‘“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.” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord! ” And she told them what He had said to her.’ John 20:17-18
I believe one of the most important scripture study skills one can develop is the skill of questioning. Questions lead you to dig and digging leads to insight. The questions will often grow out of confusion. This passage is a great example and our insight for today started with confusion.
Here are some of the questions that arise from this passage. Why does Jesus tell Mary not to cling to him? It seems like a strange thing to say to a girl who has just seen her beloved teacher rise from the dead. Why shouldn’t Mary hold onto her teacher? Also, if he says he is going to leave again, shouldn’t she cling to him even harder? These questions can lead us to look at the context for answers. I believe that what Jesus says next gives us a hint at the meaning behind his words.
Jesus tells her she shouldn’t cling to him “for” or because he hasn’t ascended to the father and then he calls the father “My Father and your Father — My God and your God.” Jesus knows that he is leaving her again and doesn’t want her to get false hope in his physical presence but instead find hope in what his departure means. Notice how he says that the Father is her father. That is true for the first time in history, to that date. Mary is a daughter of the Father just as Jesus is the son of the Father. And we are children of the Father just as Jesus is the son of the Father. What Jesus accomplished has opened the door to God adopting us all as his children (Romans 8:14-17).
We are adopted into the family of God because of the resurrection! How might you drill this truth down into your core? You could possibly adopt a plant. No seriously, every time you water it or care for it, remember that God has adopted you. Don’t let the truth of your new status in God’s family pass you by.
By Aaron Bjorklund