Saturday 24 September 2022

John 20:11-18

11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” 16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). 17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

Mary Magdalene is the very first person to witness the resurrection of Jesus after His death. We read in this passage a series of interactions between Mary, the angels and with the recently resurrected Jesus.

 Mary’s reaction upon seeing her risen Lord was to cling on to Him.  Jesus, however, had a job for her to do: go and tell the disciples about what has happened and about what was going to happen next.

As I reflect on this very significant moment, I am reminded of a quote from Billy Graham’s daughter –

The very first person to be commissioned was a woman. And she was commissioned to go to men to share her testimony…and then also to give His Word. I know there are some people who will draw a line and say I (as a woman) can give a testimony, but I can’t share the Scripture. But Jesus didn’t make that distinction. He gave Mary Magdalene both commissions, to share her testimony and to give out His word.

—Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz
daughter of evangelist Billy Graham

In this instance, not only was Mary Magdalene a woman, but she would have been considered an outcast by her society due to her unseemly past. I love how Jesus places value and purpose on someone that others may reject.

Why was Mary the first person to see the resurrected Son of God? The simple answer is that she was the one who went looking for Jesus! She was seeking and she found Him in an unexpected way.

These are my take-away prayers from looking at this encounter with Jesus through fresh eyes …

  • Lord, help me to have an open heart like Yours for people who I might want to judge and reject
  • Help me to not be complacent in my relationship with You Jesus, but to be a continual seeker

Written by Shelley Witt

2 replies
  1. Elisabeth James says:

    Thanks so much, Shelley. I love your take on this wonderful moment in the Bible. Mary was a brave and compassionate seeker of her Lord.


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