Jesus: Gentle Master

Read John 20:11-29

I was recently building a snowman with a 3 year old. It was an interesting dance of helping and not helping. She is at the stage where she “wants to do everything by herself.” In one moment, she would announce, “I can do it myself,” but in the next breath she would be asking for help because she couldn’t actually do it herself. As we rolled the last ball and put it on top as the snowman’s head, it occurred to me that I am still a lot like that!

I can do it myself

If I am honest with myself, I like to have a plan, be in control of how things go and “do it myself.” Submission often comes hard for me. So I find myself in this constant back and forth of trying to be my own master and in control while also recognizing that I am woefully inadequate and in need of help! If there is anything that this season has reminded me, it is that I am not in control. I think that this is why the portrait of Christ in this passage resonates with me so deeply.

Jesus comes in gentleness

Mary has come to the garden with a plan. She is looking for the body so that she can finish the task of preparing it that they were unable to complete on Friday. And into this picture, steps Jesus, the man Mary has known as “Rabboni,” or teacher and master. Mary does not recognize Jesus at first because she is looking for the wrong thing. Even though Jesus taught his followers again and again that he had to die and rise again, she is not looking for a risen Lord, but a broken body – a corpse. I love and am humbled by Jesus’ response to Mary. He does not berate her or scold her, but comes to her in gentleness and love, calling her by name, asking her questions and not giving up until she finally recognizes Him!

Jesus responds to us in the same way, gently calling us and pursuing us until we recognize Him. Will we do that, today?


Written by Debbi Tuck

Artwork by Lauren Wright Pittman, Fullness of the Tomb, © A Sanctified Art