Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni.” (John 20:16)
The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” (John 21:7)
John’s Gospel is dotted with weird, mysterious details. Here’s one that we see in the Resurrection.
Mary Magdalene lingers at the empty tomb on Easter morning, after the other disciples have left. Suddenly, and only to her, does the resurrected Lord appear and speaks tenderly, comfortingly to her.
A while later, John (the beloved disciple) is with the other men fishing when Jesus appears on the shore. He’s the first one to recognize him.
The common thread? Both John and Mary were at the cross on Good Friday, holding vigil while Jesus slowly died (John 19:25-27). It was as if their love for him drove them there. And because they loved him deeply, and they grieved deeply, their eyes were opened to recognize the risen Lord.
One of the sure ways to ice your faith is to treat Jesus as a subject to study. Too many systematic theology classes in seminary can do that. Mary and John remind us that at the heart of our discipleship is simply loving Jesus. Being enthralled by the testimony about him in Scripture. Daring to speak to him in prayer. Living what he taught. Worshipping him with others. Seeing those little miracles that surprise. Thanking him.
Motivational author Wayne Dyer wrote a great book titled, You’ll See It When You Believe It. He reminds us that faith and hope open eyes. John and Mary could have written one titled, You’ll See Him When You Love Him. Their book would have reminded us about what’s ultimately important in our discipleship.