Nov. 14,2007; The Series - Jesus, Unique & Unequaled Teacher
Focus Text: John 20.11-18
Some roomers can be dressed up in respectable garb, but rumors look the same no matter how they are dressed. Jesus, unique and unequaled teacher was and is completely knowledgeable of the destructive capability of rumors. Much of His early ministry was spent in the midst of rumors and innuendo; beginning with Herod’s desire to kill Him as a child and ending with suborned witnesses at His trial, Jesus had a lifetime of experience with rumors that were intended to hurt and even kill! The amazing thing is that the rumors did not stop with His death; if anything, they simply escalated! Perhaps it was because His enemies were emboldened by His bodily absence from the earth, perhaps it is just the nature of sin, but whatever the reason, the rumors continue to malign and vilify the only perfect man to ever set foot on this globe.
What has this to do with our subject, What of Jesus’ Devotees? Actually, it has quite a lot to do with it. Mary Magdalene has been vilified by, hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people over the years. And this in spite of the fact that there is not a single shred of credible evidence that she was anything other than a respectable, courageous, loyal, god-fearing woman. It is significant that in the mention of the women that companied with Jesus, her name frequently appears at the head of the list. Likewise, it is noteworthy that she was the first woman to see Him after He was resurrected (see Mark 16.9). Perhaps that was reward for remaining by His side even as He was crucified (see John 19.25) and for helping to prepare His body for burial (see Mark 16.1).
Most recently the blasphemous tale has surfaced that this holy lady was a woman of loose morals who became the wife of Jesus Christ. To further this tale, she was even supposed to be pregnant with His child at the time of His crucifixion. The entire story is woven out of lies and innuendo held together with the glue of rumor. The tale is an affront to every Bible-believer and assails not only the character of Mary Magdalene, but also that of the Only Son of God! Rumors can be dressed up (even in books that sell over 60 million copies), but they look and smell the same!
We will introduce today’s focus text and look further into it tomorrow. “But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’ Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, ‘Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.”’ Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.” (John 20.11-19). (Continued)
1. What evidence exists that Mary Magdalene was a courageous and god-fearing woman?
2. What is a rumor? How are rumors usually “substantiated”? How can rumors be stopped?
3. What event or action revealed to Mary that the one whom she thought to be the gardener was, in fact, the resurrected Christ?
4. On what mission did Jesus send Mary Magdalene?
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