Mary Magdalene: Devotion to the Lord (John #75)

Text: John 20:1-18

Her devotion to the Lord was her first priority (vss 1)

  • Pleasing priority
    • Devotion makes God happy.
    • Leviticus 27:28 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
  • Relational priority
    • Devoted to being where the Lord Jesus Christ is
    • Mary Magdalene had to be where the Lord was.
    • Get your mind where His mind is.
    • Get your heart where His heart is.
  • Loving priority
    • Devoted to him because of her love for him
    • Her love was the result of what He had done for her.  Cast out seven devils from her.  Befriended her.  Loved her.  The Lord Jesus Christ had only brought good things in her life.  He had been a blessing in every way.  And she just wanted to be near him.
    • We love him because he first loved us.
    • She obeyed the first commandment
    • Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
  • Intentional priority
    • Solitude
      • We are all busy, and a quiet time in a quiet place seems to be nearly impossible.  I think we find meaning in busyness sometimes.
      • We need to find a place where the cell phone can’t ring and schedules don’t run the day. Moses found direction. Elijah found encouragement. Perhaps the reason we have our doubts and discouragements stem from the lack of time we spend alone with God.
      • Daniel presided over a nation and David was the king and each carved out three times a day where they would get with the Lord.  Each knew that without their time with the Lord they would not be able to do what they did in a way that was pleasing to the Lord.
      • Part of spiritual preparation is separation to be with the Lord.
    • Attention
      • A time of personal devotion is not a race to accomplish a goal of reading so many chapters alone; it is a relationship to be cultivated and enjoyed.
      • The distracted life is most like the seed that falls by the wayside and has no opportunity because it is removed as soon as it hits the heart.
    • Communication
      • Our generation is relationship-conscious but not relationship-wise.  People search online, in social groups, and too often in wrong places to find that one deep, personal and fulfilling connection.  In our haste to live an activity-filled life, we may miss this necessary resource for a truly fulfilling and meaningful life. We need the attitude of Paul who, after his salvation, wanted nothing more than to know Christ, That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10).

Her devotion to the Lord influenced others to follow (vss 2-8)

  • Like rocks thrown in a pond that cause ripples.  The bigger the rock, the bigger the wave.
  • Gave others someone to follow
  • Showed others the way to go
  • Disoriented folks look for something steady, standing still, clear direction.

Her devotion to the Lord led to the right perspective of things (vss 9-16)

  • Tears for the Lord’s absence.  Why weepest thou?  Because they have taken my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
    • Sorrow on top of sorrow because it’s unknown what happened.
    • The men go home because there is nothing to do, but Mary sticks around because she wants to be around the things that remind her of the Lord.
  • The word of God is hope, joy, peace, and life!
    • Good news is turned to bad news in absence of the scriptures, but tragedy is turned to triumph in light of the word of God.
    • Mary recognizes the Lord through a personal call.
    • Trouble made worse when there is nothing devoted to the Lord, no devotion.

Her devotion made her a witness to the power of God (vss 17-18)

  • John 20:1-18 is about who the Lord appears to after his resurrection, specifically about the Lord appearing to Mary Magdalene first.  Why did He appear to her first?  Ready for something profound?  It’s because she is the one looking for him.
  • Ascension and descension of the Lord Jesus Christ in a matter of hours.
  • Power to become children of God just like John 1:12 says.
  • Witness is a witness.