God Running is a blog for anyone who desires to love Jesus more deeply, love those around them the way Jesus wants us to, and follow Jesus more closely.
Last post from the book of John we saw how Mary heard Jesus call her name. (see previous post 3 Reasons Mary Heard God Call Her Name) Today we’ll look at something Jesus said that blows my mind as much as anything he’s ever said.
Mary Magdalene was the first human being to hear Jesus speak after his resurrection.
“Mary,” Jesus said to her.
Mary turned and said to him, “Rabboni!” (According to Keener, Rabboni is more personal and less formal than the term Rabbi, which speaks to the intimacy Mary enjoyed in this passage.)
Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
Don’t Cling to Me
Jesus says to Mary, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father . . .”
Some say Jesus said this because he’s on his mission to finish the work his Father assigned him, and time is short because soon he will ascend to the Father.
Others say this statement speaks of how after the resurrection our relationship with Jesus is primarily through the Holy Spirit. Physical touch doesn’t really have the same importance anymore.
My take on it? To be honest, I have no idea.
Who Is Your Father?
Some say when Jesus said the words, “. . . go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Jesus was emphasizing how his relationship with God is different than ours. Jesus is the Son of God, God’s Alpha and Omega, the Light of the world, God’s only begotten. We on the other hand, because of Jesus, have been adopted. I think most people reading this blog would agree Jesus’ relationship with the Father is special. I would never dispute that. But this statement by Jesus strikes me in a different way.
C. S. Lewis wrote a story about a boy named Shasta. He lived in a rural coastal town, the only child of an older single man named Arsheesh. Shasta’s life was dismal and depressing. He was made to do all the most unpleasant chores every day without opportunity to socialize with others, because, there was just too much work to be done. “Little better than slavery” was the way Lewis describes this young boy’s life. Then he discovered something.
One day a rich stranger arrived seeking lodging for the night. Shasta’s father offered the stranger Shasta’s bed, so Shasta left the house with a morsel of bread and headed for the stable where he would sleep with the donkey. But before he was out of earshot, he overheard something that caught his attention. Moving closer he listened in on the conversation between Arsheesh and the traveling stranger. The stranger offered to buy Shasta from Arsheesh so he could use him as a slave. Arsheesh explained that he found Shasta adrift in a boat just off the shore near his house and took him in because he wanted help around the place. During the course of the conversation two things became apparent to Shasta: 1) Shasta was not the son of Arsheesh, and 2) Arsheesh was more than willing to sell Shasta into slavery. Shasta didn’t stick around to find out at what price.
He’d always felt out of place there with Arsheesh. He never really felt he belonged, never felt like a son. And now he knew why.
After a long journey and many adventures Shasta eventually finds himself in a battle against the enemies of Archenland. After the victory, Shasta stood before the King.
“What came next surprised Shasta as much as anything that had ever happened to him in his life. He found himself suddenly embraced in a bear-like hug by King Lune and kissed on both cheeks. Then the King set him down again and said, ‘Stand here together, boys, and let all the court see you. Hold up your heads. Now, gentlemen, look on them both. Has any man any doubts?'”C. S. Lewis
“. . . any doubts?” What doubts does the King speak of? Any doubts as to whether or not Shasta was the long lost son of the King. That’s how Jesus’ statement makes me feel. “. . . say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
Jesus so amazes me, I can hardly conceive that we share the same Father. I can hardly believe Jesus’ God is my God too. I can’t believe my good fortune. “Who am I that You are mindful of me, who am I that You care for me oh Lord?” I feel like the prodigal, returning to his father, hoping, if I’m lucky, I might be received as a hired servant, but surprised to learn I’m his son, except I never really experienced life as his son to begin with. (Psalm 8:4)
Who am I that He is mindful of me.
It just amazes me.
God’s love amazes me.
You, dear reader, and I, we are His beloved children.
C. S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy, Harper Collins Publishers, 1954
Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament,
InterVarsity Press, 1993, p. 316-317
Image of Return of the Prodigal Son by Bartolome Esteban Murillo via Wikimedia Commons — Public Domain