Day 8: Mary Magdalene
Devotional by Abigail O’Neel
Read John 20:11-18
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,[a] “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.
You likely don’t jump into an intimate relationship with someone without first growing in a knowledge of who they are. Most people view familiarity as a prerequisite to intimacy, and in most situations, I think this a healthy take on relationships. In today’s text, though, I dare to differ. Sometimes intimacy begets familiarity.
Mary Magdalene stands weeping outside the entrance of the tomb where her Savior lay. The same Savior whom Luke tells us delivered her from seven demons (Luke 8:2). Her weeping only intensifies as she notices that the body of her Savior has been moved. The angels inquire about her weeping, to which she responds, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
My Lord. To Mary, Jesus was not just simply the Lord, a lord, or even Israel’s Lord. He was her Lord. She knew him intimately. She had followed him from Galilee (Matthew 27:57) to the cross (John 19:25) and now, to the tomb. This intimate love led her wherever He was, and because of this, she became one of the first to see Him alive. Of course, she does not recognize Him at first. Perhaps that is because, as some theologians would suggest, her tears impeded her ability to see who was so clearly standing before her, but you better believe she recognized her Lord the moment she heard His voice. “Mary,” He said to her. “Rabboni!” she responded and immediately clung to Him. Like sheep who recognize the voice of their shepherd, Mary recognized the voice of her Savior. Intimacy begot familiarity.
Jesus was Mary’s beloved Lord, whose death broke her heart. He was her Savior, who delivered her from darkness. He was her teacher (“Rabboni!”), who taught her while he was still in Galilee (Luke 24:6). And now, upon her recognition of Him, Jesus became her brother and her sender (John 20:17-18). “Go to my brothers and say to them,” Jesus commands Mary, and to the brothers she obediently went, proclaiming, “I have seen the Lord!”
1. Like Mary Magdalene, can you confidently say that Jesus Christ is your Lord?
2. Is there anyone in your life to whom you need to obediently go and proclaim, “I have seen the Lord”?3. Is your love for the Lord so intimate that you desire to be wherever He is? How can you daily stir such an intimate affection for Him?
In Luke 8:1-3, we learn that several women were among Jesus’ followers. Check out this article by Rebecca McLaughlin to learn more about two of these women who followed Jesus.