Do not cling to me - 07

Many different interpretations of Jesus words to Mary have been offered over the centuries. Part of Bible study is doing our best to find the author's intended meaning for the original audience. That is essential in that it anchors our interpretation in the context. However, there is always more to see and know. We must learn to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into the text and read between the lines as it were. You must be vigilant when doing this and guard yourself from going too far astray with your assumptions. Always use the interpretation matrix - harmony with the Word, the Spirit, the body and the fruit.

The moment Mary realizes Jesus is alive and well, she of course wants to run to him and embrace him. She wants to embrace the relief that things can get back to normal. This, however, is not what Jesus intends. He has a new task for Mary and a new season of life for her to embrace. Jesus also knows the father has a new task now for him. Neither Jesus no Mary can cling to the past or return to how things were. I think this observation of the scene may or may not be the author's original intent, but it is something we need to consider. I believe it harmonizes with the text before and after this passage. 

The new task Jesus has in mind for Mary is to be the first apostle. Right away, Jesus commissions Mary to go and share the good news with others. Isn't this the pattern we all should follow? We receive the truth, respond to the truth, then we go and share the truth. Jesus also has a new mission. His time among humanity as one of us has ended. He must now return to glory and take his place at the right hand of the Father to intercede on our behalf. Jesus promises to go and send his Spirit to endue us with power to go and make disciples. No wonder Jesus said, "Do not cling to me." The kindness and patience of Jesus knows no limits. He will not let us settle for the past when a glorious kingdom future awaits us.

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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