Listen to today’s devo!

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” (John 20:17)

Once when I was serving as a moderator at a national theological conference, I was given the task of caring for and introducing a major presenter. Because I had read this theologian’s work, I had brought along some books for him to autograph, and I had purchased two coffees for us to converse over prior to his talk. I was able to spend an enthralling hour of uninterrupted exchange. Finally, an attendee approached us, tapped me on the back, and said, “Are you going to monopolize all of the meeting with our guest, or can others talk to him too?” To be honest, I was having so much fun, I had not really noticed that others were in the room!

Clingy people tend to be insecure and anxious in their relationships. They want to focus all their attention on someone, as if to keep them all to themselves. There have been many attempts to interpret what Jesus’ words to Mary Magdalene meant, to “not hold” or even “touch” (KJV) him. But the resultant meaning was the same: Mary was not to focus on the physical body of the resurrected Jesus, but to prepare everyone to exalt him as the ascended Lord of all. Mary was the first to discover that Jesus would not allow us to keep him earth bound, when he is meant to be given the highest place.

Don’t just hold Jesus as a personal god, but the God of everything.

Rich Eckley is professor emeritus of theology at Houghton College (NY). He is an ordained Wesleyan minister, and enjoys—with his wife Lynn—entertaining four active grandchildren.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House.  Reprinted from Light from the Word.  Used by permission.  Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.