Love for Jesus

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 20:17-18)

Mary’s actions remind me of a wonderful Hebrew word batah often translated trust in the Old Testament. It means “to attach oneself, confide in, feel safe, be confident, secure; the basic idea signifies firmness or solidity; denotes a confident expectation” (Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible Old Testament Lexical Aids).

This word is used in well known (and perhaps not so well known) verses as such as: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. –Proverbs 3:5-6

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.'”

Oh the zealous love Mary had for her Lord! With all her might, she gripped Him with the fervent attempt of not ever letting Him go! She simply never again wanted Him out of her sight. The thrill of seeing her Master alive and standing before her produced within her an immense excitement and an extravagant joy. I wonder, do I love the Lord like that?

No one had loved Him more or clung to Him more tenaciously than she, and she was richly rewarded for this. It is no wonder the Lord Jesus conferred upon her such high honor.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. -Isaiah 26:3

“Singular honor is reserved for solitary faith. Mary has the first personal manifestation of Christ after His resurrection. She is the first witness of this most important and illustrious fact, and the first messenger of it to His disciples.” (Cecil)

Jesus forbids Mary to dote on His bodily presence as before, leading her rather to a spiritual communion which she would enjoy with Him even after His ascension.

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:3-4
What perhaps reads harsh to us, Christ is lovingly pointing her to look higher than His bodily presence–further than the present state of things. The best service she can now do for Him was to go and tell others. This was the very first work that our risen Savior proposed to John as well. Jesus calls Mary to an active duty to others–to arise and be useful. He calls every believer to this high calling as well.

Mary becomes an apostle to the apostles in reward for her constancy in clinging to Christ. She was comforted by the sight of her Master and now she is sent with the good news to comfort others. When God comforts us it is often with the purpose of comforting others:

They were helped in fighting them, and God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him. -1 Chronicles 5:20

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Take It to Heart

Jesus was entering glory and He now refers to His disciples as brothers instead of friends. He wanted them to know that the earth was not their home. He wants us to know this as well. We are born from heaven and bound for heaven. We are to keep earth under our feet and heaven in our eyes. We are to seek things above, not earthly things. Paul states:

“Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.” -Augustine

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

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