John 20:11-18

Now 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. He asked her, "Woman, 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"). Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.

This passage narrates the first appearance of the risen Jesus, and it's a deeply moving encounter. Mary Magdalene, overcome with grief, remains at the tomb after Peter and John have left. Her devotion is rewarded with an extraordinary experience.

First, she sees two angels, but even their presence doesn't distract her from her sorrow and her search for Jesus. Then, Jesus himself appears, but in her grief, Mary doesn't recognize him at first. It's only when he calls her by name that she realizes who he is.

This moment of recognition is powerful. Jesus calls her by name, and immediately, she knows him. It reminds us of Jesus' words in John 10:3, "He calls his own sheep by name." There's an intimacy, a personal connection that transcends even death.

Mary's response, "Rabboni," is equally powerful. It's a term of respect and endearment, expressing her joy and reverence at seeing her Teacher alive.

Jesus then gives Mary a mission. He tells her not to hold on to him (perhaps she had embraced him in her joy), but to go and tell the disciples about his resurrection and coming ascension. In doing so, Jesus makes Mary the first apostle of the resurrection, the first to proclaim the good news that he is alive.

This passage teaches us several important lessons about our relationship with Jesus and our role as believers.

Firstly, it emphasizes the personal nature of our relationship with Jesus. He knows us by name and calls us personally, just as he called Mary.

We also learn the importance of seeking Jesus persistently. Mary's devotion in staying at the tomb led to her encounter with the risen Lord, showing us the rewards of persistent faith.

The passage reminds us that we might not always recognize Jesus' presence immediately. Sometimes, like Mary, we need to listen carefully for his voice calling us.

Lastly, it highlights our call to share the good news of the resurrection. Like Mary, we are all called to be witnesses of Christ's resurrection, spreading the message of hope and new life.

As we reflect on this passage, let's ask ourselves: Do I recognize Jesus' personal call in my life? Am I persistent in seeking him, even in times of sorrow or confusion? Am I open to encountering Jesus in unexpected ways? Am I ready to share the good news of his resurrection with others?

May we, like Mary, hear Jesus calling our name. May we respond with joy and reverence. And may we be bold in proclaiming to others, "I have seen the Lord!"

God bless you.

More in this category: « John 20:3-10 John 20:19-23 »
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