It begins early in life. We notice someone else is beating us to what we wanted – attention from Mom or Dad, the toy across the room, the first serving of ice cream, first words of praise. It only adds to the sting when the one receiving the attention is the class clown or prodigal child. We suffer the elder brother syndrome, feeling it’s unfair for them to get a party when we’ve been faithful all along.

That’s why, even though there’s no mention of it in the Bible, I wonder how the other believers felt when Mary Magdalene saw Jesus first after His resurrection. She had four counts against her – Mary was a woman, a former prostitute, former host of seven demons, and neither a family member nor a disciple. Out of all those who had followed Him, why did she get to be first? (John 20:1-18)
In the next chapter, Jesus takes Peter aside to reassure him of his position as a disciple, and tells him he will suffer death for His’ sake. Peter notices John following them (the author who calls himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved”), and asks, “What about him?” Even in the midst of this meaningful moment with his risen Savior, Peter still plays the comparison game. And what is John doing? Following, so he can be near the Savior too.
Since God knows this tendency of ours, why did Mary Magdalene get to be the first to see Jesus alive? God doesn’t do things randomly, so I think He had reasons. But the Bible doesn’t explain. Sometimes what God chooses not to tell us, is as meaningful as what He does. Here are four possibilities for you to ponder, which I believe are consistent with Jesus’ character. Jesus might have appeared to Mary first because of her:
1. Gratitude
2. Devotion
3. Need, or as
4. An Example
First of all, Mary was grateful. Imagine being freed from the dominion of seven demons to a life of peace and joy. Of course she was grateful! After He healed her, Mary followed Him. “Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out…and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means” (Luke 8:1-3).
Second, Mary was devoted to Jesus. Before His death Mary anointed Him with her own expensive perfume. Mary stayed with Jesus at the cross. All the men, except John, ran in fear. She observed His burial, and went back after the Sabbath with additional spices for His body.
Third, did Mary have a special needto see Jesus first? Was she alone by the tomb in such a state of despair that He rewarded her love by appearing to her first? Did the disciples show her a long unmet need for respect, because she was the first to see their Lord?
Fourth, just as Jesus did in His earthly ministry, He honored Mary as an equal, and set an example for us to follow. In that day, as well as today in places not governed by Judeo-Christian values, women were considered nothing more than property. They could be treated however a man deemed acceptable. Jesus spoke to and treated Mary as a valued disciple and beloved child of God.
Why isn’t any of this mentioned in scripture? Could it be that once the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, it didn’t matter who saw Jesus first? They were empowered; their mission was clear – regardless of their gender, their past, or their social standing. And they took the world by storm.
Maybe that’s the key to effectively reach our world for Christ–tostop focusing on who gets first place, and more about putting Jesus first. After all, the point is that we serve a risen Savior, not who‘s known Him the longest or has the most effective ministry. Jesus is alive–halleluia!

#Easter #jealousy #comparisongame #thelastshallbefirst #MaryMagdalene