This week, I’m revisiting the movie, Jesus Christ Superstar. You can read more about the film and the role it played in my life here.
Of all the songs in this movie, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” drew me in most intensely, during my agnostic twenties. I questioned: Who is this Jesus guy really? And who is this woman who doesn’t know how to love him? What’s it all about?
I related to her confusion. The song implies that Mary Magdalene first seems to consider her relationship with Jesus from a romantic, or sexual, frame of reference. This is understandable, not because she was a prostitute as she was historically, and wrongly, labeled to discredit her, but because she was human.
As I watched and listened to her song, I saw that Jesus was like no other man Mary had encountered. Her love for him was different from any thing she’d felt before. She was afraid of the power of that love. I understood her fear of being overpowered by love. I understood her fear of losing herself in his love.
And yet, she was drawn to him, by his goodness and his kindness.
And so was I.