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Passion Week

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

Scripture

John 20:10-18

Similar Passage

The Resurrection

Commentary

Mary had arrived at the tomb of Jesus early in the morning.  When she discovered it to be open, she informed the disciples who investigated it.  After Peter and John left, Mary remained outside of the tomb weeping, not understanding what had happened.

It is difficult to reconcile John's account with that of the other gospels.  Only John mentions the Peter and John investigating the tomb while the other accounts mention several women along with Mary Magdalene.  Just because John doesn't mention other women doesn't mean they were not present at the beginning however.  Mark's gospel specifically mentions that Jesus first appeared to Mary, even though she went to the tomb with other women. 

The appearance of the angels in the other gospels appear to prompt the women to return to the disciples.  Luke records that Peter went to the tomb after the women reported what had happened.  Mary likely remains at the tomb and the angels appear a second time.  After the angels leave, Jesus appears to Mary and instructs her to go and tell the others that He had risen from the dead.

It is interesting that Jesus first appeared to a woman who had been demon possessed rather than to His own disciples.  While we shouldn't make the mistake of believing that there was any romantic love for Mary, it is quite possible that Jesus loved Mary in much the same way that John was known as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."  Just like the birth of Jesus was first announced to lowly shepherds, the resurrection of Jesus was first announced to a social outcast, a former demon possessed woman.

 

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