MY FATHER, AND YOUR FATHER
John 20:11 ¶ But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
This passage contains the record of the first person the Lord Jesus confronted and the first words which he spoke after his resurrection. And this particular person was a woman out of whom the Lord had cast seven devils. Luke 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
His selection of her set the example as to the nature of his kingdom. 1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Living under the law had only produced in her a legal morality, which only cleansed the outside of the platter. Luke 11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. And this made way for the introduction of more demons to invade the human spirit.
Luke 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. 2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
The law can only free one of immoralities. That leaves the soul swept and garnished. But then there is an absolute need for that one to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And this only takes place in the new birth, or regeneration. Therefore the Lord chose this woman who had been forgiven much, and would therefore love much! Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And we know that faith worketh by love! (Gal. 5:6) For the disciples, not having her great love, but only a curiosity, were satisfied by looking into the sepulchre, and then going back home. John 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
We can safely assume that she knew not that scripture as well. But it was not religious instruction which caused her to remain. It was her great loving heart which would not cease looking for Jesus until she found him! She had heard the Living Word Himself. And he alone can separate the souls emotionalism from the true spirit by regeneration. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
We hear her heart expressed in the maiden’s voice, yearning for her beloved in Solomon’s Song. Song 3:1 By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. 2 I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. 3 The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? 4 It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
Take careful notice of the first four words of verse eleven in our text. But Mary stood without… She was without the law’s benefit! Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. She was without the disciples belief, or fellowship. They had just gone back home. But she was not without the Shepherd seeking his sheep! For she, who turned her back on angels (v.14), and had persevered in that early morning darkness, was to be rewarded with being the first human-being spoken to by the resurrected Lord. And by being the very first Christian missionary sent forth; even to the disciples of Christ!
The majority of the Christian community think that Christ’s only “Go ye,” sending forth his church into evangelism is solely found in Matthew 20:19-20. But not so! Here is the very first “go to my brethren” wherein she was to even ‘evangelize’ the very disciples of Christ!
But before sending her, she had to learn by experience a lesson which she was to convey to the disciples. For one cannot effectually witness of bare theories. One can only effectually witness of that which he has experienced! Matthew 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. Hebrews 3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
And what was it she had to personally learn in order to go tell? The Lord states it twice as recorded in verse seventeen of our text. First he tells her, I am not yet ascended to my Father: Then he instructs her to tell the brethren, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father. His ascension is set forth twice to her.
The first time was to caution her not to “cling to” him. He says, “Touch me not.” That is, she could no longer relate to him with the affections she had before his death and resurrection. For he was not to be related to as they had related to Lazarus after he was raised. He was not going to be around very long, but was to go back to the Father for the sending of the Holy Spirit. John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, (that’s his Eternality), and am come into the world: (that’s his Incarnation), again, I leave the world, (that’s his ascension), and go to the Father. (that’s when the Man Head went back into the Godhood).
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus changed everything. There had been no day like this first day of the week! (John 20:1) Listen to the Apostle Paul’s instruction concerning this matter. 2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Therefore Mary was instructed not to attempt to relate to the risen Lord in the same inordinate affections she once did prior to his death and resurrection. That instruction should well be heeded by the religious crowd in this day! For the majority of religion in this day is conducted by the deceptions of the “angel of light” (Satan), coupled with the emotional feelings of so-called ‘worshippers.’ They get all excited by some sad tale, or by someone hitting a high note. And they call that a Holy Spirit meeting.
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
But what was the second thing the Lord instructs Mary to go to my brethren, and say? It was not just that he was to ascend. But it was that he was to ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
The only reason that the “I AM” is “your Father” is due to our relation to the Lord Jesus Christ! We cannot know God without mediation! Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. The Son knows the Father as the Father knows the Son! There is no mediation there! For they are but one! John 10:30 I and my Father are one. 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
But no one can know God apart from the Lord Jesus Christ! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. To see Him is to see the Father. For He is the fullness of God in a body! John 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Therefore the Lord Jesus is our Mediator to bring us to the Father. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Then we must also consider that the only reason that the Father is called by the Lord Jesus as, “my God” is due to his relation to us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
He had to be made like unto his brethren in order to be a faithful high priest. Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. And that being the case, as he was made to be sin for us, he was made to cry out “My God,” and not “my Father!” Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Therefore Mary Magdalene was to go back to the disciples, hiding in their houses in fear; go back to those men who had left her without the comfort of their fellowship; go back to those who were not possessed with the powerful love that she had, as the first missionary with her message, first personally learned by herself, and then delivered to them from the Lord.
To do this requires humbleness of mind, forgiveness, and longsuffering. But most of all it requires a love for Christ! Then one can have the word dwelling within them in richness! Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
We must take note that after the two verses concerning Christ’s dealings with Mary Magdalene (John 20:17,18), the very next verse reveals that her mission was profitable! For no longer were the disciples hiding in their homes, but they were, on that very same day, assembled together. And the Lord himself came and stood in their midst, even with the door shut! Therefore as John the Baptist was the forerunner to launch Christ’s ministry to the world, Mary was a forerunner to launch his ministry to his church!
She was only sent to “my brethren,” for the world seeth me no more; (John 14:19). She was only sent to the regenerate church. But Peter had to hear her in order to be made ready to preach to a great number which included both tares and wheat at Pentecost!
Pastor Gene Breed
December 14, 2018