Do you love “reunion stories” as much as I do? The ones where the Dad has been deployed to serve his country and comes home to surprise his children in a special way, maybe disguised as someone else? They get me every time! Do you recall a time when you have seen someone you were not expecting to see? How excitedly did you greet them?
Today we look at the story of Mary returning to the tomb where Jesus was placed. We learn a lot about people from their instinctive, immediate reactions to situations. Here, in John’s account of the resurrection, we see how Mary Magdalene reacted to seeing Jesus.
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
John 20: 14-16
Mary had been through an emotional ringer. She had come to the tomb, expecting to find Jesus’ body. To her surprise, the stone had been removed and He wasn’t there. She told Peter and John, who ran to the tomb and saw for themselves.
As Peter and John returned to their homes, Mary was left there at the tomb, weeping, alone. As she stood there, Jesus approached her, but she did not recognize Him. Jesus spoke her name and she knew that this was Jesus.
What was her reaction when she saw Him? She simply said, “Rabboni!” John said that this Aramaic word means “Teacher.” Merriam-Webster defines rabboni as Master, Teacher – used as a Jewish title of respect applied especially to spiritual instructors and learned persons. This word clearly revealed that Mary thought of Jesus not just as a teacher, but a great teacher. The person who had taught her so many truths!
There were many ways Mary could have looked at Jesus. To her, He was Rabboni. Her great Master. Her respected Teacher. Her Lord.
There are many ways people see Jesus today. Some consider Him to have been a prophet or perhaps a wise man. He was those things, and more. He was the Son of God. The Messiah. And He was a Great Teacher. Rabboni!
How will you greet your Savior the day you meet Him?