Thursday, June 27, 2024

Learn to Love Like Mary

“Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying.” – John 20:11

Despite her sordid past, Mary Magdalene was the first witness to Jesus' resurrection.  

Early in His ministry, Jesus delivered Mary Magdalene from seven demons, and she was forever grateful. She had been forgiven much, so she loved much—sticking by Jesus' side through thick and thin. As Jesus hung on the cross, she was there on Golgotha. When Jesus was buried, she followed Joseph and Nicodemus to the graveside. On Easter morning, Mary Magdalene was there at the tomb. And for her love ... she was richly rewarded.  

When she first saw Jesus – possibly because she was blinded by her tears – Mary didn’t recognize Him. But everything changed when Jesus spoke one simple word: “Mary.” Hearing Jesus say her name, she immediately recognized the voice of her Shepherd. As Jesus taught in John 10: “I am the good shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me” (v. 14).

Then, when Mary went to embrace Him, Jesus surprised her by saying, “Do not hold on to me” (John 20:17). Instead, He asked her to let go of Him, go and share the news of His resurrection with the disciples. And how did Mary Magdalene respond to Jesus’ commands? With obedience. As difficult as it was to leave her Shepherd, Mary hurried to the disciples with the good news: “I have seen the Lord!” (v. 18).

Here are three lessons we can learn from Mary Magdalene: 

Lesson #1: If you have been forgiven much … love much. As Jesus said in Luke 7:47, after a sinful woman bathed his feet with her tears, “Her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” We don’t know much about Mary Magdalene’s past. We do know she had been possessed by seven demons, and Jesus had set her free and forgiven her sins. She had been forgiven much, so she loved much. Now, it took a LOT of Jesus’ blood to cover all of your sin, right? You have been forgiven much—so love much.

Lesson #2: Learn to recognize the voice of your shepherd. Christians often ask, “How can I recognize God’s voice?” Here’s how: Learn to tune your spiritual ears to Jesus’ unique frequency. You can do that by filling your heart and mind with the Word of God. The better you know God’s Word, the more you will hear and recognize the unique voice of your Shepherd. As Jesus declared in John 10: “[The Good Shepherd] calls his own sheep by name … and his sheep follow him because they know his voice” (vs. 3-4).

Lesson #3: It’s tempting to cling to Jesus and keep Him to yourself, but He has an important job for you to do. So, let go. Then go, and tell. Because Mary Magdalene loved Jesus so much, she was quick to do exactly what He asked her to do. She did it out of her deep love for Christ. And out of our deep love for Christ, you and I must do it too. Rejoice over your living Savior. And go tell the world!

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church, meeting Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley


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