Mary Meets Jesus – Gospel in Life

Mary Meets Jesus

Tim Keller |  April 6, 1997

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  • Redemption
  • Salvation
  • Easter
John 20:10-18
RS 75-1


We’re going through the life of Jesus, and now we’re coming to all of the appearances Jesus made after he was risen from the dead. This is the first of the accounts, the account of Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus. She’s the first person the risen Jesus meets.

Now we know that she goes on Easter morning to the tomb. She sees the grave is open, the tomb empty, and she runs to speak to Peter and John. Peter and John run to see that it’s empty, and she comes behind, and then they look in and see that the grave clothes are still there, and they begin to think. We’re told in verse 10, “Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside…”

Now, when we read the passage, there are three great things I think we see about this, three great things about Mary. She missed him, then she heard him, and then she held him. She missed Jesus, then she heard Jesus, and then she held Jesus.

John 20:10–18

This passage in John 20 tells us about when Mary Magdalene met Jesus after He rose from the dead. It’s a real story, full of details that show it actually happened. The people who wrote the gospel tell us about their real experiences with Jesus. By looking at Mary’s experience of not recognizing, hearing, and touching Jesus, we can learn important things for our own lives.

1. She didn’t recognize him

Mary’s struggle to believe in Jesus’ resurrection, even though she saw it herself, shows us how hard it can be to have faith. This story reminds us that faith is a gift from God, not something we can make happen ourselves. We’re encouraged to notice and deal with any doubts that might be getting in the way of our relationship with God. The main point is that faith is a gift we should actively look for, so we can truly live with God.

2. She heard him

When Mary heard Jesus, it showed us that the story is real and that God’s grace is more important than anything else. It doesn’t matter how good we are or how important we are in society, salvation is a gift from God. The story also shows us how God often uses the less important people to do His work. It shows us Mary’s deep love for Jesus and her awareness of her sins, and it challenges us to admit our own mistakes and accept God’s grace. It warns us not to be proud of our achievements or our social status.

3. Mary touches him

When Mary touched Jesus after He rose from the dead, it taught us a big truth: after Jesus went to heaven, we connect with Him in a new way. It’s not about touching Him physically, but about being close to Him spiritually. Because of what Jesus did for us, we can have a deep, close relationship with Him that is hard to understand. It makes us look forward to taking communion, because we can experience this closeness with Jesus. It also reminds us that Jesus sees us as part of His family, no matter what we’ve done in the past.



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