Theme of the Week: Roads to Easter
Bible Verse: Jesus said to her, “Mary.” John 20:16
Scripture Reading: John 20:11-18
In Scripture, names we deliberately given. They held meaning. They brought things to mind for the person named, the parents, and everyone who heard the name. I’m not sure if names have the same significance as they used to. They still have meanings (my given name means healer), but I’m not sure if names are given because of their meanings. We didn’t name our sons because of what the names meant.
Still, there’s something special about a name. When someone knows our name, there is a connection, at least a simple one. There is familiarity, even the beginnings of intimacy. Imagine Jesus saying your name. Imagine being Simon and Jesus giving you a new name. There would be something special in hearing him call you.
Imagine hearing a voice that you thought you would never hear again. The voice of someone to whom you had given your life and who you thought was gone. Imagine hearing that voice say your name.
As Mary wept in the garden over the disappearance of Jesus’s body, she heard her name. There is probably something to the idea that she didn’t recognize Him until he said her name, but it is possible that in her sorrow, she simply didn’t, or couldn’t look up. Whatever the reason, that Jesus was actually unrecognizable or that Mary’s sadness pulled her gaze to the ground, she did not know it was Jesus until He said her name.
You see, in a way, this encapsulates Jesus’s entire life, death, and resurrection. He did it all so that He could call us all by name. The question is how do we respond when we hear his voice calling us? Do we, like Mary, run to Him and embrace Him so tightly? Or does He lament our hard hearts and unwilling spirits (see Matthew 23:37).
Jesus longs for us to embrace Him. He is calling us by name.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you know my name. Thank you for calling me to be a part of your family and for taking me in. Help me to live as someone who has been redeemed by you and who introduces you to others so that they can hear you calling them too.
Reflection: When Jesus calls your name, what is He asking you to do? How can you respond to Him this week?
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