The Relationship Has Changed!

Scott Stevenson 

"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.’”  John 20:17 ESV

Have you ever wondered why Jesus would tell Mary not to hold on to Him? I know I have, and when you take a closer look at the verse, it actually becomes a blessing. That is why it is always important to let scripture speak to you through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will peak your interest in certain areas for certain reasons.

Mary’s particular situation takes some understanding. I remember Mary at the foot of Jesus when He was dying and Mary getting up early on Sunday morning seeking out the Lord when He was in the tomb. What did God say about those who seek Him?

"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me."  Proverbs 8:17

"And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."  Luke 11:9

This woman earnestly sought out the Lord and she was blessed with being the first to see Him…I’m just looking at her actions and the result.

The interesting thing is that once Jesus finally said her name, she recognized Him. Once again, the sheep know the shepherd’s voice. Mary’s relationship is what you call a real relationship. Mary being overjoyed probably hugged Jesus with the intention of never letting Him go. I know I would have, too, but things have changed.

The KJV tells us that Jesus said, “Touch Me not,” but the better translation in this instance would be the NIV “Do not hold on to me.” The reason being, physical contact will no longer be the relationship they share. Physical contact will no longer be Jesus’ presence with the church. The new relationship will begin with His ascension and the giving of the Holy Spirit. They will no longer be servants, but friends (John 15:15), part of the family. (Heb. 2:11-12, Rom. 8:15-17, 29; Gal. 3:26) The new relationship given to Mary came with a new responsibility. Mary may have been the first, but she certainly was not the last. The responsibility for all of us is to tell the world that Jesus has risen, which is the greatest news in the world! Go out there and let them know the relationship has changed, give them the good news that the Father awaits them!

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