Go to My Brethren

John 20:17-18.

Jesus saith unto her, Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things unto her.

What would you have done if you had been in Mary’s position? What would anyone have done, who loved Him and had thought He was dead?

I think the illustration above shows it perfectly. She worshipped Him as Lord, and was overwhelmed to see Him and hear Him speak.

Jesus was not being unkind when He said “Touch me not.” The primary translation of the word used for touch in this passage is to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, cling to.

My sons all live a very long distance from me. When I get to see them, I have a hard time letting go of them. I want to cling. They are patient with me, and let me hug them until I finally let go. So I think I can understand, from a very earthly perspective, how Mary must have wanted never to let Him go.

What He was saying, in my own words, was, “Mary, you must not cling to Me, for I still have some things to accomplish before I go back to My Father.”

Then He told her to go and tell His disciples, His brethren, that she had seen Him and spoken with Him, that He was alive. The men needed to know that He would soon ascend to the Father.

As far as I can find, this is the first time Jesus refers to the disciples as brethren. Prior to his death, He had called them servants, and friends. But now there was a new relationship because, through His death and resurrection, all who believe on Him are adopted into God’s family through Jesus Christ.

It is interesting that Jesus told Mary to tell the men. That is, in part, because under levitical law, the testimony of a woman was not considered evidence. I know, that raises the hackles for women today. But it was not uncommon even in the non-Jewish world for the testimony of women to be dismissed as the irrational, emotion-led ravings of hysteria. Did you know that the Greek word for uterus is hyster? That is why surgical removal of the uterus is called a hysterectomy. And hyster, clearly, is the root word of hysteria and hysterical. Women, apparently, were the helpless victims of their wombs, and therefore were not considered capable of rational witness in any legal matter.

Of course, there has never been any such thing as an hysterical man.

Jesus, of course, knew all that; He knew it was also foolishness. So He chose a woman to be the first to see Him, speak with Him, touch Him, and to go and tell the rest of His followers the wonderful news.

Mary obeyed Him. She went and told the disciples everything she had seen and heard from Jesus.

2 thoughts on “Go to My Brethren

  1. When all three of my kids were in college, but still home in the summers, one of my girls flipped her vehicle and it landed on the side of the road, about three miles from the house. She calmly unhooked her seat belt and crawled out, a neighbor saw her and gave her a ride home. A few minutes later my son, coming from the opposite direction recognized her car and stopped. Of course he looked all over for her and couldn’t find her. He was frantic! He hastened home, plunged through the door and shouted, my sister had an accident and I can’t find her! While he was saying that, he went right past her! He started hyperventalating and my other girl grabbed a grocery sack (they were still paper then) and calmed him down. He was the one who was hyper, not Denise! Of course, to this day we are thankful she was wearing her seatbelt, no glass broke, but sadly, the little car was “toast.” And we still tease Dave about it at family gatherings. And she is the one who delivered a baby in Burkino Faso, W. Africa in a French speaking environment. No problem.

    Liked by 1 person

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