What Does John 20:17 Mean?

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

John 20:17(KJV)

Verse of the Day

In Proverbs, we are advised: "Those that seek Me early will find Me," and what a beautiful example of this we see in Mary who went to seek Jesus so early in the morning: "While it was still dark." And what ecstatic joy must have flooded her heart when Jesus spoke her name, and yet He told her tenderly but firmly: "Touch Me not for I am not yet ascended to the Father."

Throughout Old Testament times, the first sheaf of corn was always a reason for joy, yet before anyone was permitted to partake of its goodness and grace, it had to be waved before the Lord. And in like manner, the Lord Jesus is the full and final representation of the First-fruit of them that slept and no-one (not even those that loved Him so deeply), was permitted to partake of Him or touch Him, for He was not yet ascended to present Himself as the First-fruit offering to the Father.

Mary was not to cling to Her Saviour as a Man of flesh and bone, for although He had risen from the dead and in so doing had broken the power of death for all who believe in Him, He had not yet ascended to present Himself as the First-fruit offering to the Father. 

What a joyful mission with which to be charged: "Go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God." Her joy in the Lord was not to be clung to selfishly, but was to be shared abroad so that others could participate in the overflowing joy that comes in the morning. Jesus was to be glorified and to take His place at the right hand of the Father so that He could endow all His children with His abundant life, by means of the indwelling life-giving Holy Spirit.

Never before had the Lord Jesus called His followers: "My brothers." With His glorious Resurrection was birthed a new dispensation which, for a season, was to be used of God to: "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You that He died to pay the price for my sins, and thank you that He rose again so that I might have His abundant, resurrected-life within me, in the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit. I am not worthy to gather up the crumbs under Your table, and yet You stooped down to rescue me and adopt me into Your heavenly family. To You be all praise and glory forever and ever, AMEN.

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