Thinking Out Loud

April 1, 2018

He is Risen: Reaching Out to Give a Resurrected Jesus a Hug

Filed under: Christianity, Jesus — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:08 am

“Stop hugging me.”

In essence, that’s what Jesus to Mary in John 20:17. The scene is the moment where, realizing she is not speaking to someone tasked with taking care of the landscaping in the area surrounding Joseph of Arimathea’s donated tomb, she realizes it is Jesus.

But why the admonition, “Don’t touch me”?

I’ve set the following as a quotation because these aren’t my ideas, though I have greatly paraphrased from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary.1

Was it partly because she’d been crying? It wasn’t because Jesus had assumed the clothes or borrowed the gardener’s work clothes, but because he was the likeliest person to be going about the garden at that early hour.

But then he says her name. First it’s the realization that this is someone who knows her, but then something else stirs; there’s a dawning that there’s something very familiar about this voice. And then there’s more, a fuller understanding of all the implications of what has taken place and is taking place in that moment. He’s alive!

She springs toward him. As the fear of this supernatural encounter turns to joy, wouldn’t you? But she’s met with these words: “Mary, you cannot hold Me. I must rise above this world to be with My Father, who is also your Father.”2  Wait, what?

Various reasons have been given:

  1. It was simply improper. Problem is, he didn’t stop the woman at the dinner table who kissed his feet, even though that was rather scandalous.
  2. She wished to confirm the physical reality of his appearance. Nope. Doesn’t work either, as Jesus later encouraged the disciples to verify his physicality by virtue of eating fish and allowing Thomas to place his hands in the nail holes left by the cross.
  3. It would disrupt the force which was allowing him to manifest in his glorified body. That is to say, glorification was a work in process at that point, and she needed to wait for the completion of that.

We can reject those possibilities because he gives the reason: “I have not yet ascended to the Father.”3

Those who love Him on earth must learn to live without the physical appearance, the actual seeing, touching, hearing, of the well-known Master. There must be no more kissing of His feet, but a reverence of a sterner, deeper sort; there must be no more sitting at table with Him, and filling the mind with His words, until they sit down with Him in the Father’s presence. Meanwhile His friends must walk by faith, not by sight they would need to learn the truer faithfulness that serves an absent Lord; they must acquire the independent and inherent love of righteousness which can freely grow only when relieved from the commanding pressure of a visible presence, encouraging us by sensible expressions of favor, guaranteeing us against defeat and danger. 

They would need to learn to walk by faith and not by sight. Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” (John 20:29, The Message)


1 Expositor’s Commentary at Bible Hub
2 The Voice
3 NASB


April 1st is Christianity 201’s 8th Birthday!
While Christ’s resurrection is the dominant theme in our thoughts today and we don’t want to distract from that, our sister blog, Christianity 201 concluded its eighth year yesterday, and now begins year nine of providing daily devotional content and Bible study discussion material. Our motto continues to be “Digging a little deeper.” My hope is that we’ve provided helpful resources for your devotional and Bible study reading and have introduced you to many new authors who are doing the same online. ~Paul

June 30, 2010

Wednesday Link List

Check your calendar:  The year is half over.   Just eighteen months left until the world ends in 2012.    Here’s where we were this week:

  • Without question my number one link this week is Francis Chan’s children’s book trailer — that’s right, a kids book — for The Big Red Tractor releasing in September from David C. Cook.
  • Pete Wilson pays tribute to a retiring staff member who he hired seven years ago to bring some experience and wisdom to an otherwise younger team; sharing some valuable lessons he learned from Tom Tyndall.  Here’s a sample:

    Great sermons will get you pats on the back. Savvy leadership skills will win you admiration from your colleagues. Hard work will catch peoples eyes as you separate from the pack. But if you don’t love you’re nothing more than a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal. If you don’t love the people God has placed in your life nothing else really matters.

  • Andy LePeau at InterVarsity has a surefire way to increase the earning potential of your children and it’s not (directly, at least) education.   Check it out.
  • I really enjoyed Rick Apperson’s Blogapalooza throughout the entire month of June at Just a Thought, but especially this guest piece by Clay Crosse.  (Check out the other posts, too.)
  • Mark Wilson has a hilarious hypothetical conversation between God and St. Francis on the subject of lawn maintenance.

    GOD : They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
    ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
    GOD:  They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

  • Know somebody who is giving your pastor a hard time?  Probably not anything like this story.   This guy was a terrorist.  This is a book trailer for an upcoming non-fiction book, The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Alonzo; releasing August 1st.
  • A 2006 iMonk column by Michael Spencer showed considerable insight in trying to bring balance to the young-earth/old-earth tensions in science vs. creationism.  He felt the Bible was a book about God and Jesus, not a book about science.
  • Here’s something you don’t see every day; a book about the ascension of Jesus and why it matters.   Check out Jeff Loach’s review of He Ascended Into Heaven.
  • First it was the hymn people versus the chorus people.  But recently there’s been more visible unrest within the modern worship community itself.   Michael Krahn comments,  in a blog post inspired by one by Canadian Chris Vacher.
  • New Blog of the Week:  Contrast by Terry Foote in Florida.   No particular post, though you might read a father’s perspective on the loss of a child.
  • Atheists have put the “under God” part of “One Nation Under God” back on the agenda with a billboard campaign .
  • There are parts of the Christian internet I’m sure some of you (us) never get to see. Not sure what to make of this one: The blog Enoch Route introduces us to “Billy” who offers some signs you might be in a cult.
  • Can you handle one more Drew Marshall Show link?   When the new archived interviews (from last week’s show) go up on Friday, it’s Drew’s first “Gay Day” with Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network, Wendy Gritter from New Direction Ministries, and singer-songwriter Derek Webb, just back from a tour with Jennifer Knapp.  Click here after 7.2.10 and select the show from 6.26
  • Ruth Graham observes that the themes in Christian young adult fiction are creeping into the mainstream book market.  (Some critics felt it was the other way around.) Check out her article at Slate.
  • Some people have all the answers until you start asking spiritual questions.   Check out this Soul Chat promo.   More Soul Chat video content here.
  • If you’ve read the last chapter of the book version of Stuff Christians Like (as opposed to the website) you know the (somewhat) serious side of Jon Acuff (pictured at right). CNN’s Belief blog had him back again, this time to tell everyone why some Christians act like jerks online.
  • Late breaking item:  With too many contradictions in his Muslim-turned-Christian story, when Ergun Caner’s current term as dean of Liberty University Theological Seminary expires today (6/30) the job won’t be renewed, though he gets to stay on staff.   The Washington Post tells the story, additional background is at World Magazine.
  • Our cartoon today is a classic — in internet terms, it’s actually only from 2008 — Hi and Lois by Brian and Greg Walker.

If you were listed in the blogroll here at Thinking Out Loud, and your blog name begins with “The,” don’t panic, you’re still here.  Look for your blog’s title without the “the.”  (Requests to have it reinstated will be considered by a bureaucratic committee that meets in Switzerland twice a year.)

Last week’s link list got bumped from its home page position by another post, check it out here.

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