The Risen Christ Knows Us By Name

The Risen Christ Knows Us By Name BY Jonathan Landry Cruse for Core Christianity

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned and said to him in Aramaic,
Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).” John 20:16

Until this point she was weeping over the loss of a friend. She was trying to come to grips with a future that looked entirely bleak. She had supposed she was speaking with a random groundskeeper. Until he said her name.


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Suddenly, Mary is brought back to reality. At that moment the scales fall off her eyes, so to speak, and she’s able to see clearly again. At the sound of her name on the lips of her Savior, the whole world comes into focus. The Good Shepherd calls his sheep by name, and they hear his voice (John 10:3). At that moment she recognizes she’s not talking to the gardener at all, she’s talking to her beloved teacher—“Rabboni!”

What Mary is experiencing is unsettling, to say the least. She’s encountering a man who is alive—again! But to dispel fear or consternation, the resurrected Christ speaks a sweet word of assurance. “Doubtless much of the magical effect of Jesus’s word was due to the tone in which he spoke it,” says Geerhardus Vos. But in this single word spoken in this singular way, he “assure[s] her that whatever transformation had taken place, there could be and would be no change in the intimate, personal character of their relationship.”[1]

It’s very important for us to realize that Jesus’s first words out of the tomb aren’t a speech or public discourse in front of the masses. Instead, his first words are a personal conversation with a friend. That’s because he’s a personal Savior and that doesn’t change after the resurrection. Even now as the crowned King—who conquered death itself and thus rules over all the living—he’s still intimately interested in you and me. We joke with gifted or popular friends, “Don’t forget us when you’re famous!” Jesus doesn’t. And he proves it right here by addressing Mary.

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