Why did the Lord Jesus say to Mary at the resurrection, "Touch me not" (Jn 20:17), while He said to Thomas "reach here thy finger and behold my hand" (Jn. 20:27)? C.W
I would like to present two thoughts as to why particularly in the Gospel of John the Lord uttered those words.
- In Mathew, we see His glory as the king, and so we read "they took him by the feet, and did homage" (Mt. 28:9). He was approached in a way that was suitable to His kingship.
- In Mark, we see His glory as a servant and so we read "he appeared first to Mary of Magdala" (Mk 16:9); the greatest servant never sought His own praise, rather God’s.
- In Luke, we see His glory as a man, and so the highlight was not the record with Mary, but the two disciples from Emmaus, "for the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which is lost" (Lk. 19:10). He was restoring two disciples that had lost the right place of fellowship.
- In John, we behold His glory as the blessed Son of God who dwells in the bosom of the Father, and so cannot be touched nor handled. Also, Christ wanted to introduce Mary to a new relationship apart from the way He was previously known to her (2 Co. 5:16).
As to Thomas, I believe the Lord wanted to exercise his faith instead of his sight and touch. The Lord was touching his conscience when he told Thomas to "reach here," but we never read that Thomas reached his finger, but faith took over and he said, "my lord and my God."
Much love in Christ,