“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus told her, “since I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what he had said to her.
If Jesus was referring to Mary and Joseph’s biological children, his half-brothers who did not believe in Him, then Matthew 12:46-50 and Mark 10:29-30 make more sense in light of today’s passage. In Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus was told by the crowd that his mother and brothers were waiting to speak with Him and His response indicated that He thought of His disciples and all who do God’s will as His brothers and sisters.
In Mark 10:29-30, however, Jesus did speak more directly about his earthly siblings and the results can be hard to accept. “‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus said, ‘there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, who will not receive a hundred times more, now at this time —houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions —and eternal life in the age to come.’” Jesus’ biological half brothers’ earthly father, Joseph, adopted Jesus and now Jesus’ heavenly Father would adopt them despite their rebellion.
Even those who are far from God and those who reject Jesus for a time can be radically saved. We have essentially just read what led to the salvation of James for whom the Book of James is named! Though his half-brothers had mocked Jesus before (John 7:1-9), they ended up becoming powerful, praying believers. Acts 1:14 reads, “They all were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” Let your heart be filled with ambitious hope that those in your life who mock God now may one day become evangelists in Jesus’ name!
Was Mary Magdalene, by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus in this text, the first evangelist? Why, or why not?
Pray: Thank God for having even skeptics on His heart and ask Him to draw the skeptics in your life near by the power of the Holy Spirit right this very nanosecond!