Duc In Altum Boat Chapel Magdala

Magdala: Hearing the call

Friday, March 8, 2019
A story from my journey through the Holy Land

The stories of Jesus’ women disciples are too often overlooked, almost forgotten. But in Magdala, I could hear the whispers over time, from the many women disciples before me. Their stories—the outcasts now in community, the scorned now accepted, the tormented now healed—flow from the great Healer to generations of women.

A resident of Magdala, a small port and fishing village on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Mary had been tortured by demon possession but found freedom in Jesus’ healing hand. She would become a central figure in the closing days of His ministry.

Along with other women, she lingered at the cross, weeping as she kept vigil. No doubt she spoke words of comfort and looked on Jesus with compassion. His words from the cross were to the women before Him, addressing them with tender endearment, “Daughters of Jerusalem.” He knew how deeply they mourned for Him, so He pointed to a bigger picture outside of that moment (see Luke 23:28).

She hastened to the tomb where an angel in all his brilliance explained why it had been abandoned. The depth of the impact of Jesus’ life on her was so great she did not doubt or hesitate, even when the disciples did.

Her parting record is of spreading the great news of a Messiah alive.

Strolling among the stones of Magdala, Jesus tells me I am so loved in His kingdom. So loved He led the way in making women disciples so I would know that I, too, am a part of His mission.

Of all the many women’s feet who have walked the shores of Magdala—the fisher-wives, the market sellers, the disciples, the pilgrims and the tourists—Jesus left a message for each one of them and women the world over: “I want you as part of my kingdom: ‘Follow Me.’”

The zephyr coming over the waters of Galilee breathes over me and washes me with His endless love. I know He is mine. And greater than that, I am His.

Launch: Of Falafels and Following Jesus

Celebrate the launch of a book written on a journey through the Holy Land. Revisit the stories and realities of the life of Jesus. Featuring: Authors Nathan Brown, Michelle Villis and Brenton Stacey; Holy Land tour leader and Following Jesus author Dr Peter Roennfeldt; and Holy Land slideshow and videos.




Michelle Villis

Michelle Villis is an alumna (1996) of Avondale College of Higher Education and a contributing author to Of Falafels and Following Jesus (Signs Publishing, 2019).

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