Summary: Jesus appears to different people to bring them an understanding of the hope He can give
Jesus Keeps Appearing
Have you noticed that when you are in need that the appearance of someone who is significant in your life can make all the difference.
Maybe your car has broken down and you are stuck in the rain. You have rung your Dad and now he is just arriving to help you. Immediately you feel much safer.
You have gone to a party which you thought was going to be safe, but now it has gotten out of control. So you ring your mum to come and pick you up. You’re really glad she is there.
You are at home alone and you think that there is someone trying to get into your house. You have rung the police and they have come and are now at your door. You know you are in good hands.
There are all sorts of situations where the mere appearance of someone who is significant makes all the difference.
Which is exactly what is happening as we focus on the actions of Jesus after His resurrection.
Let’s read John 20:10-30
Jesus keeps appearing to show He is able to bring all that is needed in every situation.
Jesus appears to Mary in her grief …
The disciples came and saw and empty tomb and then left.
Mary stays at the tomb, she is absolutely distraught and is crying loudly.
Not so much because Jesus is dead – though that is bad enough – but because the body has been taken.
Maybe it is grave robbers.
Maybe it was the gardener.
Whatever the case Mary has been robbed of her ability to take time and grieve.
Perhaps in the hope that the disciples have missed something she looks into the tomb again.
This time there are two angels.
Usually when people see angels they respond in fear.
Mary just treats them as if they are another group to have a conversation with.
Woman, why are you crying? They ask.
I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster.
My close friend is dead.
I’m sad that the group I was a part of has broken up.
My heart is broken because my Saviour is gone.
I’m struggling to come to terms with this new situation.
I didn’t get a chance to say “good bye”.
All of these things, and so much more.
They make Mary grieve. They make us grieve as well don’t they.
There is so much about this world that has a grief aspect attached to it. How many times over our lives have we found ourselves shedding tears.
It can feel like there is no answer.
Then Jesus turns up.
Woman why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?
Jesus appears to Mary in her grief …
… to bring comfort.
It takes a little while for her to understand but finally she gets it.
In fact he needs to say her name, “Mary”.
Early in John 10 those who are the sheep of Jesus recognise Him because of His voice.
This the Great Shepherd … using His voice … “Mary”.
All of the sudden the tears are gone.
All of the sudden everything changes.
Jesus hasn’t gone.
And when I see Him come into the middle of my grief I can have a transformation.
Our grief does not have to be the lasting situation.
That is what happens when Jesus appears.
But that isn’t all.
Jesus appears to the Disciples in their fear …
By this time the disciples have heard from Mary … she has seen the Lord.
It is now the end of that day so they have had some time to think about what has happened and to wonder about the implications.
It doesn’t seem that anyone has remembered the words of Jesus where He said He would rise again.
Nor does it seem that this news has given them any sense of boldness or greater courage.
They are so afraid they have locked themselves into a house of some description. And all the doors are locked. The outer door of the courtyard. The inner door of the house.
They are afraid of the Jews.
Now that Jesus is out of the way what will happen to those who followed Him.
Will there be a bit of a witch-hunt to make sure that there is an end to the work of Jesus.
It seems that the ministry of Jesus has now come to a close and there will not be any more effect.
That happens to disciples doesn’t it – disciples like us.
We are fearful about the impact of the ministry which we are called to have.
We are fearful about what others think of us and their reaction to us being followers of Jesus.
We are fearful because we know what our identity should be, but we don’t always act accordingly.