Do not cling to me - 04

There is a part of this passage, I've always liked. It's when Jesus calls Mary by name. This serves as a pivot in the scene. Mary was weeping and now she is rejoicing as she exclaims "Teacher" and I imaging runs to embrace Jesus. Do we know God's voice that well? Many times I've felt lost in a storm of fear, anxiety, doubt, and uncertainty. I keep trying to find a way out, but just keep getting more frustrated. Then I hear God's Spirit speak my name. It's as if he puts a hand on my shoulder and speaks my name just above a whisper. Then everything stops and everything changes. The circumstances almost never change right away, but I know peace has come. I think all the mourning for Jesus' death and the loss of the life Mary knew all goes away in that moment. She's not thinking about the past or the future. She is just feeling the peace and joy of hearing Jesus speak her name and seeing him there with her. That moment comes out of relationship and true fellowship with Jesus. Mary has been with Jesus, following him, serving, learning, and growing. We desperately need that kind of relationship with Jesus. The deeper our intimacy with him, the deeper his voice reaches into our soul.

Now in this scene we have Jesus speaking again to Mary. I've heard many different interpretations of this passage. If you've ever learned how to study the Bible correctly, you will know there is only one correct meaning. Jesus knew what he intended to communicate to Mary when he said "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father..." We need to do our best to understand that meaning even though there is a vast separation of time, culture, and language between us. We'll take a look at that meaning and then discuss some possible applications of this "Don't cling to me" command.

John 20:11-18 (ESV) "But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 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.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 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.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her."

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