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Believing Is Seeing

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John 20:1-18

            Jesus’ first appearance after His resurrection was to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.  Some suppose that Jesus appeared first to Mary for some special reason.  I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I do know that she at least was brave enough to own Christ openly.  Her heart was breaking at the loss of Jesus, the only man that had ever loved her for herself and not her body.  Now she discovers an empty tomb and her heart is even more torn apart.  Perhaps she was first to see Him because she needed too so badly.

            The weeping woman is typical of humanity, even Christianity.  She is in danger of missing the greater blessing.  So many are faithful, kind, intelligent, and greatly sympathetic yet never see what is right before their eyes.  Mary, though speaking with angels, has left God completely out of the picture.  She still believed that, “They have taken Him and I know not where.”  She needed to use eyes of faith in order to see the truth.  Unfortunately, many of us have found ourselves standing in Mary’s shoes.


I.   Those Unable Or Unwilling To See God’s Hand In History

A.    The Bible has nearly achieved the status of fable

1.      The Greeks believed the world only existed in our minds

2.      Discounted are the miracles and accounts of Divine/human interaction

B.     Some view history as being evidence of human autonomy

C.    Mary could see only the mob, the Romans, and the Jews

1.      She saw only mischief – no plan

2.      Though Jesus had forewarned them

D.    He is the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end


II. Those That Suffer Unnecessarily – Doubt and Fear

A.    No reason for Mary to cry

1.      The angels questioned her tears

2.      Angels must scratch their heads at our lack of insight and faith

B.     Behind every moment there is a purpose

1.      God may be testing us

2.      These moments of trouble or doubt may be opportunities for God to prove Himself

3.      Why weep for the moments that have taught us the greatest faith?

4.      Self pity is a faith killer


III. Those Unable To See Christ Except Where They Have Seen Him Before

A.    Had Mary seen Jesus’ cold, lifeless body she would have been content

1.      She expected to find Him in the grave

2.      His dead body would have given her comfort

B.     Many would rather have a dead Christ than one that loves members of other denominations

1.      Some would not welcome Him into their homes or churches

2.      He was a rough, poor, Nazarene that smelled of wood and fish


IV. Those That Speak Of Christ As If He Were Absent

A.    The historical Jesus – He lived and died and that’s that

B.     “Many have entertained angels unawares”

1.      The homeless, the poor, the hungry – we serve Christ when we serve one another

2.      Look for Him and you will see Him everywhere


Mary owned membership in a very large group; namely, those that never seem to get the message, those that suffer needlessly, those that limit Jesus to one dimension, and those that think of Him as absent.


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