The Report of the Women…

“It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary (the mother of James), and the remaining women who were with them who told these things to the Apostles. Yet, they had the appearance before them like words of nonsense and they refused to believe them.”

(Luke 24:10-11)

The women make it back to the Apostles and other disciples — they are excited, overwhelmed, and a little confused — it would not surprise me if they were all speaking at one time. And so the men looked at them and just thought they were spouting off a bunch of gibberish. They might have thought the women to be hysterical and we are told that these men did not believe what these women were saying. They considered it λῦρος (luros), foolish-talk, gibberish, nonsense. Have you ever had someone speak to you so quickly and excitedly that you know they are speaking your native language, but that you have no idea what it is that they just said? And then, when your brain starts catching up with your ears, what you think they are saying cannot be true — it would take an act of God to make true what it is that you heard? In this case, it did take an act of God and God did indeed act.

I fear that sometimes when we read these narratives that we lose the humanity of the people who are acting them out in time and space. Centuries have passed since these events and we have a hard time relating to many of the practices that were common to this culture. Even so, they were still humans with the same kind of loves and fears and worries that are common to you and to me. Thus it behooves us to try and put our feet in the sandals of these men and women to grasp a better understanding of the text. And oh the confusion that reigns when alert excitement greets gloomy men in the wee hours of the morning. 

What happens next is the slightly-delayed response to the words of these faithful women. It would not be long before the news of these event would start traveling to the whole of the known world and the testimony of these women would be preserved as an essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah and Amen! Yet, do not lose sight of the process by which God ordained these events to unfold. First, the women, then the Apostles — and then an intimate picture of Mary Magdalene at the tomb once again. All of this was to fulfill God’s design for the redemption of His people. Praise be to God.

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