do you see what i see?March 24, 2007 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Bible, Christianity | Leave a comment
Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18
Do you ever read the Bible and wonder how those people could be so blind? How could the Israelites see God bring great plagues down on Egypt and divide the Red Sea, and yet still make a golden calf to worship? How could Solomon be so wise and yet let his wives lead him to worship false gods? How could Jonah receive God’s word and then think he could run and hide from Him? How could Judas spend years with Jesus and then betray Him?
That’s how I always felt when I read this passage. How could Mary turn around and see Jesus and not realize it was Him? After all, He had released her from demonic possession. She had spent time with Him and the disciples. She was there with his mother when He was crucified.
Mary didn’t recognize Jesus because the Jesus she was looking for was dead. She was looking for a corpse to grieve over not a walking, talking Jesus. Not a Jesus who was alive and could speak to her. There were signs…an empty tomb and even two angels, but still she wasn’t looking for a living Jesus but the missing corpse. That is why she couldn’t recognize Him even when He spoke to her.
It is easy to look back at moments like these and find fault in Mary’s faith. She should have seen that He was alive and right there beside her. But then how often do I do the same thing? Am I expecting a living Jesus to be part of my life today? To see and understand what I am going through? Do I expect Him to make a difference in my circumstances? I’m afraid I often don’t see Him right there working in my life because I am not looking for a living Jesus but a distant, uninvolved one. I might pray to Him one moment, and completely forget to ask His help moments later. He may be right there guiding my steps but all I see are closed doors and disappointment.
When I am able to grasp that He is right here with me and He is alive and active in my life, then I more clearly hear His voice and see what He is doing. He is active. He can give me the strength I need to get through whatever the day holds. He is speaking to me.
I hope you will find Jesus alive and working in your life. Look for Him and I am sure you will see Him there.
“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29