Why did Jesus ask Mary not to touch Him but asked Thomas to touch Him after the Resurrection?

images (1)Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” (John 20:17).

In the above verse, the word translated “touch” is a Greek word which means “to cling to, to lay hold of.” Mary was overwhelmed by sorrow and grief but when she saw Jesus she was overcome by joy and wanted to worship Him and embrace His feet. The point of objection is not that there is anything wrong or sinful in a physical contact with the Christ’s risen body. But there was rather an urgency of situation. Jesus did not wish to be detained now, to receive the homage of Mary. He desired first to ascend to his Father after His great sacrifice.

After His temporary ascension Jesus permitted, without protest, the act He now asked Mary to postpone “And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him” (Matthew 28:9).

In the case of Thomas. Jesus said to him, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27).

The Lord knew the doubts that were in the heart of Thomas. So, He offered him the exact proof he demanded, unreasonable though his demand was (v. 25). Apparently Thomas did not accept the invitation to touch the nail prints, and the scar left by the spear thrust (v. 27). But Thomas saw the nail prints in Jesus’ hands. And the fact that the Lord read the doubts of his heart so accurately was to him convincing evidence of the resurrection. Then, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28).

Though there were many things about the relationship of the Persons of the Godhead that Thomas did not yet understand clearly, his confession expressed his faith and deep conviction. Jesus kindly rebuked his faithlessness and commended those who were willing to believe without the reliance on their senses.

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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