“Under New Management!”
I was not familiar with the old , therefore I had no reference point on which to judge the new.
But I wondered…….. What changes would come to the ‘under new management’ restaurant?
Would the décor change? The atmosphere? The staff? The service? The food menu? The presentation? The prices?
And as I was thinking there flashed through my mind the analogy to a human life… “Under new Management”.
I thought of Mary Magdalene, a friend of Jesus when He physically walked this earth.
We don’t know a lot about her… but we can easily read between the lines.
She belonged to a well-known, financially secure family in Bethany. She had a brother named Lazarus and a sister named Martha.
We are not told what went wrong in her life, what caused her to become involved with the darkness to the point where she was possessed with seven demons. We know her past only because of one small inserted detail in reference to her - “out of whom came seven demons”. (Luke 8:2)
We can only imagine what her early life was like - what horrors of torment seven demons possessing her body would have inflicted upon her. Did they drive her from her home or did Lazarus and Martha try to keep her hidden. How did Mary -and her family- deal with the shame and fear and evil that ruled her life?
Then came the day that Mary met Jesus ! A glorious day in which a few authoritative words from Jesus set her marvellously free !! She was suddenly “Under new management” !!
And what a difference it made.
We see Mary among those who followed Jesus as He went from every city to every village teaching about the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1,2)
We see Mary taking a pound of very costly oil of spikenard anointing the feet of Jesus and wiping his feet with her hair ….filling the house with fragrance. When Judas Iscariot expressed his annoyance that the oil had not been sold and giving to the poor, Jesus , knowing he was a thief , rebuked him saying…. “Let her alone.” (John 12:7)
We see Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus drinking in every word He spoke, oblivious to the practical needs of the guests in her home. When her sister Martha complained that Mary was not helping her…. Jesus gently rebuked Martha . He acknowledged that Martha was troubling herself with much serving, but praised Mary for having chosen the good part that would not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42)
We also see Mary at the crucifixion scene ….watching from afar. (Matt. 27:55,56) Was she watching from afar because her heart was breaking to the point she could not bear to watch and yet could not walk away?
We also see Mary watching to see where they laid Him … so that the next morning she and other women could return to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared for His body.
Mark carefully records that it was Mary Magdalene who was the first to see Jesus after His resurrection , and she was the one to told the others. ( Mark 16:9)
‘Under new management’ for Mary meant the difference between life and death… between being ruled by darkness or blessed by Light….. being hated or being loved !
Jesus said “He who is forgiven much ,loves much!” We see this truth reflected in the life of Mary. She loved Jesus with a whole heart and basked in His love for her. Her life had but one focus… to be close to the One who spoke words of love and life and freedom.
You and I also have experienced coming ‘under new management’ when we passed from from the kingdom of the evil one to the Kingdom of God.
When we were born again our lives were gloriously changed because now we are under the ‘management’ of the Holy Spirit. Are we like Mary ? Are we so filled with gratitude and love toward the One who has freed us to live in the glory of His love and light that we care for little else ?
Do we “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God? “ (Col. 1:10)
Do we continually “give thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light?” (Col. 1:12)
Have you been thankful today that you no longer serve the god of this world.. but that you are "under new management" ? Grateful that “He has delivered (you) from the power of darkness and translated (you) into the kingdom of the Son of His love” ? (Col.1:13)
And do people notice under whose 'management' you are ?