An apparent pair of Paritys
Most people don't know this, but Satan is really, really fair. No really, he is....... well, when fairness favors him. When fairness favors God, not so much.
So in this Universal court case when anything seems unfair to Satan he screams “unfair!!” and demands fairness, equality, parity, etc. And he should..... after all, it's only fair. And to be fair, that would really have to be God's point too; because 'fairness' is akin to 'parity', thus part of the Universal Law.
And this helps us solve two biblical riddles:
How old was Adam at the time he sinned.....
and “what's the deal with Mary Magdalene? ….anyhoo?”
Iff'n Jesus, at the time he was tested, was just one day older than Adam, when Adam was tested, Satan would have screamed, “Unfair, Jesus has more life-experience than Adam, that gives him an unfair advantage!!” Thus not an “equal-opposite” (parity) ransom.
So, depending on whether you count from Jesus' first test (wilderness after baptism, 30 yrs. old), or his final test (death, 33 years old), Adam would have been at a minimum 30 to 33 years old.
Because, if Jesus, being 30-33, was older than Adam, someone we know would scream “Unfair!” and Adam could not have been less than 30-33 years old because that would make him younger than Jesus, and that same certain someone would scream “Unfair!” once again.
Which brings us to .......(tiny drum roll)....
The Magdalenic riddle:
So, Jesus goes through his whole ministry, does all of these amazing things, and that whole time you hear virtually nothing about about Mary Magdalene. Then he dies and she's suddenly everywhere like a little bee on honey. She is mentioned in every gospel account, as the most noticeable woman at the time of his death, even much more so than his own mother Mary. What's going on here ?? I'm not sure, but I don't think I'm the first person to notice this.
Well, let's get back to our old fairness/parity principle........
When Satan successfully got Adam to sin (remember, it's Adam's sin and Adam's life that Jesus atoned for. 1Cor 15:22,45), the weak spot that Satan got to him through was Adam's deep affection for his wife. (1Tim 2:13,14) So, now imagine this conversation in heaven:
God: 'OK Satan, then it's agreed, I'll send my Son to earth to be tested by you. I'm sure he'll succeed, and provide a ransom in exchange for Adam. But that whole Eve/love-interest part, we're not going to do that this time'.
Satan: 'WHAT!!, That's not fair ! That was the only thing that worked on Adam ! All bets are off !'. How can it be an equal test if you're going to change the rules ! You're a cheater !!'
But God never cheats, never.
Providing a love-interest for Jesus was not just an interesting possibility, it was an absolute legal necessity. If I were in Satan's shoes and God tried to remove that aspect, I would have screamed like a stuck pig. It would have been simply not fair.
Remembering that this website hopes and endeavors to be logical, reasonable, emotional, and Biblical, but not religious, let's see if there is logical, reasonable, emotional, and Biblical support for this.
let me ask you a question. If you died and were resurrected who would
be the first person you would want to see upon your resurrection ?
The love of your life, or the guys from work ?
Who was the first person Jesus wanted to see, and did see, when he came back to life ? Mark 16:9(must read), John 20:11-18
Notice how Mary Magdalene's name is sequenced, favored, and mentioned in these twelve (hmmmm...) scriptures:
Matt 27:56 Matt 27:61 Matt 28:1 Mark 15:40
Mark 15:47 Mark 16:1 Mark 16:9 Luke 8:2
Luke 24:10 John 19:25 John 20:1 John 20:18
So, if the Jesus/Mary relationship is the equivalent of the Adam/Eve relationship, where is the make-or-break-point equivalent of the “if you don't eat this piece of fruit, I'll make your life a living hell, mister.” event ?
In my view, a very good case can be made that the Mary of 'Mary, Martha, and Lazarus' is the self-same Mary Magdalene.* The intensity, intimacy, proximity, and prominence of the relationship that Jesus and Mary had at just six (really two) days before his death (John 12:1-3) doubtless continued through his death and resurrection(yah think?). He didn't switch gals at the last minute. With that probability in mind let's look at the emotional dynamics of the scriptural narrative of Lazarus' death and resurrection.
Please read, or have your bible open to John 11:1-36.
Look at how this plays out:
Mary and Martha personally send word to him about Lazarus (vs 3)
Vs 5 reveals the intensity of the family's relationship with Jesus.
Vs 6 shows Jesus deliberately allowing the intensity of the situation to grow.
He knew that the public demonstration of Lazarus' resurrection was more important than yielding to the short-term emotions that He was feeling (vss 14,15), unlike Adam.
This is where it gets interesting. When he arrives, notice that Martha, not Mary, comes out to greet him(vs 20). And yet, it was Mary, not Martha that sat attentively at his feet. And it was Mary, not Martha that would later bathe his feet with perfumed oil. Mary did not go out to greet Jesus from lack of emotion, but from an over-abundance of emotion. Stop and think, this was 'her man' and he appeared to be letting her down in a very very public, and at the same time, a very very personal event. Why, why, why would he do this ? She was crushed, hurt, confused, and stunned (and maybe just a teeny-tiny bit pee-pee'd? 'cuz it appears that she wasn't even going to go out to meet Jesus [vss20b,28b] until Martha intervened and apparently told her 'he's right where I left him and he said he ain't movin' 'til you get there' (vs 30)
Note the difference in level of intensity of emotion in the two greetings. Martha comes out and says, 'if you were here my brother would not have died', and then she softens the blow by saying, 'but, I know that anything you ask God for he will give you'.(vss21,22)
Not Mary. “Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died”. Blunt force trauma. And then, then he becomes emotionally unglued. After dealing with, not Martha, but Mary. The bible clearly states this (vs33a). (can you not see this?)
Jesus knew what was happening, he knew what Mary was thinking, and feeling, and expecting, and he knew what was coming, he knew. But he still did the right thing. And this was many times more intense than what Adam had to go through.
So, there's yer “if you don't eat this piece of fruit, I'll make your life a living hell, mister.” event.
The passion, the emotion, the timing, the crowds, it is just so intense it almost melts the pages of the Scriptures.....
Jesus passed where Adam failed.
That's muh story an' I'm stickin' to it.......
Well, if this is the first time you've ever considered this, it may make you feel a bit uncomfortable. But consider this: knowing that Jesus has experienced the full range of human emotion and experience should make you much, much more comfortable with him.
(Compare Heb 4:15, note use of the word all. And, yes, Jesus did raise a family too; After Joseph apparently died, what do you think Jesus did ? Think about it.)
Please, too, consider this:
The entire problem of sin on earth is a result of Adam's one single failure with Eve.
That was the test that Adam failed. If Jesus's life/ransom is to provide parity for Adam's life, how could that happen if Jesus didn't pass the one equivalent test of the one single event that caused this whole problem !!
reading and re-reading and re-re-reading those last two sentences until
the little "oh,
I get it now!" light goes on in your head.)
And please don't be confused, passing this test did not provide the Ransom, it was a vitally necessary event/component to achieve parity for the Ransom.
Maybe an illustration would be helpful here:
Imagine two children are at a schoolyard, and one steals the lunch of the other. The little thief is caught, and the Headmaster requires restitution. So the little thief brings what they consider to be restitution;
And a drink.
But the little victim takes one look at the repayment lunch and immediately says, “no-way Josť, my apple was bigger, my sandwich was on better bread, my candy-bar was chocolate with almonds and I had a strawberry nectar, not a water!!”
You know this is how it goes. Until that lunch is exactly matched, or is better, it will never be accepted as true restitution and truly finally resolved. (If you don't believe and understand this, you've never raised children, or probably never even been one for that matter.) It's just the way it is,...... yah know, ..... parity......
In the same way Satan would have never accepted Jesus as a corresponding ransom for Adam if every condition was not met.
Because Jesus was not just a ransom (G3083 lutron, Matt 20:28, Mark 10:25), He was even more, he was a corresponding ransom (G487 antilutron, 1 Tim 2:6)
back to that lunch, are we done with that ?
"Ummmm, my lunch-bag was new.....”
Sigh....And so it goes.....
'But, but, but', some would say, 'my priest/preacher doesn't teach this, no religion on earth teaches this !!'
That would be correct.
Because the answer is not religious. It is Logical, Legal, and Emotional. (matt 7:13)
Again, Providing a love-interest for Jesus was not just an interesting possibility, it was an absolute legal necessity.
It's that ol' parity thing.....
So, parity appears to be apparently apparent as Jesus appears to be the 'heir apparent' to an apparent pair of paritys.
*Why can't you just take my word for it ?
Oh, all right.....
Well, for one, Jesus self-identifies her as one of his embalmers, twice. (John 12:7, compare with Matt 26:12, Mark 14:8)
Twice ? How do I get twice ?
'These are three accounts of the same event!', some might say.
Well, let's put on our “thinking caps” and take a closer look at those verses.
The accounts at Matt 26:7-13 and Mark 14:3-9 are essentially the same, but please draw your attention to some interesting details;
1. Notice, that many, if not most, of the disciples have a “spaz-attack” when they see Mary putting the expensive oil on Jesus in Mathew and Mark's accounts.
2. Also note that in these two accounts, in the Greek, and in all translations, the only thing Jesus says to leave alone is “her”.
3. Note too, that in Mathew and Mark's accounts that the value of the oil is not 300 denarii. In Matthew it is a vast (G4183) amount, and in Mark it is more than 300 denarii.
4. Please note too that Mathew and Mark's accounts take place when Mary is at Jesus's head.
Compare those two accounts with the account at John chapter 12:
(please note, it does not say 'this happened six days before the Passover', but that he arrived in Bethany 'six days before the Passover'. The dinner party happened two days before Passover)
In John's account it is only Judas who voices complaint. And the conversation is only between Jesus and Judas.
For these next two points you will need a Strong's and an Interlinear (many good ones online; ISA, BLB, BibleHub, etc.)
In John's account Jesus tells Judas to leave her alone, and leave it alone, referring to the perfumed oil. This is important. You will only see this in the Greek. Please be aware that Strong's numbers are only the fundamental word, a concordant view will often times show many variations and derivatives. “her” and “it” are the same Strong's number, but different forms: “authn” and “auto”, respectively.
In John's account, the total value of the oil is still not stated.... Oh no it's not. John 12:3 only says it's 'very costly'. It's Judas who says 'why isn't any (G5101 ti, again, you will only see this in the Greek) of this sold for 300 denarii ?'. The true total value is never actually mentioned in any of the accounts, but the fact that even a portion is worth a year's wages bespeakes of its 'vast' (G4183) worth. (300 denarii is a year's wages. Simply subtract 52 Saturday Sabbaths and all of the Holiday Sabbaths an' you have 'bout 300 working days left).
John's account takes place at Jesus's feet. Interestingly, even in Ancient times, the feet on humans were located at the opposite end of the body from the head.... amazingly enough.
Thus it is reasonable to conclude that Mary started at Jesus's head, otherwise you would have a scenario wherein She would end up at His head with her hair possibly somewhat dirty, dripping with oil, a sad little moppet...... It just doesn't click.
In fact, this is one of the most, if not the most beautiful, poignant, and exquisite, event recorded in the Bible.
Consider the the intense richness and layers of emotions:
Just a few days earlier Mary had put Jesus (her man) through a severe emotional trial (according to the view expressed above). So, here is a sublime, public and yet deeply personal, act of contrition and feminine humility. This, coupled with intense, absolutely heartbreaking grief and sadness, and yes, affection, and yes, passion. (altho it should be noted that the depth of emotional content may have been lost on everyone there but Jesus and Mary, and no doubt, good ol' Martha and John)
Jesus himself said, 'she has done an ideally beautiful (G2570) thing'. (why is this not translated this way? The greek certainly allows for it, and the context certainly demands it)
I have no doubt that a keen eye watching would have described the interchange betwixt the two as 'ballet'. The Song of Solomon simply pales in comparison.
So here's what appears to have happened:
At the dinner party at Lazarus, Martha, and Mary's house the scene is set......
As the men are reclined at the table, Martha (good ol' Martha) is merrily working, truly with all her heart, and in comes Mary....
a shared and deep look to her Lord, she approaches him with a grace
that perfectly reflects her beautiful spirit, and breaks open a large
precious alabaster ampoule of perfumed oil (not quite a pint, well
more than enough for this event, remember that). It's 'vast'
value is instantly recognized by all, by its container and redolence,
as being almost priceless.
Almost instantly, many, but not all of his disciples, for many different reasons (John 2:25) erupt with objection. Jesus, with restraint that can only be described as 'Christ-like', readjusts their thinking. And they all accept it, save one.
As Mary proceeds, the wheels in Judas's head are spinning, 'how can I get some of this turned into money?'. And by the time she reaches his feet he has a plan. 'Jesus, why wasn't any (G5101)of this sold for 300 denarii ?' And Jesus replies, 'leave her (G846 authn) alone, whatever is [left-over], she will keep (G5083 tethrhken) and use it (G846 auto) for when I'm entombed (just days from now)'.
Thus Jesus specifically identifies not only Mary O'Bethany as one of his embalmers but also specifically identifies some of her embalming oil/spices that she would use on that day. And Mary O'Bethany was there. AKA Mary O'Magdalene. (Please read John 20:1, Luke 23:56, 24:1-3)
Do you really think two days later when he actually dies and actually needs an embalmer she's nowhere to be found ? Think about that.
With the intensity of their relationship, as revealed in John chapters 11 and 12 and this exquisite interaction in chapter 12, just two days before he died, do you really think she would not be there at his crucifixion ? That would be impossible. (Mar 15:40, John 19:25)
She, Mary, was there, AKA Mary Magdalene.
And now you know the rest of the Story.......
“Aha”, some would say, “Mary Magdalene, Mag-da-lene , Mag-da-lene , your Mary wasn't from Magdala, that's way up north by Galilee, she was from Bethany !”
(long, annoyed, somewhat unchristian pause)
Yes, I know that....
When someone is in their home country, let's say Australia, they are not referred to as “The Australian”. It is only when someone has somewhat permanently relocated a long way away from their home, that the name of their home can even possibly become a lasting sobriquet. So, the fact that she was called 'The Magdalene' would indicate that she was not in Magdala, and had made a far relocation. And with the well-known prejudice in the south (Judea) against northern Galileans, this would strongly indicate that she had relocated far south from her home of Magdala.... to, might I suggest ? Bethany.
This is a very similar pattern to Peter being called “Simon” and “Cephas” and many, many, other persons being called by different names in Scripture without Scriptural clarification in the immediate context. In fact, Mary's own brother Lazarus is called “Simon” in two of these accounts, even though it is obvious with a careful reading, that these are three records of the same dinner-party. The “Name-Change-Game” is unarguably a consistent, and oftentimes puzzling, 'quirk' through-out the Bible...... God's name itself not even being an exception.
"Wait a second!" someone says, "Mary Magdalene had seven deamons. How could a woman with seven deamons be Jesus's love-interest ?"(Luke 8:2)
Once again, Simple Parity.
Adam's love interest, Eve, had a direct attack by Satan.
Seven in the Bible is spiritual completeness, good or bad. So by Mary Magdalene dealing with 7 deamons she had unarguably had a complete deamon/devil attack. Making her "at parity" with Eve for Jesus to deal with.
"It's really quite elementary my dear Watson."
As somebody used to say.......
So, why doesn't the Bible just come out and say these things ? Does everything have to be so stinking hard ? Yes, apparently it does, and yes, to be quite honest, depending on my mood, I can find it somewhat annoying at times. Even so, there is a reason for it. Jesus himself admitted that his parables were almost impossible to understand, on purpose (Mark 4:11,12,34).
Well, let me tell you what the theme of the Bible really is.
Some will say “oh, I already know,... it's Love” or “it's Jesus” or “it's The Kingdom of God”. No, those are themes in the Bible, but they are not The Theme of The Bible.
The Theme of the Bible is “Think” (dammit!).
It is also the theme of life.
Hasn't every Scientific discovery in physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, etc. etc. been the product of arduous cogitation ?
The same kind of mind-wracking puzzling-out that is necessary for every true advancement in every area of life, appears to also be necessary for comprehending the Bible. Almost makes you think that the same person made both Nature and the Bible ….... nah..... that would be too much of a coincidence...... sorry, I got carried away there....
Do you really think that the key to life (the bible) would be 'duck soup' when life itself is “exceedingly deep and who can know it ?” (Ecclesiastes, and compare with Luke 13:23,24)
So why does God do this ?
It could be that He feels that the effort involved and sense of personal discovery make us feel more a part of the creation miracle. Kind of like the kid holding the pliers on the sheet-metal of the washing-machine while the repair-man actually repairs the washing-machine.
Getting children to think, in fact, is the Theme every parent has when raising children. Everything else is a sub-theme.
Thinking and personal discovery impart a sense of personal ownership, and a personal attachment to those discoveries.
Think about this; The first thing God did was put a Tree smack-dab in the Middle of the Garden and personally named it “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad”. Or, The “You'd better Think about this!” Tree.
And if they had thunk about it like they should have we wouldn't be in this mess.
is the theme of the book of Proverbs ? Think
Please Read the book of Proverbs and tell me I'm wrong.
What was the Theme of Jesus' teaching style ? 'Please Think, get the sense of what I'm saying, learn to reason in your hearts !'
What was Paul's teaching method ? Think, Think, Think.
What would Whinnie-the-Pooh do ? Think, Think, Think. (he's such a smart little bear)
Again, Please Read the book of Proverbs and tell me I'm wrong.
"Think!” is truly the Theme of the Bible.
It is also the theme of life.
Think about it........
simple, huh ?
Bonus points question: can you spot the parity here at Romans 5:12-19 ?
please too, consider this:
Does Christianity make better people than any other religion ?
It certainly can and should make very good people. But I have known Japanese Buddhists with simply amazing morals and spirit. And in fact an honest Atheist with a perspective of objectivity can be very moral. What then is the superiority of a Christian person ?
There is none.
The superiority is Christ Jesus himself. Christ by providing an exact corresponding ransom for Adam, satisfies Justice exactly. As no religion or philosophy can. Oh, many might try, in point-of-fact, reincarnation is an earnest desire for justice to be satisfied...... but the math don't work. But it does confirm the burning desire in human hearts for justice, and the sense all have that "things ain't right". Christianity, using THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE UNIVERSE: PARITY, satisfies Justice PERFECTLY.
Christianity is the expostulation of the need for, and providing of, an Exact Corresponding Ransom.
Being a Christian is Simply accepting that fact, and accepting that person's Propitiating (=gracious covering) act of Judicial Parity.
Holy Spirit, of course, is a whole 'nother conversation.