“Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message. John 20: 11-18
I was reading through this account of the resurrected Jesus appearing first to Mary Magdalene.
You know what my favorite part of that whole section is? It’s when Jesus simply calls out “Mary!”
Before this Jesus asks Mary two questions. Mary, distraught and grief stricken, answers him, thinking he is the gardener.
Then Jesus responds “Mary!”
I’m trying to understand why this one word response from Jesus means so much to me. That single word response is overflowing with heart gushing love and anticipation.
In the middle of her pain, Jesus calls Mary out by name. He doesn’t respond by saying “It’s me, don’t you recognize me?”
No, Jesus cuts right to the chase. He calls His child out by name and, instantly, Mary’s heart hears the truth and responds.
This scene actually reminds me of how Jesus tells us He is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. The shepherd calls his sheep by name and the sheep recognize His voice.
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3
He calls his own sheep by name…
Can you hear it too? There is so much love packed into this one word! I can almost see Mary standing there, full of despair, and then hearing her Savior’s voice calling her out by name. And, if this were a scene in a movie, we would see a flashback scene of Mary’s journey with the Lord. We would see the moment she encountered Jesus for the first time, the moment her life went from captivity and torment to freedom and joy. The moment this once demon-possessed lady knew, with complete certainty, who was King over her life and Lover of her soul.
But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you. Isaiah 43 1-4 (Message)
Sharing this old one this morning. It came to mind as I was writing this post. It takes me back to that season in my own life when Jesus called me by name, the cloud of doubt and despair lifted, and my heart knew.