Did Jesus have a wife? How does that change anything we know about him or feel about him?
Well, in all likelihood Jesus did in fact have a wife and it would seem the likely candidate would have been Mary Magdalene. What would have been more unusual in his time would have been if he didn’t have a wife. All men of that time period were expected to marry, so had he not been married, it would have caused some controversy or at least a bit of a stir. I have never really understood the issue around him being married anyway. He was supposed to be the Son of God made flesh, so he could experience all that we experience and thereby prove we could strive to attain his level of perfection – or at least try our hardest with a sincere heart and we would be forgiven for missing the mark. So why wouldn’t he be married too? Ancient codexes, and not ony the one Karen King wrote about in 2012 that she titled The Gospel of Jesus Wife, referred to Jesus “kissing her (Mary M) on the mouth” and that the apostles were in fact jealous of his relationship with her.
So let’s just go with Jesus having a wife and it being Mary. What changes? Is Jesus in some way blemished? Did the ancient Gospel writers consider sex sinful and because Jesus was without sin, he couldn’t have had sex – especially with a woman? There are also plenty of sons (daughters) of god, born of a virgin (most born on December 25th incidentally), dying and rising from the dead – Isis, Attis, Dionysus – a quick google search will show these. So is it important for Jesus to be unmarried and presumably celibate too? Well, I think it is simply that our forefathers considered sex a sin and Jesus was sinless and above temptation. So then does it change Mary’s status? Would it elevate her? She has been considered the apostle to the apostles, the chosen one of Jesus already. After all, wasn’t she the one Jesus chose to witness the key events in his life?
Hippolytus, an early bishop of Rome, set the stage for female apostleship: “Christ himself came to them so that the women would be apostles of Christ and by their obedience rectify the sin of the ancient Eve.” and St. Augustine, in the fourth century said, “The Holy Spirit made Magdalene the Apostle of the Apostles.” So it goes, during a homily, Pope Gregory I in 591 AD, invented a composite Mary and had her bear the weight of all sinful behavior and deemed her a whore, a stigma she has carried until the 20th century and even today – reputations die hard.
I think we need to focus on what Jesus called Mary and other women to do – witness the key events of his life – and in doing so, we raise our level of consciousness out and away from the weight of sin wherever it was perpetrated – either by Pope Gregory or any Biblical figure. If we focus on his love for Mary and for all, then we are walking a closer spiritual path than pointing out the sins of anyone and whether Jesus was or was not married becomes irrelevant.