God’s First Choice
by Peter Brokaar
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. – John 20:16-18, ESV
Despite having read this story many times, I had never really thought much about Jesus’ choice as to whom He appeared to first. Here was Jesus, freshly risen from the dead, in His resurrection body, carrying the message of hope and salvation for all of humankind. His appearance would impact the entire world. He could choose to show Himself to anyone He wanted to. So, whom did He choose? It was Mary Magdalene, both a woman and someone who had been heavily demonised.
Imagine for a moment you were in the shoes of Jesus and you needed to decide whom to appear to first. Who would it be? Would it be someone powerful, like a king, or someone holy and righteous, or someone strong? Here we read that Jesus chose Mary, giving her an honour beyond our comprehension. Of the hundreds of millions of followers of the risen Christ she was to be the first. She was chosen ahead of everyone else, even ahead of the twelve (technically eleven at that point) apostles.
It touched my heart so deeply that Jesus chose a woman, someone hierarchically not exactly on the top of the pile in those days. Besides that, she might have been someone heavily frowned upon, looked down on, as she had been in great personal need. God has such a heart for the broken, the needy, and the downtrodden. God loves to elevate those who have been brought low.
During His days on earth Jesus ministered widely to the poor, needy, the sinful, and the broken. This upset the Pharisees and caused confusion amongst the disciples. But it brought Him and His Father in heaven joy and delight.
After His resurrection Jesus appeared to Mary of Magdala first, before any others saw Him. The story continues after Jesus went to heaven and sent us His Spirit to fulfil God’s will on earth. He still has deep love and compassion for those in dire need. You may not feel as if you are particularly deserving, someone who always wins, a person who comes out on top. Do not fear, God has a heart for you and longs to give you the honour of personally knowing and proclaiming Him.
Prayer: I want to say thank You Jesus that You chose to show yourself to Mary first. Thank You that You loved her and that You love me too. I may not be the biggest or the best, but that did not stop You from loving me and choosing me, too. I love You Lord. Amen.
Thanks and God bless for reading Seeds of the Kingdom Devotional 8 April 2021
Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.