Appearance to Mary Magdalene

John 20:11-18 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And saw two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weep thou? She said unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus said unto her, Woman, why weep thou? whom seek thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, said unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou has laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus said unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and said unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus said 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. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. 

‘Mary stood without at the sepulchre’ Mary stayed at the sepulchre after Peter and John had gone. She saw this time two angels in the tomb (20:12). This was evidently the second appearance of angels. The one in Matthew 28:1-6 and Mark 16:1-6 was before Mary reported to Peter and John in 20:1-2.

‘I know not where they have laid him’ – compare John 20:2 where it is “we” because she was with other women (Mark 16:1). Here it is “I” because she was evidently alone.

‘Knew not that it was Jesus’ it is not clear why she did not recognize Him (cp. Luke 24:16).

‘Woman, why weep thou? whom seek thou?’ He knew whom she was seeking, but He wanted to hear what she had to say and whether she had any understanding as to the resurrection. He had told the disciples many times that He would be raised after three days and not one seemed to believe it. The ungodly Jews remembered it when the disciples did not (Matt. 27:63).

‘Gardener’ the Greek word kepouros meaning the overseer of the garden in charge of the workmen and produce to render account to the owner.

‘I will take him away’ “Love feels no load” seemed true in her case, yet how could she have borne Him?

‘Mary’ she now recognized Jesus. He showed Himself to her first and she became the first herald of the resurrection.

‘Rabboni’ Aramaic for Rabbi (20:16) and translated “Lord” (Mark 10:51). Rabbi means my teacher.

‘Jesus said unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, unto my Father, and Your Father; and to my God, and your God.’ the 42nd New Testament prophecy in John that is fulfilled when Jesus ascended to heaven to the Father. ‘Touch’ the Greek word haptomai, to fasten to, cling to. Mary attempted to hold Him and Jesus said, “Touch me not;” that is, “Do not cling to Me. I am going immediately to heaven. Go tell My brethren that I ascend to God but will be back again to see them.” That very day He did ascend to heaven and came back to appear to the disciples (20:19-23).

‘For I am not yet ascended to my Father’ this is the reason why He did not want Mary to detain Him. He permitted women to touch Him (Matt. 28:9), but not detain Him.

‘Brethren’ Christ made it clear who His brethren were – they were His disciples, not His fleshly brothers (Matt. 12:49; 28:10; Luke 8:19-21; Heb. 2:11).

‘Told the disciples that she had seen the Lord’ they did not believe (Mark 16:11).

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