Tuesday 02 April 2013

Bible Book:

John 20:11-18 Tuesday 2 April 2013


The account of the Resurrection morning in John's Gospel is themost detailed. It comes in two parts, held together by the personof Mary Magdalene: she discovered that the tomb was empty andimmediately went to let the disciples know (verses1-10) and she met with the risen Lord and, again, informed thedisciples (vv.11-18).

Mary Magdalene features prominently in the Gospels: Lukeobserves that she was among the women who followed Jesus and hisdisciples, ministering to them from their own resources (Luke8:2-3). Mark (15:40), Matthew (27:56) and John (19:25) number her among the women who stood atthe foot of the Cross. Matthew (27:61) and Mark (15:47) name her, with another Mary, at Jesus'burial. All the Gospels record her at the tomb early in themorning; Mark (16:1), Matthew (28:1) and Luke (24:10) name her first among the group of womenpresent, while John alone tells of her encounter with Jesus (20:14-17). Strangely, after the Gospel record,there is no further mention of Mary Magdalene either in Acts or inthe other writings of the New Testament.

A considerable mythology has accumulated around Mary Magdalene,due to no small extent to a sermon of Pope Gregory the Great whodeduced that she was a prostitute. Paintings down the centurieshave reinforced this perception of her as a woman of loose morals,often showing her in tears of repentance, with uncovered hair (themark of a prostitute) and in less than modest attire. The Gospels,however, make it clear that she was the first witness to theresurrection and 'an apostle to the apostles'. Clearly a person ofstanding among the followers of the Lord, Mary is commissioned toannounce the resurrection to the small community of followers;there is no indication in John's Gospel that she was not believed(as opposed to the reaction in Luke's Gospel (Luke24:11)!  

To Ponder

  • Think about a time when your preconceived notions about someonemay have deafened you to the significance of what they were saying.How do you see it now?
  • Consider other women called to spread the good news aboutJesus. Some are in the Bible narrative, like the woman at the wellin Samaria (John 4), but others may be people known to you,like a grandmother or a Sunday School teacher. What do you thinkhas made them speak up for Jesus? Do you share theircourage? 
Previous Page Monday 01 April 2013
Next Page Wednesday 03 April 2013