and they hoped that the Master would heal them.
H.: And Jesus healed them?
Yes, he healed them. That was another great achievement in those first moments of Jesus’ public ministry. The heart of people of influence had been won. And to win a heart means to open a heart. All these women would accept the Master’s teachings, and with them, many of their husbands and, of course, their children.
H.: So the myth is true that Mary Magdalene was the sinner.
If you refer to the adulterous woman whom Jesus saved from being stoned, you are wrong. If you refer to the woman who anointed the Master’s head and dried his feet with her hair, you are wrong again. However, that she was a sinful woman, yes, she was. Who is not?
The prostitute sells her body for money. This demonstrates her low self-esteem. Others sell their conscience for political gains, for power, for whatever it may be. Others sacrifice their families for their professional career. In short, the entire world prostitutes itself. When you see the TV news, it seems a great parade of prostitution. Everything is done for money, against one’s own conscience. Mr. Money reigns the world, and is worth more than one’s own body or one’s own conscience, on any level, in the personal environment as well as in international politics.
But I will not expand on this topic now. I only want to add that some of the women present, such as Mary Magdalene and Shusha, would accompany the Master on his future teaching journeys. It was male chauvinism of that time which erased the great role of women from the Scriptures. When you read the Gospel of Thomas you will find that Mary Magdalene is the intelligent one that quickly grasps what the Master wants to express, while the male disciples are slow and dull-witted. Well, that is another extreme, but it is not very far from the truth (Judas laughs).
Today I had to struggle to deliver my message. Your receptivity was not very good. Therefore, I think that it is best to finish now. You are tense. Remember how beautiful it was when you were a boy, when you could simply lie down in the grass and enjoy the sun, watching how the bees flew from flower to flower, and seeing in the clouds the most fantastic animals. You can still do it. You may still dream. Dreams are the things which forge reality.
God bless you,
© Copyright is asserted in this message by Geoff Cutler 2013