Daily Devotional Wednesday 15th April 2020

by William Moody

John 20:11–18

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 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. 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.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,1 “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 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.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.


[1] 20:16 Or Hebrew


Verse 17 is one which many have struggled to understand. One of the issues is Jesus saying He has not as yet ascended to the Father. When He died did He not go to the father in heaven? The answer is undoubtedly yes, because He said to the thief on the cross, “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise.”

What Jesus is talking about here is how in His body, He was yet to enter into heaven. Yes, when He died His soul entered heaven but 40 days after His resurrection Jesus would enter heaven in both body and soul.

In saying to Mary not to cling unto Him, Jesus is saying that Mary and the other disciples must not rely on His physical presence with them because shortly physically He is going to leave them. Jesus’ followers need to rely on Jesus not through sight but through faith. Jesus would send the Holy Spirit to enable this to happen for them and for us (John 16 v7, 13).

We must live not by sight, but by faith in the Word of God. Through the Spirit we can be more certain of the truth of scripture about Jesus, than if we had seen them with our own eyes. Pray for this to be true for you.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.