Good morning dear Ladies ~ I pray you are all feeling the love, peace and strength of God flowing through and surrounding you each and every day.
May we all be blessed today as we read, part one of two parts, on:
Christ’s Special Provision for the Widow.
Part One: A different Kind of Love
Then the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?: She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him."
Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she 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 in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher) (John 20:10-16).
We have no record of Mary's family, marital status, or age. Our Teacher, the Holy Spirit does not identify Mary as a widow but He does inspire the gospel writers to reveal that she was alone. She had no family obligations that might prevent her from following Jesus in His traveling ministry. Her hometown of Magdala was well known for and later destroyed because of widespread harlotry that was practiced there. The Hole Spirit inspired Luke to report that Mary was a leader among the women who followed and ministered to Jesus and His disciples and that she had much to be thankful for as He had delivered her from some serious demonic oppression...
"Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out: (Luke 8:1-2) Christ provided something special for Mary because the love that compelled her to faithfully follow and serve Him was a different kind of love.
There was a very simple yet profound conversation between Mary Magdalene and Jesus early that resurrection morning. The encounter climaxed in a two-word exchange... "Mary" and Rabboni". The Holy Spirit inspired John the Apostle to record this encounter between the risen Jesus and Mary Magdalene in order to teach and encourage earnest disciples in every age. Loving Christ is the indispensable first step toward knowing Christ. Jesus echoed this spiritual truth in His final instructions to the disciples... "He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him? (John 14:21). Mary's unconditional love for Christ compelled her to linger, look, and long for her Savior well after others had left the empty tomb.
In our next reflection on this, we'll see how Jesus met her there and gave her a special revelation of Himself and a unique job to do for Him. Jesus provided something special for the lonely and loving disciple Mary because of her compelling love for Him.
The Teacher exhorts us today to examine our hearts and to rekindle a fresh, unconditional love for Christ. He promises that the widow that makes and keeps Christ as her first love will receive some very special provision from her Savior. As we grow up into Christ we will see and know Him better because our growing love for Christ is...
A Different Kind of Love.
By Pastor Bob Barber
St. John United Methodist Church