“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!'” John 29:16a
Sunday is here.
Sin’s power has officially been defeated. Jesus has risen from the dead and He is about to reveal Himself to the disciples. This is where the work begins.
What I find to be very encouraging and comforting is that Jesus’ first reveal is to a woman. And not just any woman. Mary Magdalene had been healed by Jesus earlier in His ministry. (Mark 16:9). She was deeply troubled by 7 demons until she met her Savior face-to-face. He had freed her and there was no turning back. After that moment, she followed Him every step of the way. And I just love that Jesus chose her to bring the good news back to the disciples.
As we read the chapter, we see that Mary was tenacious about finishing a proper burial for Jesus. She was so determined that she went to the tomb before the sun had risen on that third day. But little did she know, the Son had already risen. Her heart longed to see Jesus and we can see this through her exchange with the disciples, angels, and even Jesus, Himself. Let’s break down what happened after she saw the empty tomb.
First, she runs to the disciples, Peter and John, and tells them that someone has taken the Lord because the stone that once covered the tomb had moved. Then, once they see that Jesus’ garments were lying where Jesus once was, they left and went back to their homes, but not Mary. She stayed and wept bitterly because she ached to just see Jesus, dead or alive.
After crying hysterically, the angels ask her why she was crying, but yet, even the appearance of angels could not satisfy her because all she wanted was Jesus. Then, mistaking Jesus for the gardner, she begins telling Him that she just wants to see Jesus and will carry Him herself if she has to. Her love for the Lord was deep and strong.
And here is my favorite part: Jesus calls her by name. I imagine there must have been a special way that Jesus said her name. Maybe He said it the same way after He healed her from the 7 demons. Maybe it was how He said it when He knew she was sad. Who knows. But what we do know is that Mary recognized His voice once He said her name. So, after the seeking, weeping, and staying in the garden, Mary finally saw the risen Jesus and can spread the good news. This begs the question, do I have that type of fervor to find Jesus? Am I willing to wake up before the sun peaks through my blinds just to see Him?
Mary was the most unlikely of them to be chosen, yet Jesus chose her. In this moment, she was a doubting, depressed woman who had a past to talk about. But even in this instance, Jesus chose her to reveal something powerful. Here is what we can take from this interaction: He can choose you, He can use you, and He will call you by your name.
Lastly, in verse 17, Jesus tells Mary to not “cling to Him.” I believe it wasn’t because He didn’t want her to touch Him, but rather, He knew she had to let go of Him in order to fulfill her purpose. If she stayed with Him in the garden, then she couldn’t have been the one to tell the disciples. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE being the one to share good news with someone. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about telling a person something that you know will make them happy. And what an honor for Mary to bring back the best news anyone could ever receive.
Friends, I’m not sure what God has whispered to you lately, but I know that you are called to do something. Maybe it’s to make a job change, write a book, call an old friend, or invite a coworker to church. Whatever it is, God has chosen you and He makes no mistakes. Reread verse 16, replace Mary’s name with your own, and watch your doubts wash away. Jesus calls you by your name and wants to use you to be His hands and feet.
“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” (Greg Laurie)
be free. xo
P.S. watch this encouraging video of Mary Magdalene made by MOPS in 2014 🙂