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her eyes. That might be true. But there   people,  working  to  manifest  our  faith
        were other occasions when Christ was    But Mary’s faith was still forthcoming.
        not recognized by His followers after His   She thought the man asking her these
        resurrection (Luk 24:15-16,36-37; Joh 20:4).   questions  was  the  gardener.  John  has
        In any case, we must not be too hard on   already told us that the tomb was in
        Mary. As followers of Christ, we often fail   a garden (19:41), and who would be
        to recognize the presence of the Lord. We   present this early in the morning in the
        have certain expectations about how He   garden but the person charged with the
        will work or what He will do, and because   responsibility of caring for it?  Therefore,
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        He does not conform to our expectations,   Mary, “supposing him to be the gardener,
        we fail to see where He is working and   saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him
        what He is doing. There is, admittedly, a   hence, tell me where thou hast laid him,
        bit of Mary Magdalene in us all. And yet   and I will take him away” (20:15).   Then,
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        she was the first to see the risen Savior,    as if the Savior could bear Mary’s grief and
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        even though she was unaware of it at the   misunderstanding no longer, He spoke
        time. But she was not only the first to see   her name. “Jesus saith unto her, Mary”
        Him, but also the…                    (v16). It was enough. She knew His voice.

        First to Hear Him                     “He calleth his own sheep by name …
                                              they know his voice” (10:3-4). “She turned
          “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why   herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni;
        weepest thou?” (v15). The first words   which is to say, Master” (20:16). “Rabboni”
        spoken  by  the  risen  Christ  were  a   is Aramaic and contains more affection
        repetition of what the angels asked earlier.   than “Rabbi.” John translates it for his
        The question may have contained a gentle   Greek-speaking readers as didaskalos. Its
        reproof; there was enough evidence for   meaning in English might be something
        Mary to believe He had risen. But the   like “My dear Master.”
        Lord also asked Mary, “Whom seekest     At that moment, Mary may have
        thou?”  This  second  question  directed   done what the women would later
        Mary’s attention away from herself to the   do in Matthew 28:9, hold Him by the
        Lord Jesus. And it may have contained   feet, but in her case, doing so as if to
        an invitation for Mary to reflect on the   keep Him from leaving. Perhaps Mary
        kind of Messiah she was expecting.  John   thought His promise in John 14:3 was
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        may want readers of his Gospel to reflect
        on this question also, lest our estimate of   about to be fulfilled. Christ had “come
        Him fall far short.                   again” and was about to “receive [her]
                                              unto himself.” But this was not His
          Notice that Mary was being given a   promised return in which He would take
        little more light at a time. First, she saw   believers with Him. The ascension of
        the stone rolled away. Second, she saw
        the angels and heard them speak. Third,   4  Leon Morris, Expository Reflections on the Gospel
        she saw Jesus Himself and heard His   of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House,
        voice. How gracious the Lord is with His  1988), 700.
                                              5  D.A. Carson notes: “That she should offer
                                              to make the arrangements to fetch the body
        2  See Mark 16:9.                     and give it a proper burial suggests she was a
        3  D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (Grand   woman of some wealth and standing (as Luke
        Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1991), 641.  8:2-3 attests).”
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