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Friday, November 1, 2019

2019.11.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 20:10-18

Questions from the Scripture text: Where did the disciples go in John 20:10? What did Mary do (John 20:11a)? What did she do while she was weeping (verse 11b, cf. John 20:5)? Whom did she see in John 20:12? What did they ask her (John 20:13a)? What did she think had happened to the Lord’s body? What didn’t she know in verse 13? What does she do after saying this (John 20:14a)? Whom does she see? What doesn’t she know now in this verse? Who asks her about her weeping now (John 20:15)? What additional question does He add? Whom did she think Him to be? How does she answer His question? With what one word does He reply (John 20:16)? Now what does she suddenly know—how does she respond in turn? What does Jesus now tell her not to do (John 20:17)? What has He not yet done? Before He does so, for whom does He have a message? How does He decide to send them the message? What is the message?
The disciples go back to their homes literally to “their own”—wherever they have been staying in Jerusalem. Mary, however, is aching for the presence of her Lord. Weeping, she looks into the tomb as John had done. The angels, like the risen Lord after them, ask her why she is weeping. To both, she answers with her desire to know where the Lord’s body is.

It is interesting that she doesn’t recognize the Lord from His appearance, or even from His voice in His original question to her. She recognizes Him in His knowing her. Indeed, this has often been the experience of Christ’s people. We especially come to know Him as we recognize that He knows us and is personally interested in and involved in our lives.

Apparently, Mary is so overjoyed at having found the Lord that she clings (literally, “fastens onto”) to Him. Certainly, there was nothing wrong with touching Him (cf. John 20:27, Matthew 28:9). But, as our Lord redirects her from clinging to Him to a different task that He has for her, we can understand His meaning. He has other things for her to do right now, before He ascends, because He still must meet with His apostles and prepare them.

Jesus, here, mentions His ascension twice. As we have seen over the last several chapters, He has been telling His disciples that His going to the Father is necessary so that He may pour out His Spirit upon them for their work. Our Lord knows us, and has fellowship with us, but He insists that in our fellowship with Him we do not hinder ourselves from serving Him.

And what a fellowship it is! He has brought us into His Sonship. His Father is our Father. Even in His resurrection, He has taken on our humanity. Our God is His God. Our fellowship is not in clinging to Him, but in that glorious eternal union with Himself that He has given us, and in which we are to serve Him until our work here is done.
How do you enjoy your fellowship with Jesus? How are you serving Him?
Suggested songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken” or TPH358 “Sing, Choirs of New Jerusalem”

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