Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Monday, April 24, 2017

How Mary Recognized Jesus!

As we begin the 2nd week after Easter, we are going to delve into the resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples.  Jesus knew that his disciples might still be mired in doubt, and so this week we are going the different ways in which the resurrected Jesus showed up in the lives of his followers.  

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 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.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 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.’” 18 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.
Our first story is Mary's encounter with Jesus after He had risen from the dead. In Luke 8, we see Mary Magdalene was the one whom Jesus had cast out seven demons . Mary Magdalene was also one of two "Mary's" who was there for Jesus' burial.  
In this instance though, Mary has not yet realized that Jesus was going to rise from the dead.  She was crying because she thought someone had stolen the body and she was still grieving his death.  Jesus appears to her apparently either in a form she did not recognize, or she was so overtaken by grief and not expecting him,  she did not know it was him.  
But when Jesus called her by name, she recognized his voice and called him, "rabboni", which meant teacher.  We don't know why Mary did not recognize Jesus right away, but we do know when Jesus called her name, she knew it was him.  How did she know?  Jesus had called her by name when he cast demons out of her.  The demons recognized his name when he rebuked them and sent them out of her. Mary had a personal relationship with Jesus. Like a good friend's voice on the phone, Jesus' voice was instanteously recognizable to her. There was no other person it could be other than Jesus. 
Would you recognize Jesus' voice?  Jesus speaks to us in several ways.  Through the Holy Spirit who lives in us and reminds us of what Jesus taught and did. Through the bible which continues to be the "living voice" of God.  And finally, God speaks through the church, through body of Christ and through individual people in it!  
Here is another question? If Jesus were to speak to you, would you be able to recognize his voice? Take some time today to be still, and listen for Jesus' voice? When he calls your name, you know it will be him!   



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