Mary's Time - 4/8/18

MARY’S TIME
John 20: 1-18

Today we will visit a most interesting woman who was prominent in the ministry
of Jesus.
Mary Magdalene was a lady of which we do not have a ton of information.
The first time Mary is mentioned by name in the New Testament is in Luke 8:2
where we are told that Jesus had cast out seven demons from her.
Then we also see that she may have been a woman of means … because, in verses
2b-3 of Luke 8, … it is implied that she was one of many who were supporting the
ministry of Jesus with their possessions.
Mary Magdalene was present at the crucifixion, … watching as many of the
disciples were running away, … denying Jesus and hiding.
She, as we all know, … will be the first one to see the resurrected Jesus!
One aspect of her life that we need to shed some light on, … some scholars think
she is the woman who was tagged as a sinner, … a woman who was possibly a
lady of the evening, … that poured expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus and
wiped it off with her hair in Luke 7:36-50.
In Hollywood movies, … she has been depicted as a prostitute. …In the 2016
release of Risen, … her character is depicted in such a way.
This image was first established on Sept. 14, 1591, when Pope Gregory the Great
gave a homily in Rome that pronounced that Mary Magdalene, Luke’s unnamed
sinner, and Mary of Bethany were, indeed, the same person. … “She whom Luke
calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the Mary from
whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark,”
Gregory said in his 23rd homily: … “And what did these seven devils signify, if not
all the vices? . . . It is clear, brothers, that the woman previously used the unguent
to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts . . .”
Now it is POSSIBLE that she was that woman; … but there is zero evidence that
she was such a woman.
Now if Mary is specifically mentioned my name … and all four gospels make it a
point to mention Mary as being at the tomb, … she must have been an important
part of the ministry of Jesus.
Also, add to the mix that she was the first recorded contact with the resurrected
Jesus; … we have someone who knew Jesus well.
Mary was a devout follower Jesus … but her story is not unlike that of many of us;
… we may walk with Him … but do we actually know Him?

2

Even though Mary experienced a miracle from Jesus … and most likely supported
His work, financially, … she had more faith in what she saw during the crucifixion
… than the words Jesus spoke during His ministry.
We too can fall into the trap of following Jesus … but not allowing ourselves to
fully trust and believe His words.
Please open your Bibles to John 20 together!
John 20:1–10: … On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb
early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the
tomb. 2  So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved,
and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know
where they have put Him!”
3  At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4  The two
were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first.
5  Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. 6  Then,
following him, Simon Peter came also. He entered the tomb and saw the linen
cloths lying there. 7  The wrapping that had been on His head was not lying with the
linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself. 8  The other disciple,
who had reached the tomb first, then entered the tomb, saw, and believed. 9  For
they still did not understand the Scripture that He must rise from the dead. 10  Then
the disciples went home again
I. Mary’s moment of discovery. Vs. 1-10
The crucifixion of Jesus was a trying time to say the least for the followers of
Jesus. … I cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster people like Mary
Magdalene must have experienced while watching Jesus die.
Mark 15: 40 tells us that Mary and Mary the mother of James, as well as Salome
who was the mother of the sons of Zebedee, were watching Jesus as He died on the
cross.
This group of women were some of the most prominent female followers of Jesus.
They experienced, … saw … and heard so many wonderful words, deeds and
thoughts from Jesus.
Yet here they are, … watching the Romans kill Him with the blessing of the
Jewish leaders.
AFTER revelation of the past three years, … to see it all seemingly end on a
Roman cross, … this had to be confusing to these women; … after all, …
wasn’t Jesus the long-awaited Messiah? … Was He not the Son of God?
Was He not sent by God?
All of the signs seemed to point in that direction.

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Consider this, …, think of the exhausting tension in this narrative.
Is He … or isn’t He who He said He was? … They experienced, … they heard, …
they saw … and then they watched their hopes and dreams bleed out on the cross.
So Mary was a part of a group of ladies who were going to the tomb on Sunday to
properly prepare the body of Jesus.
As they are heading toward the tomb with their spices and according to Mark 16,
… the women were discussing how they were going to move the stone away from
the tomb, … so they could get in and finish preparing the body of Jesus for His
permanent burial.
As they approach the tomb, … Mary sees that the stone is rolled away from the
tomb and she leaves her group and heads back into town to tell Peter and John that
someone had stolen of Jesus. (John 20:1-2)
Peter and John get to the tomb.
Once they investigate, … they leave … and then Mary makes it back to the tomb.
Jesus appears.
Can you imagine how hard it would be to believe that someone standing before
you is God in the FLESH?
Mary, in her heart, … wanted to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, … yet her
eyes told her that she was not seeing what stood in front of her; … that being Jesus,
once again, in the flesh
Mary’s message to Peter and John was not a message of hope and joy, … it was
one of despair.
She had no concept that Jesus was alive, … she had no hope that Jesus was alive
because her eyes and logic told her that it was not a possibility.
Mary discovered that her faith was not as strong … as what she saw.
II. Mary’s moment of devotion. Vs. 11-15
Mary tells Peter and John what she thinks happened, … then she heads back
toward the tomb totally unaware of what has been happening with the group of
ladies she left. … Mary is back at the tomb, even if Jesus was not the one whom
they thought Him to be, … she was going to get the body back and she was going
to make sure He was properly buried.
Even with her emotions on a roller-coaster, … even though she had to be let down
by it appearing as though Jesus was not the Messiah, … she was still fully devoted
to Him.
Mary is outside of the tomb thinking that His body was stolen, … then she finally
looks into the tomb. … To her surprise there were two angels, … one at the head
… and one at the place where Jesus’ feet should have been.

4

She still does not get it … because what she saw happen to Jesus overrode any
possibility of a resurrection. … The angels ask her why she is crying … and she
goes right back to the stolen body story.
I want to break and ask: … What do we believe about Jesus …and how devoted
are you to Him?
At this point, Mary cannot believe Jesus is the Messiah, … yet here she is, …
at the tomb, … looking for the body.
She knows she loves Jesus, … and that drives her.
What drives us? … I mean Mary HAS to be disappointed that Jesus does not
appear to be who He said He was … or who she thought He was, …
yet here she is!
How many people just turn their back on Jesus when they feel He let
them down?
For Mary, … now would be a good time to walk away, … yet she does not.
How many people in the face of disappointment have simply walked
away from Jesus?
Even though she is in the presence of Angels, … she still does not get it!
It gets better!
She turns around and Jesus is standing before her, … yet she does not know it is
Him.
How can that be? … Well, when you are not expecting to see someone in a
particular environment or time frame, … you may not recognize them.
I have this happen all the time; … see someone in Walmart that I know from the
gym, … they’re in regular cloths rather than T-shirt and shorts; … I know I know
them, … speak to them, … yet it may be the next day before I realize who I was
talking to.
Jesus asked her why she is crying; … she thinks He’s the gardener … and she is
pleading for the body of Jesus.
Then something happens! … Mary has not even allowed for the possibility of Jesus
being alive.
John 20:16–18: … 16  Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning around, she said to Him in
Hebrew, “Rabbouni!”—which means “Teacher.” 17  “Don’t cling to Me,” Jesus
told her, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell
them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father—to My God and your
God.” 18  Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the
Lord!” And she told them what He had said to her.

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III. Mary’s moment of enjoyment Vs. 16-18
TEACHER!
She sees it is Him!, … She grabs onto Jesus and He asked her to let go.
Mary is the first to see the resurrected Jesus!
I cannot imagine what was going through her mind at this point, … the emotions
she must be feeling, … the issue of no longer having to simply take something on
faith, … Jesus is standing right in front of her!
Jesus is who He said He was … and who she thought He was!
Jesus gives her a mission to tell others that He is going to ascend to His God and
Her God!
So, … Mary now makes another trip to see the disciples … to tell them the good
news!
What a story she would have to tell for the rest of her life!
When she encountered the resurrected Jesus, … her life would never be the same!
TO CONCLUDE: …
Where are you … with Jesus today?
Even though we know Mary HAD to be disappointed, … that she had to be
disillusioned … and she had to be extremely saddened by the crucifixion, …
she stuck with being devoted to Jesus.
She received a gift … that we will not receive … until He returns … or when we
stand before Him after our time has passed on this earth.
We have the testimony of people like Mary Magdalene, … as given to us by John.
Jesus is still alive and well today … and He died and defeated death, … so we too,
… can defeat death and be with Him for eternity.
The question we have to ask our self; … are we going to gamble our eternity by
rejecting Jesus?
Mary could have … and logic probably told her to walk away … but she stayed
faithful.
My prayer is that today may be the day … that each of us decide to, … at least, …
examine the case for Jesus.
When I gave my life to Jesus, … it changed everything.
God loves you no matter what; … as Mary finally recognized Jesus the Christ …
for who He really was, … let our vison be brought to that perfection!
AMEN