Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

John 20:15-16

Reading this passage today, the Holy Spirit made me aware of a new practical truth.

Mary is in despair, distraught, maybe even inconsolable,  upon seeing the tomb of Jesus “empty”. From the passage, it is unclear whether she has heard from the other followers of Jesus about His resurrection. We do know, however, that she saw angels sitting in Jesus’ empty tomb and they spoke to her.

It is strange to me that she did not question who they were or notice anything unusual about them.  Because of this, it is clear Mary is in a state of shock. She is unaware of what is happening because she is in deep mourning.

We do the same quite often. We face situations we decide are hopeless. We think we know the outcome of everything. We allow our thoughts to control us, telling us lies about our self, God, others, or a situation. Like Mary, we may not even notice God’s messengers or His blessings.

However, Mary’s story doesn’t stop at the angels. She runs into Jesus Himself. She is still so distressed, she doesn’t recognize Him, even when He talks to her.

Sometimes we don’t recognize Him either. God’s word can tell us His promises are true, He is faithful, SO many truths, yet we do not recognize His voice because we are only listening to our own, which is tainted with the lies of the enemy.

Jesus doesn’t scold Mary for not seeing Him or seeing the angels. And perhaps there was a veil, preventing Mary from seeing until God willed it. Whatever it is, Jesus’ next word is amazing.

“Mary”, He says, and that is it! She sees Him, knows Him, celebrates. Hopelessness has turned into hope.

Insert your name where Jesus said Mary, because when you are in despair, not listening, our LORD is SO intimate with us. He simply says our name and we begin to change.

Think of times when you were rambling on about something or you were distracted. Maybe you were in class or with friends and someone simply says your name. This one word snaps you back to reality and reminds you of what is happening.

When Jesus says our name, it does even more. He is reminding us who He  is, He is in charge, He knows the outcome, He knows us! He is giving us back the reality that the Kingdom of heaven is real and He is always with us so there is no need to despair.

Whatever you are feeling or thinking today, I encourage you to read this passage and imagine yourself in Mary’s shoes, but with whatever you are dealing with. Then, let Jesus say your name and listen to Him as He speaks truth into your life.


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