The Focus of the Book of John
My favorite thing about the book of John is the focus it gives to the Individual Love relationship people experienced with Jesus. I am almost done reading through John in my quiet time, and I’m struck this time by how John makes sidetones about one person in the midst of a narrative. He begins with John the Baptist (not himself), then highlights a wedding. He turns to Nicodemus who comes to Jesus by night, and it is when Christ is talking to Nicodemus that we hear one of the most well-known Bible verses, John 3:16. We are then taken by John to the well at Samaria where we meet a promiscuous but repentant woman. Following this is the cripple at Bethesda, the feeding of thousands, the adulterous woman, a blind man, the raising of Lazarus, and Christ’s conversation with Pilate. After Christ’s death, we observe His appearance to Mary Magdalene and the disciples, and lastly His charge to Peter.
I found myself [almost] jealous of Mary Magdalene. What an amazing relationship she had with Jesus! I have to remind myself that I can have just as wonderful a relationship with Him if I pursue it as she did.
She recognized His lordship.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. John 20:2
And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. John 20:13
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. John 20:18
Each time she spoke of Jesus, she called Him ‘Lord’. And notice, it isn’t when she’s speaking to Him or to herself. It’s when she’s speaking to others. She is not ashamed to place her faith in Him! She is not ashamed to openly acknowledge His superiority and reign over her life.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping… John 20:10,11
Why didn’t the disciples wait where He had been, at least for a little while, since His body wasn’t there? The last three years of their lives had been dictated by Jesus…so it’s not like they had something better to do! Why not stay there, and maybe pray? and then wait for God to answer?
She pressed her point.
And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. John 20:14,15
She wasn’t letting anything stand in her way. She wasn’t giving up without some answers. The disciples were content to let well enough alone, but not Mary. She didn’t care what that gardener thought. She didn’t care that she was crying. She just wanted her Jesus.
She was blessed.
Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. John 20:16,17
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. Mark 16:10
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Matthew 28:9
She got to see Him first in His risen state. She was the first that He spoke to. She got to be the messenger. Not only did she discover His body, but she found that the One who had loved her most was alive! She got to fall at His feet and hold Him in worship, the same feet that she had washed with her hair. He rewarded her tenacity.
Of course I couldn’t help thinking about one of my favorite songs when I read this passage in John. My favorite line is “The Lamb of God who rolled away the stone in front of every grave.” Glory!!! It wasn’t just the stone in front of His grave that He rolled away. It was yours and mine too! Enjoy!
To read a post about the disciple who DIDN’T believe, check out this post.