“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
16 “Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
John 20:15-16, NLT
A word, a name– and when He speaks it, it crackles. “Mary!” His recognition and affection saturates His greeting. And instantly Mary ignites. Her love for Jesus breaches the chasm. Her heart bounds to Him, and she can see no one else. Simply, “Mary”, and her routine universe is changed forever.
The Lord does not see masses, or crowds. He sees people, individuals that have names. He simply doesn’t accept the idea of mass communications to make disciples. His heart is for individuals. He does not make styrofoam cups, He makes individual people. And that is exactly how He responds.
Her immediate response is just as forthcoming. “Rabboni”. The simple Hebrew word for “teacher”. Obviously her relationship with Jesus has infused this word with much more then meets the eye. As we trace her history with Jesus we develop a deep understanding into her psyche.And much more, her walk.
You might say that Mary was well acquainted with spiritual things– for her it was almost exclusively evil. Mark 16 tells us of seven demons that tormented her. Jesus had cast these dark powers out of her. She understood.
Just one word,’Teacher’. The word has deep and strong connotations. Primarily, it has the concept of someone superior and yet exercising that gift in a quality way. Mary has been given a quite exceptional gift. An opportunity to be a student who sits at Jesus’ feet. She now knows God to be enfolded into flesh and blood. She is perfectly aware of Jesus as human. She makes her faith ‘jump” to deity level. She believes He is much more then what is visible.
Her ‘turning’ to Jesus is remarkable, in that she is still not quite there yet. However she turns to look at Him who now has risen out of death. She already has evaluated all of this and she decides to ‘turn into the wind.’ She is now ‘ready to launch’. Mary has arrived at the very place Jesus has intended. She now launches, against the wind, and really because of the wind.
Jesus fully intends to make us disciples. A significant step is simply to glorify Him who means so much. Embracing Him as God is a serious and brave step. Actually, it is a ‘reality shifting’ concept that will change us. That does not mean we can stop struggling, or wrestling (or whatever we want). But what it does mean is that certain things are now established. We can now flow with Him who will take us to the true hope that waits for us in eternity. Will you trust Him that far?