NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passage: John 20:1-2, 11-18
What are some opportunities we have to share the good news of Jesus’ resurrection?
Food for Thought by Chad Keck*
When we find something of great value, the natural desire is to hold on to it tightly, to cling to that item. It seems from John 20:17-18 that Jesus was rebuking Mary Magdalene and was coming across as untouchable, but we know from the ministry of Jesus that He was very approachable. Jesus was about to ascend into heaven and would no longer be with her physically. Mary would now rely on Jesus as He came to live in her through the presence of His Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ next words were for her to go and share the good news of His appearance with others. The Gospel isn’t a top-secret message meant only for ourselves. It’s to be shared and spread across the entire world. His glory and power aren’t in limited supply so that when it is shared it decreases in portion. In fact, the more we share Christ with others, the more we experience His power and presence in our lives.
The first directive Jesus gave Mary Magdalene was for her to go and tell others that she had seen the risen Lord. There is not a more important message than this. Another important part of Jesus’ statement to Mary was that He would be “ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Jesus has a unique relationship as the only Son from the Father (John 1:14). We have a relationship with the Father through the Son.
Notice the immediate response of Mary Magdalene. Jesus instructed her to go and tell, and she went and told! When Jesus calls us to go, we must go. When He calls us to tell, we must tell. Delayed obedience is disobedience.
God calls all His followers to be His witnesses, but we don’t witness alone. Jesus’ ascension set the stage for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). It is this same Spirit Who indwells believers today and empowers us to share the same message that Mary Magdalene was sent to tell the disciples: Jesus is alive!
*Chad Keck is pastor of First Baptist Church Kettering in Dayton, Ohio, and teaches at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Cedarville University.
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the internet at biblestudiesforlife.com.