Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

John 20:11-16

Last Sunday, we celebrated Easter. Or, more specifically, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus from the dead—the one and only event that could provide Jesus victory over sin and death and provide us the opportunity for forgiveness of sin through faith in Him.

But I’d like to return to the events immediately following his resurrection again this week as we take time to focus on Him and our faith. There is a fascinating interchange between Jesus and Mary outside the tomb.

While a number of women had traveled to the tomb to anoint Jesus’s body with spices. It appears, at this point in the story, that only Mary remained at the tomb. Assumably, the other women immediately left the tomb to tell the disciples, but Mary stayed and wept.

And when she did, Jesus appeared to her. At first Mary believed him to be the gardener, but when he spoke her name, she immediately knew who He was.

And Mary responded with just one word: “Teacher!”

What an interesting word choice! Teacher.

In fact, think for just a moment, when was the last time you referred to Jesus as “Teacher”?

In prayer, I refer to Him often as Jesus. I think of Him as a friend. I am thankful that He is my Savior. And no doubt, the phrase I use most often when talking about God is Father.

But “teacher” is a word that rarely comes to my mind. And yet, it was the first word out of Mary’s mouth when she recognized her risen Lord.

I think we can learn a lot from Mary’s response to Jesus. And probably we should.

Of course, embracing Jesus as Teacher requires a posture of humility on our part. And maybe that’s what makes the word or concept so foreign to us. It requires us to admit that we have so much left to learn—so much left to learn about God, about ourselves, and how to live faithfully in this world.

But Jesus is the Great Teacher. He teaches us about God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and what kingdom living in a fallen world looks like.

Mary’s posture is one we should seek more often.


Teacher, thank you for your love and faithfulness. Help me rejoice more and
more each day in your sacrifice and resurrection. But help me also, dear God,
to take a posture of humility concerning all that you want to teach me.
When I think about you, may one of my first thoughts always be, “Teacher!” Amen.