Our Message and Mission

Scripture: John 20:17, ‘Jesus said to her, “Do not 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.’”

 

Observation: Mary Magdalene had told the disciples that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb and they had come and seen for themselves (v1-9). After they had returned home (v10) Mary remained at the tomb weeping (v11). At some point she looked inside the tomb and saw two angels (v12-13), and then she turns and sees Jesus (v14-16). Jesus says three things to her. Firstly, he says, ‘Do not cling to me.’ John doesn’t say if Mary tried to touch Jesus or not, but we can presume she may have fallen to the ground and grabbed his feet. Secondly, Jesus gives the reason she doesn’t need to cling to him, ‘for I have not yet ascended to the Father.’ Jesus is saying that he isn’t about to disappear suddenly, for the time for him to leave isn’t yet. Finally, Jesus gives her a message, ‘go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ These aren’t Jesus’ brothers, but his disciples. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection the disciples have become his spiritual brothers, and Jesus’ Father is now their Father, and God has become their God.

 

Application: Like Mary the temptation is to cling to Jesus. In one sense that is a good thing, he has saved us, and it is good and right to love him and want to be near him. But like with Mary, Jesus has given us a message, the gospel, and a mission, to proclaim the gospel to the world. One day, when we see Jesus face to face, we will be able to cling to him, but until that day we have a message to proclaim. Our message is that through faith in Jesus Christ people can be adopted as God’s children. Our mission is to invite people into the family of God. Who has Jesus sent you to? Who can you invite into God’s family?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it’s only because of Jesus that I can call You my Father and my God. I thank You that through faith You have made Jesus my brother. Lord, forgive me when I don’t desire to cling to him as much as I should, and forgive me when I cling to him too much. Lord, grow in me a desire to proclaim Your message of salvation in Jesus Your Son. Lord, fill me with Your Spirit that I may be bold and gracious. Lord, open my eyes to opportunities to grow Your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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