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Gospel of John - Chapter 20 - Lesson 4

Posted on August 12, 2016 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Go and Tell My Brothers

 

John 20:15 (ESV) 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.”

 

At first, Jesus did not give Himself away but just addressed her politely as “woman.” Mary Magdalene still did not recognize the Lord, so she addressed Him respectfully as “Sir.” He asked her why she was crying and whom she was looking for. For some reason she thought He might be the gardener and would know what had happened to Jesus’ body. Then she said she would take Him away. How does she, a woman, think she’s going to take the body anywhere? And where on earth did she think she was going to take Him? In her distraught state, I guess she just wanted to make sure the body was properly cared for and re-entombed.

 

John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

 

When Jesus finally spoke her name, Mary, she recognized the cadence of her teacher’s voice. Her eyes were opened to the fact that Jesus was standing there before her. She addressed Him as “My Teacher” acknowledging the fact that she now knew who He was.

 

John 20:17 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.’”

 

According to Matthew 28:9, Mary Magdalene bowed in worship and took hold of Jesus’ feet. So He urged her not to cling to Him. Jesus did not want her to cling to the relationship they had here on earth. He would be ascending to the Father and sending His Spirit bringing their relationship to whole different level. Jesus gave her a message for the disciples whom He now called His brothers. Jesus had to be the firstborn of the resurrection before other brothers and sisters could join Him in His forever family. He entrusted Mary, a woman whom He had delivered from seven demons, with the message that He would soon ascend to the Father. Jesus smashed down the wall of thinking women were not credible witnesses by having Mary Magdalene be the first to see Him and declare He was alive. This also proves that once one has trusted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, they are considered clean in God’s eyes. He did not view this formerly demon possessed woman as unworthy but saw her as His chosen, redeemed child capable of taking an important message to His disciples.

 

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Mary immediately obeyed. She sought out the disciples to tell them she had seen the Lord and to give them His message. Luke 24:11 records that the disciples had a hard time believing the women who had seen Jesus thinking it to be “an idle tale” (ESV), “nonsense” (CJB), “fiction” (VOICE). Apparently the disciples did not get the memo that their Lord deemed women to be credible witnesses!

 

Q – I remember a student listening to the Carman song “Lazarus, Come Forth” in my classroom before school began. It was a public school. Suddenly he said, “Bad to the bone, man. He’s talking about dead people coming to life!” He had never heard the story of Lazarus, let alone the resurrection of Jesus. However, Jesus’ own disciples had a hard time believing He had actually fulfilled His promise to rise from the dead on third day. Nothing is impossible for God. The next time you think your situation is hopeless, impossible, no way out, remember the resurrection of Jesus. He is able to deliver you!

 

Gospel of John - Chapter 20 - Lesson 3

Posted on August 12, 2016 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

 

John 20:11 (ESV) But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.

 

Mary Magdalene had stayed behind when John and Peter went home. Mary Magdalene was a woman who had once been possessed by SEVEN demons. Jesus cast those demons out and gloriously brought her into His forever family. However, at this moment, she was confused and frightened because she did not yet realize He was alive, raised from the dead. She thought His body had been moved or stolen away. Mary was having an “ugly cry” outside the tomb. She bent down and looked into the tomb the disciples had just vacated.

 

John 20:12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.

 

John and Peter had not seen angels, but when Mary peeked into the tomb, there were two of them. They sat where Jesus’ head and feet had so recently lain. Mary must have been breathless with wonderment at the sight of two men in what she thought was an empty tomb! How had they entered without her knowledge? She had been standing right there!

 

John 20:13 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.”

 

The angels showed concern for her distress and asked her why she was crying. She must not have realized they were angels because she did not express any fear or awe of them. She once again explained that she thought someone had moved or stolen the body of Jesus, her Lord and Teacher.

 

John 20:14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

 

She turned around and was startled once again to see a man before her. She did not recognize Jesus perhaps because of shock or because His appearance had changed or He purposely did not allow her to comprehend who He was. Perhaps Mary was in shock due to the tomb being empty causing her to not recognize her Lord, Master, and closest Friend.

 

Q – Women (see also Matthew 28:1-10) were the first people to see the resurrected Jesus face to face. According to the Jewish Law, only men could be witnesses in court, and women’s testimony was not seen as trustworthy. Yet Jesus entrusted this most important news that He was alive to women before appearing to the eleven male apostles. Some people try to tell us that Jesus would make women less than they are. The truth is that Jesus elevated women to a higher position in society than they had ever held. Do you harbor prejudices due to gender, race, or ability? Jesus broke down those barriers over 2000 years ago.

 

Gospel of John - Chapter 20 - Lesson 1

Posted on August 9, 2016 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The Empty Tomb

 

John 20:1 (ESV) Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

 

Jesus was crucified on Friday, and it was now Sunday morning. According to how the Jews reckoned time, this would still be three days as any portion of a day counted as a day. How did Mary Magdalene think she was going to move the heavy stone in front of the entrance to the tomb? Perhaps she thought the soldiers posted there to make sure the body was not stolen by Jesus’ followers would assist her. How startled must she have been to see the stone already moved?!

 

John 20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

 

Mary was perplexed. Where was the body? Who moved it? Why did they move it? Where was it moved? So she took off running to find Peter and report this strange turn of events. She found him in the company of John, the beloved disciple. She delivered the astonishing news that the tomb was empty and that she and the other women (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-3, Luke 23:55-24:1) thought the body appeared to have been moved.

 

John 20:3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

 

Peter and John raced to the tomb as fast as their feet would carry them. John, being the faster runner, arrived first.

 

John 20:5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.

 

John peaked in the door but did not enter the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there but waited at the entrance. We do not know why John did not enter the tomb, but here are some ideas. Perhaps he was awe-stricken and feeling the place was holy. Perhaps he was timid, although I can’t picture one of the “Sons of Thunder” being afraid. Perhaps he was waiting for Peter who may have been his elder and was an acknowledged leader of the disciples.

 

Q – The tomb was empty! Although Jesus had told them in no uncertain terms many times that He would be killed and would rise on the third day, they could not comprehend that it had actually happened. Would you have believed? We like to think we would, but would we? Do we believe modern day miracles when they occur or do we search for a scientific explanation?