Faith

The Remarkable Rewards for Tarry-Marys

Read:  John 20:1-18

But Mary remained.

Who was this Mary?  We’re not discussing Good Mary.  Jesus’ momma.  This is Bad Mary.  Widely accepted tradition indicates she was a reformed prostitute.  However, this isn’t explicitly told in the Bible.

Now it came to pass, afterward, that Jesus went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons.  Luke 8:1-2

Mary had been ensnared.  Until she met Jesus.

Once redeemed, Mary devotedly ministered to her Lord.  Even at the cross.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  John 19:25

Most of His closest friends withdraw.

But Mary remained.

 Jesus’ body was removed from the cross and placed in the tomb.

And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid. Mark 15:47

But Mary remained.

Jesus’ followers could not travel back to the tomb on the Sabbath (Shabbat).  Shabbat begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday.  So, on Sunday morning, at the earliest moment she could travel, Mary is there when it was yet dark (John 20:1).  She’s there early.  The word used here describes the fourth watch of the night, from 3 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock approximately.

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.  Proverbs 8:17

There at the tomb, as close to Jesus as possible.  This is where we find Mary rooted.  Immovable.

But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping … John 20:11a

GardenTomb

She stood.  The word used for stood is the Greek histémi.  Mary is establishing herself with a steadfastness.  The amplified version gives us this impression:

“But Mary remained.”

 Persisted.

Waited.

Paused.

Tarried.

Endured.

Outlasted.

Does this come natural to you?  It doesn’t to me. Not on hold on the telephone.  Not in a boring conversation.  Not during a trying season of life.

But Mary remained.

Jesus said to her, Mary.  John 20:16

Waves of sound gently ripple through the air to beautifully alight upon her heart.

Mary.

The most comforting Voice she’d ever known has just released a knowing, reassuring utterance.

 … He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings out His own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.  (John 10:3b-4)

Mary was constantly devoted to her Lord from the beginning.  She endured everything that entailed, literally and spiritually, following Him.  She persisted in ministering to Him even after His death.  She outlasted those who wavered.  She stood when others buckled.  She tarried.  She paused.

Mary remained.

And her reward was remarkable.

Humble, patient, grateful, remaining Mary witnessed what those whom she’d outlasted missed.  The first warm, cherished, private moment with a newly Resurrected Savior.

PRAYER:  Lord, give us the endurance to make sacrifices that build our persistence in being Christ-followers who outlast doubts, criticism and fear.  May we experience the reward of pausing and tarrying in those places where we know we can find You.

 

 

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