Looking for Jesus (#335)
LOOKING FOR JESUS
There is a story in the Gospel of John about Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ followers.
According to other Gospel accounts, Jesus healed Mary of demonic possession. She truly worshiped him. She had seen Jesus raise the dead, heal the sick and feed thousands from a boy’s small lunch. Jesus was now dead. She had watched with horror the execution of her Lord on Friday.
Before dawn Sunday Mary made her way through the dark to the tomb where Jesus was buried. To her astonishment and dismay, the stone was rolled away, and the tomb was empty. Jesus’ body was gone! She rushed back to tell the disciples and returned to the tomb with them. She assumed someone had taken his body. But who would take Jesus’ body?
After confirming Mary’s discovery, the disciples went home. Mary stayed by the tomb and mourned. She moved to look inside again. Suddenly she saw two angels seated where Jesus’ body had been laid. They asked her why she was crying. “They have taken my Lord away,” she said. She turned and saw a man in the garden, and thinking he was the gardener, she asked him if he had taken the body. She didn’t realize that it was Jesus and that he had come to comfort her. Then Jesus called her name. Her world changed in that instant. Jesus was alive.
Some have wondered why a newly resurrected Jesus would show himself first to Mary Magdalene. Women didn’t have much status in those days. Some reports say that after Jesus greeted her she rushed back to find the disciples and tell them, but the disciples didn’t believe her—after all, she once had been demon possessed.
Mary was looking for the body of Jesus—maybe to close the book on the most important relationship she ever had. Since being healed, her life revolved around Jesus. Unlike the disciples, she didn’t go home. Without Jesus she had no life and no future. Then a resurrected Jesus came to a frightened, disoriented, and mourning friend and called her by name.
There’s a lesson in Mary’s story. Jesus really does come to those who seek him. Jesus-seekers throughout the Bible and throughout the history of the world have found him. Actually, they will be the first to admit, it was Jesus who found them.
Jesus gives more than the comfort of his presence to his seekers. He recruits seekers to be active in bringing his gifts to a world bent on destruction. Like Mary, without Jesus we have no life and no future.
His plan is for you to come and enjoy him now and forever. Say ‘yes’ to him and exchange your disoriented, confused, and sometimes desperate life for a life that matters.
Are you seeking Jesus? With the passion of Mary? Some seek him once or twice a year, or when life turns particularly difficult. Blessed are the Jesus-seekers who seek him full time.
You can read about this account in the 20th chapter of the Gospel of John.