SOUL FOOD | Savior, Say My Name


Scripture: John 20 : 1-18

Simisola Okai

As Easter season draws close, my heart is stirred by one of the greatest events history – the resurrection of Jesus. I was meditating on John 20 verse 1-18 and struck by the devotion of Mary Magdelene to her Savior. She was a faithful follower of Jesus, traveling with Him and the other disciples, present at his crucifixion, and as we see in John 20, one of the first to witness her risen Savior.

There are so many things about Mary that we can learn from. One of the things that strikes me the most is her hunger to be close to her Savior. She got up early to look for Jesus in the tomb, and stayed back later when all of the other disciples had left. So many times, we want to hear God’s voice, we want to know the direction that He wants us to go, yet how many of us are willing to do whatever it takes to have a true encounter?

Days after His crucifixion, Mary went searching for Jesus on the first day of the week, so early it was still dark. Even after she discovered his body was no longer there, even after the other disciples had left, Mary Magdelene stayed. It was then she was able to experience the supernatural and encountered two angels who asked her why she was crying. Even after the angelic encounter, Mary remained, unmoved, seeking her Savior. Mary didn’t fully understand exactly what was happening, and why Jesus was seemingly missing, yet she still sought Him. How many times do we find ourselves in circumstances that we don’t understand, or in moments of discouragement or hopelessness? We can learn so much from Mary’s example, even when you don’t understand, look for Jesus anyway.

The Bible says after the other disciples had left, “Mary stood.” I couldn’t help but notice that because she stood, she was able to experience God at a level others would not have. Mary stood even when it appeared all hope was lost. In that moment, the man she ‘thought’ was a gardener speaks to her and says, “Woman why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for?”

Unbeknownst to her, Jesus Himself was the one speaking, the person she was so desperately searching for was standing right before her. It wasn’t until Jesus said her name, “Mary!” that something in her spirit stirred, and she recognized the voice of her Savior and cried out “Rabboni!,” which means teacher.

From John 20 we can learn that Jesus will reveal Himself to those who seek Him, who are truly hungry for His presence. He may not come in a form you are familiar with or that you even recognize. But if you remain seeking Him, you will hear your Savior call you by name. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

This season I pray that you will do as Mary did, seek Jesus with all your heart, push past obstacles, disappointments, hopelessness and even what you see with your physical eyes that may discourage you. Seek Him early, stay when everyone else leaves, pour out your heart to Him and hear Him personally say your name.

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