Why did Jesus appear in a special way to Mary Magdalene and no others at the tomb?

Peter and John came to the tomb as well, so why did Jesus not appear to them? Why only Mary? What was so special about her to Jesus? What was she doing that Peter and John did not do?

John 20:1 - 18

NKJV - 1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 27 2014 84924d6f 9be5 4261 9e07 ab5f6a8c5842 Lena Wms

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Mary Magdalene was the first to discover the empty tomb while it was still dark out (John 20:1-2), though other women may have been with her. She ran to tell Peter and John, who looked inside. They only believed the tomb was empty when they saw for themselves (John 20:3-10). They then returned to where they were staying.

After the disciples leave, Mary Magdalene cried outside the tomb. Looking inside the tomb saw two angels. Then, she saw Jesus, but thought he was a gardener (John 20:11-17).

At dawn, just after sunrise, a group of women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus with spices. Mary Magdalene was probably still at the tomb (Luke 24:1-4, Matt 28:1) Then all the women saw the angels and heard of the risen Lord, and "remembered" the words of Christ (Luke 24:1-8, Matt 28:5-7, Mark 16:4-8). Mary likely told them as well of her encounter.

They told no one, but headed towards where the disciples were staying.
Along the way back, all the women encountered Christ (Matt 28:1-10). 

The woman did not tell anyone, but went strait to Peter and the apostles with the news (Mark 16:1-8). All but Peter thought they were 'talking nonsense'. (Luke 24:9-12)

Mary appears to have been the most outspoken of this group, but this might also be because she had the most to say. (John 20:11-18, Matt 28:1-10)

[There are actually many theories as to this exact sequence of events, so the above is just one possible sequence]. 

There is an alternative ending of Mark 16 in some manuscripts that gives more detail:

"Then they quickly reported all these instructions to those around Peter. After this, Jesus Himself also sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen. 

Jesus' appearance to Mary has a number of spiritual lessons:

 A reminder of faith 

Faith is believing on credible, but not primary, evidence. It is the conviction of things unseen, and the assurance of things hoped for (Heb 11:1).

After Jesus's Resurrection, there were many men who 'doubted', leading to Jesus' eventual lesson "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29) The women, conversely, remembered Christ's words when the angels spoke to them (Luke 24:5-8).

God has a habit of using "the weak things of the world to shame the wise" (I Cor 1:26-28). This is so man cannot boast in strength or charisma, but only in the grace and mercy of God. Where the people might have believed Peter due to his position, or one of the men due to their social standing - sending the angels and the women first meant that their confidence would need to be in the remembered words of Christ, not in a strong figurehead or messenger.

 A picture of faithfulness  

She was there at his crucifiction (John 19:25), there at his burial (Matt 27:57-61), the first to the tomb in the morning (John 20:1-2), and she remained at the empty tomb when the disciples left. This is a picture of the heartfelt and consistent devotion we should all give to Christ; how we all should cling to Him and long for His appearing. This also shows how it is often the most broken among us that cling to God the tightest, as those who are forgiven much, love much (Luke 8:1-3, Luke 7:36-50). Mary, despite her past as a demon-possessed woman, sought to stay close to the side of Jesus, no matter what.

 A mini-portrait of sharing the good news 

Jesus could have easily appeared to all of his disciples first, or to everyone at once, etc. So why did he start with a few women?

This is to show how we all have been called as workers for God's harvest (Luke 10:2). Rather than Jesus declaring Himself as Lord to everyone at once as He will at the second coming, we are commissioned to go out into the world and share the gospel, due to God's patience (II Pet 3:9).

As goes the saying, "God does not call the qualified, He equips the called".

October 28 2014 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Anonymous
In a culture & age where women were usually subordinate to men, I believe God wanted to emphasize the fact that He considered women to be a vital part of the church. Since she was the first to see Jesus, He sent her with the message of His resurrection to the disciples as a sign that God wanted women in the church to be co-laborers of the gospel with the men. John 20:16-18

June 11 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

1340324413 Chris Eleam Chris Eleam
Jesus could have appeared first to Peter, John, or one of the other male disciples. Instead, he chose to favor these women by making them the first eyewitnesses of his resurrection and by commissioning them to bear witness about it to his male disciples. How did the men initially react? The record states: “These sayings appeared as nonsense to them and they would not believe the women.” (Luke 24:11) Could it be that they found the testimony difficult to accept because it came from women? If so, in time they received abundant evidence that Jesus had been raised from the dead. (Luke 24:13-46; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8) Today, Christian men act wisely when they take into account the observations of their spiritual sisters.—Compare Genesis 21:12.
8 It is truly heartwarming to note the way Jesus dealt with women. Ever compassionate and completely balanced in dealing with women, he neither exalted nor belittled them. (John 2:3-5) He repudiated the rabbinic traditions that stripped them of their dignity and that invalidated the Word of God. (Compare Matthew 15:3-9.) By treating women with honor and respect, Jesus revealed firsthand how Jehovah God feels they should be treated. (John 5:19) Jesus also set a splendid example for Christian men to imitate.—1 Peter 2:21.

June 24 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Amybroker Amy Webster Mom, Attorney, evangelical teacher/chaplain, broker
I think that there is something more to the fact that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first. Consider the society at the time: women were considered inferior to men. Jesus used at least 2 opportunities to place women in situations where their testimony of Him would be told to others, and these testimonies would be heard and believed. 

The 1st story is that of the Samaritan woman, as told in John, Chapter 4. Jesus spoke to a non-Jewish woman, which is noteworthy not only because she was a woman, but because her lifestyle demonstrated much sinfulness, and also because the Jewish people truly loathed the Samaritans and would go out of the way to avoid them. This is the 1st person to whom Jesus identified Himself as the Messiah, and He sent her out to go tell His story to her community. 

Then, in John, Chapter 20, Jesus appears 1st to Mary Magdalene. Again, Jesus chose someone who was considered inferior, and who had was mistrusted and looked down upon because of the demon issues. Jesus entrusted very vital information about Himself to these women. He could have told anyone, and it would have been more "believable" coming from a man. But instead, He chose women for these messages. 

I believe part of the reason was to demonstrate their faith and belief in Him, and the importance and priority of our faith and belief in Him. But I also believe Jesus wanted to show that women are also commissioned to go and tell about Jesus and the Gospel. Remember, Paul pointed out in Galatians 3:28 that we are "...neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; you are all one in Christ." We are all called to the Great Commission. But, if Jesus had not specifically included women in such significant events--His identification of Himself as the Messiah and His appearance as alive after defeating death and rising from the grave, would society have allowed any woman to speak out about Jesus?

October 29 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

95 1 Jay Saunders
This answer is just an opinion but those that are forgiven much, much is required. And those that are forgiven much love much too.

And was it not Mary who washed her Lord's feet with her hair after anointing our Lord's feet with her most valued spices, oils or perfumes?

What humility. What an act of obedience because she was obviously prodded by the Holy Spirit, obedience and love most of all.

Afterward, the Lord said that she was preparing Him for his own burial. Judas chastised her for wasting the precious oils or perfumes and the Lord chastised Judas. 

He was probably motivated by greed because he stole from the master's purse. He was thinking about the sell of the oil and perfume. He said to give to the poor. He said that was his motivation but we know he had a spirit of greed oppressing him.

What other follower humbled herself so much in the scriptures besides Mary in the new testament? John 12: 1-8


November 17 2016 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Anonymous
This kind of question really matters nothing. Someone had to be the first. It is all God's grace. The only thing important is Jesus's resurrection. Jesus is the center!

June 10 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

1340324413 Chris Eleam Chris Eleam
Early in the morning on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and other women went to the tomb with spices to treat Jesus’ body. Upon finding the tomb empty, Mary ran off to tell Peter and John. The other women remained. Soon, an angel appeared to them and told them that Jesus had been raised up. “Go quickly and tell his disciples,” the angel instructed. While these women were hurrying to deliver the news, Jesus himself appeared to them. “Go, report to my brothers,” he told them. (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1, 2; John 20:1, 2) Unaware of the angel’s visit and overcome with grief, Mary Magdalene returned to the empty tomb. Jesus appeared to her there, and after she finally recognized him, he said: “Be on your way to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.’”—John 20:11-18; 

Jesus could have appeared first to Peter, John, or one of the other male disciples. Instead, he chose to favor these women by making them the first eyewitnesses of his resurrection and by commissioning them to bear witness about it to his male disciples. How did the men initially react? The record states: “These sayings appeared as nonsense to them and they would not believe the women.” (Luke 24:11) Could it be that they found the testimony difficult to accept because it came from women? If so, in time they received abundant evidence that Jesus had been raised from the dead. (Luke 24:13-46; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8) Today, Christian men act wisely when they take into account the observations of their spiritual sisters.—Compare Genesis 21:12.

November 03 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Eduardo Ceniza
"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD..." (Jeremiah 29:13-4)

Mary loved the Lord with all her heart. When the Lord died on the cross, Mary grieved his death to the depths of her heart. On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, she rushed to the tomb in search of her Lord with all her heart. And there she found Him. The appearance of the Lord to Mary in a unique way is a dramatic fulfillment of God's promise in Jeremiah 29:13-14 that if you seek the Lord with all your heart, you will find Him... and He will be found by you.

November 18 2016 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
There is no other biblical reason for this. Mary Magdalene just happened to be at the right place at the right time. There is no doubt of course that she was a faithful follower of Christ but there were several other faithful women who together with her ministered to Jesus and obeyed His teaching. I do not anything intrinsic about His appearance to Mary Magdalene on that Sunday Morning. Some of the disciples like Thomas doubted his resurrection while others were in hiding fearing that a similar fate would befall them.

October 28 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Cassandra Neill The Baja WordSmith
My opinion is that ever since The Christ had cured her of her ills, freeing her to become the devoted disciple and leader of the women's cadre, and because she and the other females were stalwart in their faithfulness in all they did for Him, she totally committed herself and resources to his ministry. Therefore, it was only right & proper that Mary M. and certain of the other women would become the very first "apostles", bearing to the unbelieving male disciples "The Good News" of His Resurrection.

Mark 16:9

All praises to The Most High God, Jehovah!

June 10 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Hamilton Matare
Mary Magdalene is the woman whom Lord Jesus cast away seven demons from. Actually she wasn't chosen to be the first to see the resurrection,but her degree of concern as to where the body of Lord Jesus was(which above any of those who visited the tomb)made the Lord to appear to her first.John20:13-18

June 10 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Bruce Lyon Elder: Restoration Fellowship Assembly
She was the only one there and she thought he was the gardener, until she heard him speak. Amazing that through this woman Jesus commissioned her to go to the other disciples and tell them he was ascending to his God and their God to his Father and their Father. Notice the unity!

October 28 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Robin Nicolson
This is part of the Bridal mystery! Meeting with Mary first was a type and shadow of Jesus coming first for His warring bride as in the parable of the 10 virgins. The prepared Virgins/Brides/Christians are taken to the wedding, the marriage feast!
Mary being a woman, a bride, seen first! Everything Jesus did, even a seemingly chance meeting, was to teach us something! Nothing is ever by chance! It's one of the mysteries/deeper things of the bible! 
Thank you!

November 17 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Marvin Reynolds Retired Chaplain U.S. Army Hospital
This is an issue that is based on the Bible. Jesus was making preparation to enter into Heaven before the Throne of God and deliver his Blood for the remission of ALL SINS, not just a few. 

Leviticus Chapter 16 gives the direction for the High Priest making ready to go into the Throne Room under Hebrew instructions.

First, he had to Clean in WATER at the Bath site in the Tabernacle, then dress in what we call Work Clothes not formal dress. After he had prepared, clean and dressed, HE COULD NOT BE TOUCHED. Hence when Mary reached to touch his feet he said 'Do not touch me, I have not ascended to my father in Heaven', as recorded in the New Testament. This is why she thought he was a worker or care taker in the field.

It would also be wise to read the incident in the New Testament, and then read the Old Testament, and it all makes good sense that Jesus was obeying the rules of conduct written for the High Priest. 

Every thing in the Bible is tied together with good sense when you take time to read the Law of God written by Moses to carry out duties.

November 18 2016 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

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