Jesus had died on the cross and although He had told His disciples repeatedly that He would rise they didn’t accept that they would be seeing Him again. The disciples are keeping out of the way, but on Sunday morning the women head for the tomb as they did not have time to complete the embalming on Friday afternoon.
- The other gospels have 2 (Matthew), 3 (Mark) and more than 3 (Luke) women, but John concentrates on just Mary (but notice the ‘we’ in verse 2). Why do you think this may be?
- It is widely accepted that ‘the other disciple’ (see v2, 4, 8) is John. Why do you think he doesn’t mention himself?
- It says he (John) ‘saw and believed’ (v8). What had he seen and what do you think he now believed?
- Why do you think the disciples had this inability to understand rising from the dead if, as we know, they had seen Lazarus (and others) raised from the dead before? – v9
We are not told about the location of the other women after verse 1, and in fact their presence then is only implied within verse 2, so we don’t know, from John, whether Mary was alone by verse 11. It does seem a special blessing that she, a woman (whose word and them as individuals were not rated highly at this time), was allowed to see both angels and the risen Jesus by the tomb.
- Why do you think the angels and Jesus spoke to Mary and not to Peter and John? – v13, 15
- What reasons can you think of for Mary not recognising Jesus? – v15
Jesus was called by many names. Thomas would later say ‘My Lord and my God’ (John 20:28); previously Peter had said, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God’ (Matthew 16:16). And John previously reminds his listeners of Jesus through the ‘I am’ sayings (John 6:48; 8:12; 10:9; 10:11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1).
- Why, rather than any of the above, do you think Mary called Him teacher? – v16
- What do you think Jesus meant by ‘returning’ to the Father? – v17
- What does Jesus’ physical resurrection mean to you and your neighbours?