Thursday, October 11, 2012

John 20:10-18

This morning we’ll look at the special encounter Mary Magdalene had with the risen Christ.

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” 

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” 

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” 

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). (John 20:10-16)

When Mary first arrived at the tomb, she was unconsolably weeping - so much so that she apparently wasn’t overly impressed by the appearance of angels. She was still focused on the loss of her Lord. And notice that she personalized her relationship with Jesus when she said, “They have taken my Lord away.”

 When she turned from the tomb, she saw Jesus, but did not recognize Him. Maybe having been looking into the dark tomb, then turning to the morning light behind Jesus temporarily limited her vision, or maybe her tears prevented her from seeing clearly. At any rate, she didn’t know it was Jesus - until He said her name! And that was all He said. And she knew instantly that it was her LORD! In John 10, when Jesus claimed to be the Good Shepherd, He said that He knew His sheep by name and that they knew His voice. When Mary heard Him say her name - and nothing more - she instantly knew.

What a precious moment between Mary and her LORD! He had chosen to appear to her first! She had waited at the tomb, while the disciples went back home. And He very tenderly rewarded her by gently saying her name! Oh, if we would just wait on the LORD to hear Him call our name! We are so busy rushing here and there - even to do His will - that we don’t stay still long enough to hear Him call our name. Each morning, as we read His Word, if we will just sit long enough to let it soak into us, we, too, will hear Him say our name as He applies the Scripture directly to our own lives and situations. He will personalize it for us so that we know without a doubt that He is speaking His Word directly to us!

After this encounter, Mary rushed to tell the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” (vs. 18) She was the first to give out the gospel message! When you have heard directly from the LORD through His Word, you can’t help but want to rush to tell others - to share what He has said to you.

Let’s remember that Jesus had released Mary from bondage to seven demons. She had been completely transformed by her Lord! She had experienced overflowing grace! She knew what it was to be cleansed and forgiven from the inside out. No wonder she was so devoted to Jesus! No wonder she ran to tell the good news! Shouldn’t we be like Mary?  

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