Mary Magdalene: The First Woman
Today’s Reading: John 20:11-18 SOAP – John 20:18
Observation: The Story
Who is this Mary?
Mary Magdalene is the woman from whom Jesus drove out seven demons. After this she became of His followers, and like many others she supported Him from her resource.
While John sketches details rather than elaborates, his details though lacking do match up with those of the other Gospel writers, Matthew 28:1–10, Mark 16:1–8, and Luke 24:1–12. One difference worth noting is the other writers all mention other women being with Mary when she went to the tomb, though in all accounts Mary Magdalene is mentioned first. It has been suggested that John leaves the other women unmentioned because Mary was the one who went to find Peter and the “beloved disciple”.
John’s sketch includes the following details about Mary:
She was at the tomb before daybreak and was the first to see that the stone had been rolled away.
She ran to tell Peter and the ‘beloved disciple’.
She stayed when the others left
She saw, and talked with, two angels who were in the tomb
She saw, and talked with, Jesus (though she did not recognize Him by His appearance)
She recognized who He was when He called her by name
She was given a message from Jesus to deliver to His disciples
She announced that she “had seen the Lord”
She didn’t tell her story but what He told her to say
I’m a detailed writer, clearly John wasn’t. His rendering is lacking in details or embellishments but what we know for certain is that Mary was focused on Jesus, so she went to the tomb. Finding the tomb empty did not shake her focus but she zeroed in on finding Him, according to John she was even fearful that someone had taken the body. We also see her unwavering focus kick-in when the Lord’s use of her name revealed to her who He really was.
How Then Should We live?
We should live focused on and passionate about Jesus, alert to where He is in our life, seeking Him if He “seems” distant, listening for His voice, and telling others what we have seen and heard.
Father, I can only imagine how Mary must have felt to find the tomb empty – to think someone had taken Him – her Savior and teacher … She needed and wanted Him back. Thank you that the tomb is empty and that we know where He is!
What’s your take away from the story about Mary Magdalene?
Mary Magdalene proclaimed to the disciples what she had seen, our risen Lord.
- Why is it important to tell others the incredible work we have witnessed Jesus do in our lives as well as the live of others?
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