One text that remains an enigma to most Christ-followers is the post-resurrection story in the twentieth chapter of John’s gospel where Jesus cautions Mary to avoid touching him, but a week later invites Thomas to do just that.

Mary, seeing her beloved and presumed-dead rabbi now alive, attempted to hug the resurrected Jesus (vs. 16). He emphatically told her that she could not touch him because He had not yet ascended to his Father (vs. 17). Shortly after (when all the disciples were gathered to regroup) Christ appeared to them resurrected! Thomas was absent from this gathering (vss. 19-21). Later, when the disciples reported to Thomas that they had seen Jesus alive, he understandably responded with skepticism (vs. 24). Eight days later, Jesus unexpectedly appeared again to the gathered disciples and challenged Thomas to touch him by placing his hands into the holes that remained in his body (vs. 26-27). The obvious question is this: why did Jesus deny Mary, but later encourage Thomas to touch Him?

In order to understand Jesus’ very different instructions to Mary and Thomas, we need to understand the purity requirements for the Jewish High Priest on the Day of Atonement. The High Priest was forbidden to come into contact with anything that was ceremonially unclean in order to avoid being disqualified to enter God’s presence the following day. So much depended on this ritual purity!

After His resurrection, Jesus (as our ultimate High Priest) would shortly be ministering in the heavenly tabernacle (Heb. 9:11). It is significant that Jesus appeared to the disciples and told Thomas to touch him after eight days, because it takes seven days to ordain a priest (Ex. 29:35).

The most-likely reason for Jesus’ instructions to Mary had to do with the fact that He was determined to enter the heavenly tabernacle in a ready-to-serve, consecrated state. Defilement would not be a sin, but it would have disqualified Him (for a period of time) from entering God’s presence. Mary may have had a number of reasons for defilement (possible menstrual circle, stepping into the tomb, etc), Jesus’ priestly mission was too important to allow for any possibility of failure. By the time Jesus met Thomas, His priestly work is done. He had returned from completing His duties and possible defilement was no longer an issue.

Jesus’ role as prophet was carried out during His earthly life. His role as king was yet to be realized at the time of the ascension. He first needed to be ordained a priest and carry out His duties in the heavenly tabernacle! Nothing could be permitted to stand in the way of his mission.

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308 COMMENTS

      • I think if you read the question again, it specifically states, I have not yet returned to my Father. This then indicates, He is still in Spirit form. For until the total resurrection, the Spirit and the body cannot be reunited!

        • So good to have you with us. We are all learning, so welcome. There are many theories about the beloved disciple, but I think that figuring out (or trying) who it REALLY was defeats the purpose as to why John’s Gospel actually keeps it secret. The point is not who the beloved disciple was, the point is that the Word became flesh.

        • It may have been just an oblique way of saying that Jesus, the Messiah is G-d, since the name “John” means “loved by G-d”. John’s gospel, perhaps more than the other three, set out the divinity of Jesus the Messiah.

        • It seems to me that this was just John’s humble way of referring to himself.
          John had already gotten the revelation that Jesus loved him (as Jesus loved ALL of His disciples, of course) and wanted to keep saying it, even years later when he wrote his version of the gospel. Its almost as though the others didn’t quite get the same revelation.

      • Or it could mean “stop/cease clinging to me”: Greek: (h)aptou: present middle imperative of (h)aptw. Some possible translations for this word: “touch, take hold of, hold…cling to” (BDAG, p.126, left column, #2, a & b). ATR-WP notes: “meaning ‘cease clinging to me’ rather than “Do not touch me.” Some translations that are clear about this understanding are: CJB, MEV, NASB & TLV. Among the major modern Aramaic translators, only Bauscher has this level of clarity here. I have a very full schedule. So, it could be a while before I respond to any comments on blogs. Shalom & Aloha

        • Thank you your explanation of “stop/cease clinging to me” makes the most sense. For she would have been trying to hug him. Mary was his beloved, as well as John, who was probably his cousin, both who understood him best as one reason for his preference for them. Later in the third century when the male-only Bishops where invited to Rome to write the first version of The Bible, which the Emperor Constantine presided daily over, much was left out of the earlier Christian writings that had to do with women, little evidently was changed from the Jewish writings.

        • The Middle reflexive imperative of απτω carries three ideas, to cling to, to have intercourse with, and to strike blows on. The point is that it is a more intense action than simply touching or embracing. I suspect Mary had romantic feelings for Jesus as many have alleged through the centuries and Jesus was kindly admonishing her not to try to go there in her moment of joy and cling to what he might now want since he had been resurrected.

          As to the issue of uncleanness, Jesus was resurrected to immortality, the highest gift which the immortal one (Yehovah, which is the acronym of Yihyeh, Hoveh, and Havah) could give to anyone. I seriously doubt Mary could’ve defiled our Lord by the act of touching him. It would’ve taken more, as the use of απτομαι implies, to accomplish that.

          The last thought is how a modern Arian, such as myself, would see things.

        • This also was my understanding. Unlike the comment below that it was sexual, it would be more likely it stemmed from the fact her Lord and God had come back and she wasn’t going to let him go. She most likely hung on for dear life, like kids do when Dad comes home from far away. As far as romance, is he not all our husband? We’re all children. We’re all wives. We’re all sons.

        • Thank you Russ Hill, that makes sense, “cling and touch mean two different things.
          Dr Eli,I like your methods, this way more people become part of a unit as we dig to understand the Scriptures.

          Peace

        • This is my understanding too. That the clinging is the word used of someone who would hold on and never let go. Jesus was saying, now is not the time to cling forever because I’m not yet finished and must continue on where you cannot go yet.

      • I believe Jesus did rise bodily ! When He went up into heaven, on Pentecost, People saw & watched Him Ascend up into heaven, and an Angel announced His departure, and said, He would come back, as He left. Also every eye shall see him when He does come back, as King Of Kings..

        • Jesus’ Ascension, according to St Luke, in Acts 1:3, took place on the Fortieth Day, — not the Fiftieth, which is Pentecost. There is a strict count, “the Counting of the Omer,” kept on each of the days between Passover (Pesach) and Shabbuot’ (Pentecost), so there was a way for these days to be tallied correctly, which St Luke reports. The Apostles & those who were with them then kept nine days of prayer, in the same Upper Room, until the Day of Pentecost “had fully come,” i.e, the morning. An All-Night Vigil was customary before that dawn.

      • I need to make a comment or two on why Mary was not allowed to touch Jesus after his resurrection. What I do from time to time is read and re-read till I get the story line so I can understand what I read. I want to give you my storyline: Jesus has just spent three days in the place of Hell. And Abraham’s Bosom. First, in Hell where he took from the devil what Adam had lost to the devil. Then He goes to Abraham’s Bosom, delivers them and takes them with him

      • Wow, for the first time something so bizarre that it gives me great pause. Your explanation for thus,is too far out. A perfect Savior, a perfect sacrifice, nothing of this earth could change that.

        • Bill, the reason it feels to you so far out is that modern Christianity (of which we are both a part) is so far out from the first-century gospel’s world that it feels this way to many of us.

      • Blessings, Dr. Eli, You are the only person other than myself to point this out. I also used Hebrews 9:11 and 12 plus 12:24. My understanding is that after His encounter with Mary, He stepped into the spiritual realm called heaven and entered into the holiest place “with His own blood”; and verse 12:24 sprinkled the true mercy seat seven times with His own blood. By this means He obtained “eternal redemption” for all humanity. There was no need for Him to be consecrated a high priest for seven days according to the Law of Moses. See Hebrews 7:15-17.

      • The idea came to me that although Jesus was not really ready to see the deciples..His Love could not keep him away from running back to see them to comfort them and give them the good news that he was still alive!

      • I believe Jesus was fulfilling the Feast of First Fruits. Mary could not touch Him because He had not been (waved) before the Father. The Israelites were required to wave their first fruits before the Lord, before the rest of the harvest could come in.

      • Jesus seemed to have a different ability to transform or transport His body before and after His resurrection. He could disappear into a crowd, He could walk on water, He changed on the mount of transfiguration. It almost seems He could transport Himself into a different location. Then After the resurrection, he entered into a “Shut-door” room as per verse 19 as if He walked through the wall. Your thoughts on this, please.

      • Thank you Dr Eli. There is another view that feeds off your analysis. Thomas and his fellow apostles were called to be priests with Christ the High priest. On Holy Thursday Jesus instituted a New Covenant (Luk 22) by offering himself body and blood in the form of bread and wine which his priests touched and ate after the consecration. When Thomas thus questioned the validity of the ‘Presence’ of the Lord the previous week, Jesus manifested the reality of His “true flesh” to the doubting priest Thomas (Jn 6:32,51). The ministerial male priesthood who consacrate the bread and wine ‘touches’ the holy elements FIRST, before the laity receives and touches it. Mary although a witness to the resurrection, represented ordinary priestly people. The resurrected Christ is made ‘real’ in the hands of the ministerial priest.

    • 4 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen. … … ……15“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied, “Blessed are

    • …15“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven.… you see here that Jesus is not God,,to many people still think he is ,, i just came back from Israel and the Jews only worship the ONE TRUE GOD,, did Jesus part the red sea, NO, mary had her period, and was told not to touch

      • Dear Wayne, all I can say is “Oy Veyizmeir”. Because I can assure I know of thousands of Jews that do believe that he was both the Messiah and God. Now does it prove the point that Jesus is God? of course not, but so doesn’t the existence of a lot more Jews who don’t, prove the same. When you are in Israel again, stop by for coffee.

        • Hello, Dr. Eli, For a number of years I wondered how Paul could say that, “God created all things by Jesus Christ.” I realized that the man, Jesus, did not exist before he was born of the virgin Mary. However, it finally struck me that the Word which was with God and was God and that all things created were created by Him, the Word, and without Him was nothing created of all that was created, was that same Word made FLESH not spirit.

        • I want to say thank you for your studies and your comments, but also for your kindness as you and your team reply to many of these remarks. Some that even seem to attack what you teach / believe. Again I say thank you and I look forward to much more study with Israel Bible Center !

          Shalom !

      • In John chapter 10, in a debate with the Jewish leaders, Jesus proclaimed “I and the Father are One”. (Hear O Israel, the LORD is One). In John 14 He told Phillip that the one who has seen Him (Jesus) has seen the Father. He lamented that those He came to save rejected Him (O Jerusalem, how I would have gathered you under my wings. Matthew 23). Zechariah 12 tells us that one day they (Israel) will look on the One they pierced and grieve. May God reveal this to you. Blessings.

        • What does it mean to say someone is another’s “God”? Can they be equal? Now, the resurrected Yeshua in Revelation of John, Chapter 3:12, refers to Yahweh as “my God”! And the apostles, in their epistles, also refer to Yahweh as “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (KJV). Yes, in John 10, he says he and the Father are one. Yet all saints are invited to the same oneness in John 17:21!

        • Again, he explains his witness of the Father in John 14:9-11 as the result of BEING IN the Father and the Father BEING IN him. Yet the saints are also invited to this BEING IN-NESS with both the Father and the Son. As he is a faithful witness of the Father (Rev 3:14), so are the saints to be faithful witnesses of him and through him, of the Father too! Then, whoever see the true saint has seen both the Son and the Father! But this does not make the saint the Son or the Father.

        • In sum, the oneness of the Father and the Son is a oneness of purpose, a oneness to which we are all called. It is not a onesess of same person-hood. No, the Father and Son are different. And the Father is the God of the Son, whom the Son called in truth, “the only true God”, in John 17:3. We should not allow some Gentile Christian desire to align Hebraic truths with Gentile mythology to pervert truth. For this reason, the song of Moses warns us Gentiles “destroy counsel and have no discernment” (Deut 32:28). Beware of leaven!

    • There was in area in front of the door going into the holy place where the “women serving who served”. They were to scrutinize the priests after they had sacrificed the offering and washed at the laver (symbol of washing with the word). If any stain of blood the priests had mishandled the word of God. The women were to tell the congregation. To touch the priest would also have been contamination. Jesus never broke the law. Priests had to be judged by the women. Herod’s EVIL Temple had eliminated this area. The earthquake opened the court back up.

    • this is a bit tricky. I suppose when you are dead you can’t be more defiled than what you already are :-). But the resurrection is the key here.

      • Yes, the resurrection is the key. He is risen, and purified. If not, then what is there to look forward to in our own resurrection? If our own resurrected bodies are not purified, then they are capable of decay, and cannot reside in heaven with Jesus for eternity. This begs the question – could His resurrected body have been defiled? Perhaps not, but Jesus was, in His humanity (Wholly God, Wholly Man), the perfect embodiment of the lives we ought to live. He did not stop modeling human holiness at any point during His time on earth.

  1. Agree…
    I also had discussed with a Bible teacher many years ago.
    It seems that Mary Magdalane is the only person saw Jesus before He went to meet the Father. The others saw Jesus after He had finished His task and reported to the Father.

  2. Numbers 19:16
    Also, anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days.

    Both Mary’s were unclean. They entered the tomb. Why did Jesus disappear for a week? – It takes a week to ordain a priest.
    Exodus 29:35
    “Thus you shall do to Aaron and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you; you shall ordain them through seven days.

    Leviticus 8:33
    You shall not go outside the doorway of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the day that the period of your ordination is fulfilled; for he will ordain you through seven days.

    Jesus said “I have not yet ascended…” and later will say “I now ascend to my father and your father…” This is said by a high priest when entering the holy of holies on yom kippur. (The TABERNACLE, by M.R. DeHaan, M.D., ISBN 0-310-23491-3, page 129.)

      • Seems to me that as the High Priest, Jesus had an immediate duty to fulfill. He had to present the wave offering of the first fruits of the harvest before God. ( I believe that would be those resurrected saints that were seen by many in the streets of Jerusalem on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread) He could not be defiled by her touch until this duty was accomplished and he must have done that as soon as she left Him. When the others came, on the same day, they were able to touch Him.

    • Jesus did not disappear for a week. He appeared to the 2 disciples on the resurrection day on their walk to Emaus as well as to the other disciples the same evening. I see a different reason why He asked her not to touch Him: He wanted to give the whole world the information that there is no such a thing as soul or spirit departing from the dying body and going straight to heaven. Therefore He stated it so plainly that He had not been with the Father yet despite of being dead for 3 days.

    • Dear Brickle,
      I think I should disagree with you in this. Psalm 110 clearly states: The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. So, Jesus was already a High Priest even before His physical death. God ad ordained Him to be one.

  3. Quite right – but this is hardly enigmatic for anyone who has read the Old Testament. Just as the passover lamb could not be defiled or the priest offereing it by anything “unclean” – nor could Jesus be touched before what many of us have called for years a “mini-ascention” where Jesus officially offered himself as the propeitiation of the sins of humanity. This is a wonderful truth but like all things in biblical schalarship – its not new. “There is nothing new under the sun”. But a wonderful posit nonetheless – thanks for doing so and well done!

  4. It seems certain that the event in John 20:17 is connected to the laws of clean and unclean, but I’m not sure it has anything to do with the Day of Atonement. Yeshua was crucified on Passover, 6 months before the Day of Atonement. There is another important event however that was connected to his resurrection, the offering of the First Fruits, which happens during the week of Unleavened Bread.

    Modern Judaism places this event on the 2nd day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day after the Sabbath (Lev 23:11), but this timing has been disputed throughout history. Many place the timing of this offering on the day after the weekly Sabbath, which corresponds to the day Mary was told not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to His Father.

    We are told in Deuteronomy 26 that the first fruit offering was a reminder of the deliverance of the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt. The Israelites were in bondage as slaves but were delivered by the power of the Almighty to a land flowing with milk and honey. The purpose of Yeshua’s sacrifice was to deliver people from bondage to sin and deliver them to God’s Kingdom (Romans 6:16-19). Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:20-24 makes this connection in calling Yeshua the first fruits of the resurrection. Just as the Israelites were recognizing their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the world was being delivered from slavery to sin and death.

    Yeshua’s presentation to the Father as the first fruits of the resurrection required Him to be in a ritually clean state, since the offering was to be presented in the Temple, in this case the Heavenly Temple. As you noted, Mary was unclean because she had been in a place of burial. Thomas touching Yeshua days later would have no effect, whether he was clean or unclean, since the offering had already been presented.

    Respectfully submitted,

    • I agree with James King. Also, to an observant Jew which Jesus certainly was, a woman was always potentially in an unclean state, so Jewish men did not touch them. And, they were in a cemetery. Mary may have already entered the tomb and come back out, and therefore she was ritually unclean in that respect too. But she did not know who Jesus was when she first saw , which gives us to wonder if perhaps Resurrection had somehow changed his appearance. Surely she would have recognized her Lord, whom she loved, had he looked the same as previously.

  5. Another alternative is this.
    Jesus’ identity in John’s gospel is what this text is all about. Characters come and go, all of them identifying Jesus in various and sundry ways – a teacher from God (3:2); a Jew and a Prophet (4:9, 19, 39); a “man called Jesus” (9:11); a sinner (9:24), et al. Most of them, except the man born blind (9:38), John the Baptist, Andrew, and Nathanael (all in chapter 1), don’t quite seem to get it. The lesson from John 9 is that unless one lets go of one’s certitude, admitting “I don’t know” (9:12), one might miss out on the fullness of the revelation of Jesus’ identity (Read 9:38 vis-a-vs 9:41).

    Mary Magadalene, when she finally “sees” its Jesus at 19:16, identifies Jesus as “‘Rabbounni’ which means ‘teacher'” – one of the many inadequate suggestions as to Jesus’ identity in this gospel. Thus, Jesus implores Mary to “Let go of me” may mean, “let go of who you think I am – a Rabbi/teacher.” “Jesus the Rabbi” is an identity that holds Jesus to the ground. Unless one “lets go” of Rabbi Jesus,” who one thinks Jesus is will never ascend to the heavens, where Jesus’ Father is – where Jesus is from (above!), and where Jesus was heading after his resurrection.

  6. How could it be that “as a High Priest Jesus was soon to minister in the heavenly tabernacle on the Day of Atonement (Heb. 9:11)” when the Day of Atonement would be in the Fall and not in the Spring like Passover?

    • James, its been a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time :-). Good to hear from you! You and others who commented about First Fruits may be right. The point is not which Holiday, but that it is ministry in the tabernacle that requires ceremonial purity that is neither dismissed no denied by the Jewish Christ.

    • Jesus was not a Levitical high priest … He was not of the Tribe of Levi, nor was He a direct descendant of Aaron. He was (and ever is) a high priest forever after the order of Melchizadek … nothing to do with the duties of the earthly high priests. She was simply being told not to cling to Him (Greek Text) because He was still here, not having yet ascended to the Father.

      • the interpretive mistake you are making (if I may with all due respect) is that your conclusion goes too far as the position you are criticizing :-). The fact that orders are different certainly tells us that SOME things are different, but it is unwarranted to put the way you did (“has nothing to do”). Perhaps, you could give it some more thought.

        • My statement as to “…nothing to do…” is simply the fact that Jesus was not called to the priesthood duties of the Levites nor to the High Priest duties of the direct descendants of Aaron. Those Hight Priests offered the same sacrifice for sin (of the people and also for their own), year after year after year. Jesus offered His own blood, once, for the sins of the world, none of which were His own, and none of which were offered in the earthly temple. You used the word, “orders.” Was Mechizadek a “line'” of priests?

  7. Is this how I get updates? Mary Magdalene saw two angels, not one (death & resurrection). I think I have seen this idea in God’s words to Moses, “Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance” (Deu 32:52). If I am correct then it is not Jesus that should not be touched, but it is Mary who has not been resurrected YET. I have always wondered how to say that seeing the revelation of the resurrected Christ is not the same as our eyes being opened completely (our resurrection aka building fences around the Torah).

  8. Very interesting article thank you.I am interested in the story of Lazarus with Mary and Martha and Jesus arriving late after Lazarus has died.Just interested in the use of “risen from the dead” in the case of Lazarus and other situations and of course in the new testament.Peace,Shalom and love and prayers for more love and peace on earth.

    • My understanding is that rising from the dead, as in the daughter of Darius and Lazarus, differs from resurrection. Coming back from the spirit world, called an NDE, is what Mary witnessed, demonstrating his tender love and mercy for her. For Christ to complete the sacrifice it required presentation to his Heavenly Father to perform the necessary ordinances a process that changed his mortal body into an immortal body. Had Mary touched him before these ordinances, he would not have been clean and thus unable to fulfil the requirements of the law of the sacrifice he just made.

    • Jesus didn’t arrive “late.” Lazarus was already dead, wrapped in his grave clothes and sealed in his tomb by the time the messenger reached Jesus with the message that Lazarus was sick. Not from Greek, not from Hebrew and not from special revelation. Just consider where Jesus was, and where Lazarus and his sisters lived, and do the math.

  9. Sad it is how many accept blindly the first direction they’re told believing it w/o considering a certain narrative put forth by the author which is always seeking to justify that which stands in opposition to what more profoundly was the intimation of what the Christ Jesus teaching. In this case; “Do not think, Mary, that by grasping hold of me so firmly (cf. Mat_28:9), you can keep me always with you. That uninterruptible fellowship for which you yearn must wait until I have ascended to be forever to on my throne as Father.”

    • This has been indeed a traditional Christian take on it and I don’t mind people holding to it. No harm done.

      • I follow not tradition. W/ all due honour, Jesus nor Paul used the word “Christian” for it’s a severe pejorative diminutive insult in the 1st century imposed on the Apostles + later disciples by pagan & heathen ‘theosis’ cults. I’m not a “Christian” (little deity/little king of israel), i’m simply a lowly adopted son, a servant, friend and brother of Jesus the Christ for before Jesus rose, the born again believer was a servant + friend of the Lord, but after He rose, born again believers become His younger brethren.

  10. Could it be possible that Miryam was going through a period of menustral uncleanness and was prohibited from touching Yeshua because as you said He was determined to uphold His High Priestly purity prior to ascending to the heavenly sanctuary where His Father is? The point about just entering the empty tomb is an interesting one but defilement has to do with being in contact with a dead corpse, not the area where it is located. If I am incorrect, please provide references from the Torah to prove your point.

    • Yes, James. there are all kinds of possibilities here. High Priest also could was kept from falling a sleep a day before service on Yom Kippur, so that he will not have a “wet dream” and not therefore be defiled for a period of time according to the Law. so there are all kinds of things that may have been at play.

  11. Dr Eli Alot of stones needs to unturned and i thank you so much,it meant alot to me both insight and sight of spiritual understanding. Bests Roland

  12. Have a question: Why you address the difference between the Story of Matthew and the story of John? One say one story and the other says a different story during the same even.

    • The story of Yeshua’s resurrection between Matthew and John contradicts what really happened. They are not the same story. One says; don’t touch me, and the other said; she grab his feet and bow to him. Look it up and make your own conclusion. Also I still don’t understand why many Christians and Jews still believes that Yeshua is God, it doesn’t make any sense. Yeshua himself didn’t know when he was coming back but the father does. Shalom!

      • Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Hebrew: עִמָּנוּאֵל‬ meaning, “God with us”) John_1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John_1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Joh_1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Joh_1:10

  13. It is interesting to read these comments as they clearly demonstrate a willingness to ‘meditate on the scriptures’ as we are encouraged to do in Psalm 119. Whatever the truth of why Mary shouldn’t touch Jesus, I am greatly encouraged that there are still Christians who are keen to listen to what He has to say through the scriptures :o)

  14. Top comment ” Nothing could be more defiled than a corpse! in one or other way. However, when Jesus resurrected it may well be assumed he arose in the ” new body”, hence being in a state of defilement could not have been the case”. It seems reasonable to illustrat the given jesus walked through the closed door, he must have been in the ” Resuurected body form!” as no doubt we are seemingly told, we too will put on this new body, as indeed, it would be necessary given life’s movements will be quite changed……….

  15. I always assumed that Mary Magdalen was ritually unclean simply by being an adult female, and so an observant Jewish man would not want her to touch him since he could be sure of her biological state. This is presumably why the woman with the issue of blood touched only his tzitzit and not him. Yet Jesus permitted the woman of ill repute (who was not Mary Magdalen) to anoint his feet, wash them with her tears, and dry them with her hair. So there seems to be a contradiction here. Jesus also sat and talked with a Samaritan woman.

  16. I don’t agree with this explanation as the resurrected Jesus had already fulfilled the whole law of Moses and the law was no longer relevant. In the full context of this Scripture, the most likely reason why Jesus told Mary not to touch Him, or as in other translations ” don’t cling on to me”, was probably because Mary didn’t want to leave and wanted to remain with Him, but Jesus told her not to hang on to Him there, but rather hurry up and go tell the other disciples that Jesus was risen.

  17. Why not connect this with the prohibition against coming too close to God’s Glory — in Eden (tree), on Sinai, in the tent and temple (ark)? My point is, if Jesus is the Glory of God (His Wisdom, Word, Power, Son), and no longer wrapped in mortality, then connecting with Him takes brief visionary experiences (e.g., Damascus), exegesis and Eucharist (as at Emmaus), a combo anticipating our own glorified state, when “we shall all be changed” and conformed to Him. What do you think?

  18. Many scholars point out that “Don’t touch me” also means “Don’t cling to me.” Mary wanted the kind of closeness she and the other disciples had with Jesus before his death and resurrection, but now that he is going to his Father and will give the Holy Spirit closeness with Jesus won’t depend on physical touching. Mary wants to hug Jesus out of affection but he has planned for her the filling of his Holy Spirit. She wasn’t in the Upper Room to hear what he said about his departure and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

  19. Just …maybe. The story is not a history; it is a rational (!) interpretation of data (here, earthly life of Jesus). Any textbook on Bible teaches that! For an example, Raymond E.Brown,RC Scholar, a member of Paul vi Pontifical Biblical Commision wrote plenty on it. “Historical” speculation on what happened after the crucifixion and death of Jesus from Nazareth has any value to what “really” happened; it gives already just an interpretation of the meeting with the resurrected Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:35nn) only his by disciples (also women) and later Paul/Saul. ps. Jesus is not and never was God (Mk10:18)

    • If we do not trust these stories than there is no point to discuss any of it. But I think majority of people in this forum do, as do I.

      • You did not understand me. I do not say I do not trust a story, here, resurrection stories. Any story has an objective and absolute message, here, the teacher, Jesus from Nazareth though killed he was confirmed to the chosen ones as alive! I want to point out that physically is useless to try to put in a sequence time events (resurrection accounters) which are described in symbols and pictures based on Old Testament and Apocryphal literature (Qumran also?).Sure, this experienced encounter with the resurrected “King ofJews” (Mark 15:27) must be conveyed to in some language (of a story).

        • Believe it or not 🙂 I did understand from the start and in this forum we welcome all opinions about Christ events as long as we stay clear and respectful. Blessings and much peace!

  20. Me sigue llamando la atención de que la mayoría que hace comentarios no tengan claro que a partir del bautismo de Jesús este se (transformó) o pasó a ser el Cristo. Por lo tanto deberíamos referirnos a ÉL por lo menos como Jesucristo, o simplemente el Cristo que es el que comenzó su apostolado o misión a partir del bautismo. Espero no estar muy equivocado en mi razonamiento. Un abrazo Shalom.
    (It still strikes me that the majority who make comments are not clear that from the baptism of Jesus this was (transformed) or became the Christ. Therefore we should refer to HIM at least as Jesus Christ, or simply the Christ who is the one who began his apostolate or mission from baptism. I hope not to be very wrong in my reasoning. A hug Shalom.)

    • Do you mean that it is not good just to call Jesus Jesus and not Christ Jesus? Not sure I agree, I think the person can call him Jesus only and still be deeply persuaded that he is in fact Christ.

  21. Many blessings to you Dr Eli, your exegesis on difficult issues of the Bible have been a great help to me. The Lord Almighty bless you.

  22. These are all interesting guesses but I read no comment from anyone who was there or was told by G-d or Jesus why He said that. We must be careful that we don’t assume a guess is a fact so that we don’t Theologies that are false.

    • I agree. We must be tentative when reconstructing history. Such reconstructions should be considered possibilities and probabilities, not certainties.

  23. Matthew 28:1 says Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the sepulchre. The angel they saw there invited them into the tomb to view the place where Jesus had laid (Matt. 28:6). In Matthew 28:9 both Marys hold Jesus by the feet. According to this article Jesus is now defiled before going to Heaven. Obviously then this is not the reason Jesus told Mary Magdalene not to touch Him in John 20:17.

  24. I suppose that Jesus did not like to be touched by Mary, bcause he took care of here to not defiled her. He was coming out from grave, he really was dead, and probably, he also had been at the hell. We Have got a very anigmatic information about it, but it is confessed in “Apostolic Faith”. It is not revealed what kind of impurity is given by visiting hell, but any way, impurity is not a sign, but should not be neglected.

  25. Dr Eli Lizorkin, with regard to your topic about Jesus’ instru tion to Mary not to touch him, in different languages is quite puzzling. In Latin it says “Noli me tangere”. English says ” Do not cling on to me”. Please tell me what are the Original Greek and Aramaic languages mean? I wonder if there is a question of linguistics or semantics! Fr Gamini Silva omi

    • Dear Father Gamini Silvaomi, shalom. Good to have you with us. Of course it is irrelevant what Latin translation/s says and what English translation/s, the most important is the Judeo-Greek (original NT Greek version). This Koine Judeo-Greek is ambiguous which is why all kinds of translations bend the text in whichever direction their theology allows or encourages them to go. Knowing a language does not necessarily tell the reader the ONE EXACT meaning, but instead it tells the limitations of variety of meanings (usually).

  26. All the comments are very interesting, please allow me to differ a little. The reason is found in Leviticus 23 : 10 – 12 .The CHRIST had to be accepted by the FATHER before any one could touch Him. Going to the Father and returning was instantaneous. It occurred at the same time the High Priest would be waving the sheath of the first harvest in the Temple…..The Sabbath after the Passover. The Christ died on the Passover, resurrected 3 days later, precisely 3 days and 3 nights. He was not resurrected on a Sunday even if the tomb was

  27. I do not want to build on another foundation bit i do have a few thoughts. First, as Christ was the last sin offering to God it was not complete until he was received by God. Allow me to try and explain.. When a lamb was selected as the sin offering there was a specific sequence of events that were followed every time. If one follows the sacrificial narrative of Jesus with the OT sacrificial system in the back of your mind things begin to come to light. Second, as with the sacrificial lamb, there were specific sequential events……

  28. The OT sacrificial system, especially the sacrifice of the lamb without blemish, explains why Jesus could not be touched. I don’t have room here to go into detail.

  29. The true point is missed. What is this point? The truly spiritual aspect is left out why anybody becomes unclean after having been in contact with death or the dead to be more precise. First the physical: Death = germs=death, hence the insight of being unclean. On to the emotional: Death causes grief and a wanting to hang on emotionally to the departed. When Jesus appeared it was natural for Mary to assume that JESUS was back to take up full reign = wrong emotional orientation. Spiritual: Why the High Priest cannot be defiled: AT DEATH ALWAYS DEMONIC PRESENCE

  30. I need to add a little more about the spiritual aspect of why Jesus did not allow Mary to touch him before his presentation to the father, (GOD). From personal study and experience into the demonic world we need to remind ourselves that it is real, Satan is real, evil angels are real, demons are real. When somebody dies there is always a demonic presence, remembering that we were not created for death, but life. One report makes this clear. Satan contended for the body of Moses. Complex ? yes! Physical, emotional and spiritual issues need to be in balance.

  31. The Levitical priests had to spend 7 days in the tabernacle. Jesus spent seven days in the Temple at Passover at the age of 12. He was about his Father’s business. Early in life he was preparing for priestly ministry as also at his baptism ..a public induction. After his resurrection … spoke to Mary …. do not touch … He was to present to His Father to complete the mission. Two at Emmaus make up the three witnesses as Torah required. Was Yeshua gone to the Father for seven days fulfilling the pattern, before 40 days final ministry?

    • Why was he in such a hurry? :- ) All kidding aside, I appreciate your suggestion. And as I’ve said before, we always need to be open to other interpretive possibilities. However, I think this is a good example of where we have to decide which “Jewish Background” option best fits what’s going on in context. John clearly wants us to think of Jesus as Israel’s Heavenly High Priest (as also in Revelation 1) so I am inclined toward the option we suggested above.

  32. What does Zechariah 3:1-6 tells us. Zechariah 3: 1-6. ( Septuagint rendering) :1 And the Lord shewed me Jesus the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and the Devil stood on his right hand to resist him. 2 And the Lords said to the Devil, 3 The Lord rebuke thee, O Devil, even the Lord that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: behold! is not this as a brand plucked from the fire? 4 Now Jesus was clothed in filthy raiment, and stood before the angel. 5 And the Lord answered and spoke to those who stood before

  33. Could this not be a matter of interpretation? Did Jesus tell Mary “…do not touch Me…”, or “…do not cling to Me…”. If the latter, was Jesus telling Mary not to [delay] Him because He was on the way to the Father?

  34. This explanation is the most logical, as well as Biblical, according to the same approach God gave to Moses when the details of how the tabernacle in the wilderness, then the actual two temples had to have the same details for the high priest entering the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

  35. Shalom Eli, If Yeshua, as the heavenly High Priest, which He was, was defiled by Mary clinging to Him, He couldn’t have offered Himself as the First Fruits of Israel to rise from the dead (1st Cor. 15:20, 23) to His Father. I think His being Glorified allowed Him not to be defiled. As Robert Haggerty said, it seems that Mary had already ‘touched’ Him with Yeshua saying to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father,” etc. (See also Num. 6:9; 9:6; 19:18-20; Dt. 24:4) for the seriousness of defilement.

  36. Surely as the Son of God, he would have supreme knowledge and wisdom and would see how ludicrous it was to think a woman unclean or defiled because she was menstruating. A function created by the Creator himself to ensure the continuance of the Huma race. There must be another explanation of his comment, or it was misquoted or inserted by those who thought that women were unclean. If the incident happened at all.

  37. Please see the original text the word used in Greek for “touch” is ἅπτου,(haptou). According to the context, Mary was so desperately looking for Jesus, the moment after finding Him again, He did not want to let him go and she fasten Him so tightly, but Jesus said to her that do not “haptou” me like that, I am still here and did not go to my father yet. Jesus was wanting to tell her that He has not yet ascended to Heaven so calm down.

  38. Interesting to see that a Jewish scholar uses the words of the Gospel According to John more literally than do I — and also the way in which people deal with “bodily resurrected.” Beginning with the latter, Jesus just comes into the room — the doors are shut — is not the writer suggesting that somehow it is not exactly a physical resurrection? And more to the point, is the Thomas story not more about “believe” than about an event? The Hebrew Bible certainly uses parables (e.g., Jonah), might not the Thomas story be such a story?

      • In the book of Matthew, it says that the two Mary’s were going quickly to bring His disciples word of what they had seen and were told when they met Yeshua. He said Rejoice and they came and held Him by the feet and worshipped Him. He said do not be afraid. Go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee and they will see Me. Since none of the disciples were at the tomb at the time both Mary’s were there then they wrote their own interpretation of what happened as at other places In the Gospels. See next

  39. With great respect Dr. Eli Lizorkin, look: If Jesus does not let Mary Magdalene touch him, and tells Thomas to touch him, it’s because Jesus is God and is on the Law, Jesus is more than the Law, He could have let Mary touch him, Jesus healed and touched the lepers to the dead, to the cripples. And never “contaminated” according to the Law. Reading the Bible literally can not be. Jesus scolds his disciples, telling them: Why do they have eyes if they do not see, and ears, if they do not hear? (Mc 8. 14-21) Read also (Lev

    • Dear Juan, the problem you are having getting your brain around this concept is in the falling. You are thinking Christianly on this subject contamination/sin vs. no contamination/righteousness, but in the Jewish system of thinking this is not so (we are even using HIGHLY negative words in our WESTERN thinking on this issue). These are entirely separate systems. So in other worse Jesus could have and in fact have many times in his life contracted the status of defilement, BUT IT DID NOT MEAN THAT HE SINS. Because defilement is not sinful, but simply limiting in some way. I hope

  40. I agree with Haggerty. “haptomai” also carries the idea of clinging to something. I can well imagine Mary’s reaction as she realizes she is talking to one who has just be raised from the dead. Her natural reaction would be to hug him tightly, not wanting to let him go. But Jesus says, “May, let go of me. I’ve got to go and see others.”

  41. Jesus was the Everlasting Father in the flesh as Isaiah prophesied would come to be. Its a possibility after Jesus the Word of God was resurrected with a new body He told Mary dont toch me because He was about to ascend to Heaven and offer His blood atonement on the Mercy Seat before the Spirit of Gods where His presence dwelt, then return immediately to Jerusalem to spend 40 days preparing His disciples and yes His mother brothers and sisters too for His departure.

    • Not sure you are right. I can see how it can be said that Jesus was Everlasting God in flesh, but Father? Isn’t that confusion of Father and Son? Please, clarify.

      • Some people think that the Word is a different person from the Father. But Jesus Himself said that “I and the Father are One”, as it is written “…. and the Word was God”. Thus, Jesus is actually the Father in the flesh and His Spirit, that is, the Word, is the part of Him that is the Eternal Father”. The Word is not the Son of God because the Word was “God” Himself and eternal, but the Man Jesus who died is the Son of God and the Heir to His throne.

        • Thank you for your comment Charlie. When Jesus prayed to the Father was he praying to Himself? Also, if the “Word” of God is God Himself, are your spoken words you yourself? Food for thought.

        • Actually Charlie, John 1:1, talking about Jesus says “the Word was WITH God and the Word WAS God. So John is saying that Jesus is the Word AND Jesus is God. And verse 3 goes on to say that “all things were made by Him” i.e. Jesus (the topic of the first 5 verses). That does NOT mean that God IS the Word, other than that each is part of the Trinity, the Godhead. Yet “In the beginning God created … …” (the Hebrew here for God being Eloheim – plural for God, so is talking again about the Trinity).

          • Maybe the Word is what emanates from God, just like speech emanates from us, and it is that word that took on flesh as Messiah Yeshua.

  42. Dr. Eli, I have one question which may sound humorous and emotional regarding Jesus’ telling Mary not to touch him. Is it possible that Mary’s “touching” Jesus was an emotional reaction to seeing her risen Lord and Master? It could be likened to seeing a loved one who’s been away for several months, that is, hugging him or her because you haven’t seen the person for so long.It’s as if Mary didn’t want to let Jesus go upon seeing him alive. Jesus’ reaction to being “hugged to death” would be akin to,”Stop holding on to me.” What say you?

    • Dr. Eli, I’m interested in your thoughts on my comments given on Feb. 15,2018. Thank you. Blessings Alfred Marquez

  43. Consult the Greek. It means “do not cling to me.” He was only going to return temporarily and could not remain on earth permanently with his disciples. He must return to His Father and sit at the right hand to complete His priestly work. For 40 days only would He show Himself alive again by many infallible proofs!

  44. A wonderful topic, and a great discussion. The biblical content from page 1 to the last word spoken in the revelation of the Christ, when read and then re-read always highlights little nuggets that when we dig deeper normally reveal another deeper insight, so in that i believe we never stop learning, getting to know the risen Christ is a relationship that grows daily. weather or not the question of who touched who and weather it was right or not is a supposition, We are required to take care of our own salvation with fear and trembling.

  45. To add to my previous comment isn’t it possible that during the excitement the disciples got what the women told them mixed up? It’s been proven that during questioning several people who witnessed something will come up with different testimonies. Is it possible that this could be the case here also? Perhaps Yeshua Himself will clarify this for us when we get to be with Him. God bless you for the opportunity to speak our thoughts.

  46. Surely Jesus, from the tribe of Judah, was not from the tribe of Levi, so the rules and restrictions applying to cohens would not be applicable to Him. He is the only High-priest from the order of Melchizedek, king of righteousness.

  47. Christ was a holy sacrifice, the first human being to be resurrected to eternal life. His death (as the sacrifice for our sins) was symbolized in ancient Israel by the Wave Sheaf offering, which was offered at the beginning of the Spring harvest (Lev. 23:10-12). This duty was to be carried out only by the High Priest. If it were handled by anyone other than the High Priest, the offering would have been defiled (impure), rendered unacceptable to God. “Jesus said unto her, Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren,

  48. Men, especially religious men, need to get over this idea that women are unclean when they menstruate! If it were not for menstruation, men, nor women would be here. Does any educated person think that an eternal, all knowing God, would think that an essential function of one of his creations would be unclean? What nonsense! No more unclean than other essential bodily functions. This sort of interpretation, (by men) of the so called Word of God, has kept women subservient for centuries, by a patriarchal society, even unto today.This portrays God as petty,and more human than divine.

  49. Dr. Eli. There must be another answer, Yeshua can not be bound to the Jewish law, nothing and no one could contaminate the Messiah, neither the lepers nor the hemorrhoids nor the pagans. He is more than Mechisedec, He is the Son of God. So nothing and nobody could contaminate it. He was baptized only to teach us what we should do. We have to see the divinity of Yeshua. Not the earthly.

  50. Another angle is that the risen Jesus has become the First of the First-fruits and so fulfilled the “type” – the wave-sheaf offering, that both as the offering, and the offerer (High Priest) – was presented to the Father on behalf of the people on the day after the weekly Sabbath (Sunday morning) in the Days of Unleavened Bread (LEV 23:9-11). Although Mary couldn’t touch Him then, He was able to be touched later on that same day as He talked and ate with the two disciples from Emmaus and the rest in Jerusalem (LUKE 24:28-43).

  51. In one Roman Catholic Polish translation there is written not “do not touch me”, but “not stop me”. That is small difference, but sound more logically. I do not know Greek language to say which version is more sincere. But, knowing we have today only Greek translation of forgotten original, we could suppose that such a small changes are result of language interpretations.

    • Hi Rado, I think it’s important to remember that the original manuscripts were, in fact, written in Greek so we can be confident that we have an accurate text to work with when translating the Bible into English. But you are right – details matter! and small changes can make a big difference when we translate the Bible.

  52. Interesting to hear that Mary was ritually unclean, so she couldn’t touch Jesus. Please also refer Song of Songs (Solomon) chapter 3:1-4. This will give us some context. The gospel of John writer (community that wrote it), explaining the scene at the tomb in light of the above passage. The Risen Lord advising Mary not to ‘cling’ to him in a bid to keep him (maybe to take him to her mother’s home), as He has to ‘be in Father’s business’. He commissions her to carry the message to disciples – be an apostle

    • Amazing how interpretations can alter a whole meaning including punctuation as in a simple comma. . For instance; This I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise….. Today you will be with me in Paradise……

        • I like Desmond’s reference to Solomon’s Song of Songs because the Woman lets go of Solomon as her heart is awakened as the Stag sings. In her search for her Lord, her bridegroom, her gardener (Ps. 128:3 ) the Woman in John alludes to the Gazelle of S.O.S. Peter is her Stag, her Lord. She remains unclean until her wedding when the bride and groom are both purified of their past mistakes and brought together, as pure as newborns… After the Rabbi reads the contract. Then the twins are led to a private room for a few moments of intimacy.

  53. Mary seems to be saying in her heart “Who will descend”. One would think she needs to repent (the kingdom of heaven is near), but Jesus called her by name (Isaiah 43:1-3?) and she turned and heard his voice. So it’s not the kingdom of heaven that was near, it was the word (rhema) that was near (in your mouth and in your heart)? What is the difference between the kingdom and the temple?

  54. Dr Eli, thank you for your helpful interpretation. My question concerns how it is reconcilled with Matthew 28:9 which indicates that the women at the tomb “held Him by the feet”- KJV and “clasped his feet and worshipped him.” NIV

    • Bob, hi. I agree this may present some challenge to the reconstruction (possible) that I suggest. I can see that it is also very possible that although it seems to be describing immediate post Resurrection, this may not actually be so since it may be understood as a pre-ascension description: “But as I looked at the text 8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them [b]and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10

  55. A better translation of the word for “touch” helps clarify things. The Greek is haptomi, which in this context means “to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, cling to.” One can easily visualize Mary running to her risen Lord and literally clinging to him out of joy. Nothing in the text that suggests Mary “attempted to hug” the Lord and was rebuffed. Rather, he was exhorting her that he would have to go to the Father before he would return as reigning King. Jesus was simply saying, “I have to go home before I come back for you” (John 14:3).

    • Hi M. It’s a bit pedantic to make a huge distinction between “cling to” and “hug” and the etymology of a word is a crucial component of good Bible study – but it is just one component of good Bible study. Ultimately, as many a hermeneutics professors will agree, “Context determines the meaning.” In other words, what matters is how the word is used in content. You present a possible scenario but that alone does not make it the correct interpretation.

      • Hello E. “Cling” and “hug” are certainly synonymous. But that is not the point of distinction. “Clinging” is also used in the emotional, relational sense. If a loved one—such as a spouse or child—miraculously survives a death-defying ordeal, you are not going to easily leave their side. Nor would you “allow” them to leave abruptly for a journey or destination that will take the rest of your life! And yet, that is precisely what Jesus was communicating. In context, then, the Lord was simply reminding Mary of his eternal purpose; not that she was “unclean” and forbidden to touch him.

  56. It’s my understanding that “holding Him by the feet” is a Greek idiom which refers to delaying Him, not necessarily to His being physically touched.

  57. In 1 Chronicles 16:22 It was the LORD who allowed no one to oppress them saying “touch not my anointed ones.” Then it continues saying tell of his salvation and glory among the nations. Could “do not touch me” mean it is Jesus’ authority that allows Mary to go to the others and tell them.

  58. Jesus was most definitely resurrected body and soul. In Luke 24:13-ff, Jesus joined some disciples on the road to Emmaus. In verses 41-43, “While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.” If he had no body he could not have eaten.

  59. Jesus was fighting off demonic demons or evil spirits is also one of the reasons Mary could not touch him. Thomas saw how Jesus was both a man and a body of light.

  60. My question has always been- Did Mary touch Him or not? “Don’t cling to me” gives the impression that she did? Would that one touch render ‘unclean’? Thanks for your answer.

  61. The confusion seems to reign supreme, from the various opinions /comments given. Firstly where did Jesus go to be ordained a priest for that period of time, and secondly then to become a Jewish High Priest? When Jesus was on the cross, he “yielded up his spirit”.When Mary sees him he is not yet ascended, the question is how long did it take for Jesus to be united with the father, as after roaming on earth for a further plus minus 40 days he then ascends? Did it take place 3 times the ascension/ unification of the spirit.

  62. It is not necessary that our assumption should be right always. Some people think it is revealed by the Holy Spirit and others say, it is the Spiritual meaning. Why cant we take it in the simple way it is written there? John 20:17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. ” Period. Just understand the reason why Jesus said to Mary not to touch him from His words??? Pastor Santhosh

  63. With respect to “touch me not,” it has been pointed out that the Greek “haptomai” does have the connotation of “cling.” I can just picture Mary’s complete astonishment when she sees Jesus. Her natural inclination would be to hug him tightly. He had “left” once, and she didn’t want him to leave again. “Mary, please let me go. There is much to do, so go tell the brethren that I have risen and will ascend.”

  64. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg, I enjoy your articles so much. I read and know what you are saying is true as I have read and understood always that Mary could not touch Jesus because He had not ascended to heaven yet. How is it that some of us know without being told where others need it explained? I believe it is because our eyes have been opened to see what G-d intended us to see in His Words. Your thoughts please. Your Sister in Christ, Rose

    • Shalom, Rose. Well, what can I tell you? As Paul reminded us, we all see through a glass dimly. Some days are just a little bit clearer than others : – )

  65. In all my life, I’m going to be 74 this year, have I not once came across any preacher or teacher who considered John 20:17 in relation to John 20: What exactly happened in the time period from verse 17 and verse 27 ? Is your perspective the right one ? Shouldn’t we consider Zechariah 3: 1-6 regarding John 20:17. Zechariah 3: 1-6. ( Septuagint rendering) :1 And the Lord shewed me Jesus the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and the Devil stood on his right hand to resist him.

  66. So they placed a pure mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments: and the angel of the Lord stood by. Doesn’t this talk about what The Lord Jesus had done for us. He soiled His garments with the filth of humanity to redeem us. No human high priest has ever soiled His garments thru sacrifice. Or have they? Please consider and comment on this rather enigmatic verses.

  67. Thank you for the article. When is the ceremonial law done away with, then? If Jesus was keeping it even after the resssurection, was it done away with after then?

  68. In the account of the resurrection where there are two angels at either end of the place where Jesus lay could it be that this is symbolised in the Ark of the Covenant – two cherubim and the mercy seat???

  69. Hi Dr Eli. I’m doing some research on the Historical Jesus. I need to know your opinion on (1) the languages spoken by Jesus (2) whether or not Jesus was illiterate. Thanks a lot for the help! Flavio Lopes, RJ – RJ – Brazil flavioferreiraadm@hotmail.com FLAVIO LOPES

    • Of course Jesus was literate. I don’t think anyone serious is thinking otherwise. Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and some Latin (his languages).

  70. Dr. Eli, I am sure I responded to this Blog, however, I am unable to find it. I had a few more thoughts on this. I get a little confused with the Mary’s but here goes… 1. When JESUS said Mary’s name, she KNEW it was HIM and HE had ‘definitely risen’. It was relief knowing, what HE said HE completed, even though she wanted to hug HIM. 2. Thomas had ‘doubts’, requiring answers. What better way for JESUS to resolve ‘all’ his doubts and bring complete assurance/trust to HIS disciple…’Thomas, here, touch.’ Two different needs met.

  71. The resurrection day was also the day the High Priest waved the sheaves of grain of the first fruits of the harvest before the Most Holy Place, presenting the grain before the Lord in order to show faith in the harvest to come. Matthew 27:52, 53 tells us that many were raised and appeared to many that day as well. They are not mentioned again. Our High Priest had to present them to the Father! He had to be undefiled to do so, as Dr. Eli clearly stated, but not for Yom Kippur, but for Bikkurim!

  72. Here are some thoughts and questions I have. Yeshua was a priest of the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron. He was a priest from before the Aaronic priesthood was instituted. It was He who accepted worship from Abraham. Did Yeshua have a need to be ordained? Was he acting as a high priest after the order of Melchizedek? Because Yeshua was a descendant of Judah and David, and not a descendant of Aaron through Zadok, he could not have been ordained an Aaronic high priest. Do the rules applying to the Aaronic high priest apply to the Melchizedek high priest?

    • Shalom, Mark. These are good and legitimate observations/questions. I think the mistake most people are making is this: while correctly affirming that Jesus’ and Levitical priesthood are (very) different, they do not realize that they are also (very) similar! Indirectly, what gives it away is his resurrected appearance in the Book of Revelation (there is a lot of similarity with the dress of the Aaronic priest). The conclusion should not be that Jesus was priest in order of Aaron (of course he was not!), but he was not a clerk in the bank, he was a Jewish priest!

  73. So, are you saying that Jesus went into the Temple and Holy of Holies after His Resurrection, or did He meet with the Father somewhere else. If He went into the Holy of Holies then was this a Unique time and situation, because the Ark is not present?
    This seems to make sense, I do like it, but it has loose ends to tie up…
    Jesus is Glorified at this point, so not only does He know all things but He is aware of Ha Shem living in Him. So what is the Point of Him going somewhere else to meet with, that which lives in Him, Ha Shem? I know most don’t worry about this, but never the less, it is true…

  74. I’d like to believe this– we do need an explanation of Jesus’ enigmatic comment to Mary. But is it really about his purity–seven days of cleansing before he could present himself to the Father in a priestly role? Is this a real delay for purification or symbolic? You say Mary had entered the tomb, and this contact with death contaminated her. But she entered a tomb with neither corpse nor bones. Were the men/angels seen in the romb defiled by being there? You mention menstruation… Mary more than anyone knew if whe was in niddah for that reason. If she was, I suggest she would not even have attempted to touch the risen Jesus. In his lifetime, Jesus touched “lepers” which no one did without being defiled; he raised a twevle year old girl by the hand; he was touched by a woman defiled by blood issue; he touched the bier of the dead youth from Nain. None of these actions rendered Jesus defiled or in need of cleansing over a period of time. Much as I feel a need for explanation of Jesus’ words to Mary, I cannot see that a week of purification before a priestly consecration meets the need.

    • Ronnie, no problem with you not seeing it. This is a suggestion for possible ways this can be explained. Do you have a more convincing explanation? Let’s consider it.

  75. Shalom. I think the reason why Yeshuah told Miriam not to touch him was because she is ceremonially unclean. Yeshuah rose on the 3rd day and Miriam was part of the burial party that buried Yeshuah and have been in mourning and have not yet completed their unclean mourning period. As Yeshuah is Kohen Ha Gadol is is forbidden to touch anything associated with death.

  76. Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
    This verse in context with the previous verses indicates that he was touched on resurection day

  77. …in Like 24, the same day as the resurrection, the two men on the way to Emmaus encounter the Risen Messiah… When they recognized him in the breaking of bread they return to Jerusalem the same day… As they were discussing their experience suddenly the Lord was in their midst

    Like 24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.”

    He invited them to touch him… seeing as how he wasn’t a priest from the levitical order but Melchizedek, why would the same rules apply?

  78. Karl Bart said that the Bible is like a pool shallow enough for babies to play in and deep enough for Theologians to drown in it. Thanks for trying to interpret this. To answer this is speculative and all attempts seem to feed the debate. But thanks for trying to resolve the issue. I bet the earliest Jewish reader would not have found it strange. It could also mean that it was two oral traditions with two different purposes mingled in one story. each with its own purpose. One to accentuate Jesus in his Priestly role ( Story with Mary) and Jesus willingness to lead Thomas the doubter to faith and witness of a resurrected physical glorified body. ( he appeared in a locked room and they could touch him. ) All previous resurrected people are destined to die again and did.

    I

    • Andre, this phrase was also among others attributed to St. Augustine, if my memory does not fail me. Thank you for your comment!

  79. I’d once read an explanation of this verse which makes much more sense to me than Dr. Eli’s explanation, interesting and thought provoking though it is. Mary was clinging to Jesus with the fear that he would leave again. She was so excited by seeing him that she grabbed hold of him like a mother would grab her child after he’d been lost and then found again. What Jesus was saying to her in essence was – using modern terminology – “there’s no need to hold on to me, I’m not leaving yet.”

  80. I would like your curses, but sorry I don´t hear and understand good. Therefore it is for me impossible to join. Your explanations are very nice. I too like it. Jesus was the Son of God, he was a man, He became at the baptizing the might of the Holy Spirit from God his father. On the cross died as man. Wish you many success.

  81. Shalom dr. Eli, I am Afrikaansspeaking, but enjoy your teachings. I learned a long time ago to understand how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit can be One. It is like a candle which is wax, a piece of rope and a flame. If you take it apart it is just that, but together it is a candle. The one cannot function without the other. If I may explain it like God is the Wax, Jesus the Wick and the Holy Spirit the Flame. I hope you understand! Blessings from South Africa.

    • Thank you Hestelle for joining the discussion. There are many creative ways to try and understand the relationship between the Father, His Messiah, and the Holy Spirit.

    • A better explanation (in my opinion) is Steam, Water & Ice. Three different “substances” with different “uses” but all are H2O. In fact, Ice can float in the Water but still both are the same molecular make-up i.e. H2O.

  82. The Bauer-Danker Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament translates the word “touch” used here in the KGV and other versions as stop clinging to me. He had other business to do. I think that “do not touch is a wrong translation of this verb. Look at NLT, NKV, NIV, NAS, ESV among others translate it that way.

    • Something we should always keep in mind… it is a mistake to think that Lexicons are theologically independent works. They ain’t.

  83. Jesus would not be defiled by being touched by Mary be she menstrual or other. He had absorbed all the defilement and evil in the world on the cross and taken everything the dark powers could throw at him. He was a High priest from the beginning (Gen 14) and didn’t need 7 days of ordination. The scriptures show heaven and earth joined that’s where God’s temple is Rev 20/21 Jesus isn’t priest in some Platonic far away heaven he is High priest on the co-joined heaven and earth now and will be revealed in His fullness and glory soon.

    • The earthly temple and its rituals are derived from the prototype in heaven (Ex. 25:9, Heb. 8:5). If Aaron needed 7 days for his ordination, then it is reasonable that the heavenly priest also did. Yeshua is seated at the right hand of the Father, and Heaven and Earth have not yet been co-joined. If they have been in your part of the world, then please send me your address! 🙂

      • I recommend a most significant and “turn key” scholarly book by David Moffitt called Atonement and the Logic of Ressurection in the Epistle to the Hebrews. So many points in your comments are discussed. As to your’s here, his priestly role was not like Aaron (not tribe of Levi), but after the order of Melchizedek. Therefore, perhaps did not need 7 day consecration but was established through resurrected glorified body. Then that blood and body offered in heaven. But when?

        • There were no Aaronic priests before Aaron’s seven day consecration. The requirement predated Aaron. So what causes you to conclude that a seven day consecration period is only for Aaronic priests?

  84. to the age of truth and fellowship of truth, the reason is the holy flesh of jesus have not yet quickend into a quickening spirit (or the mortal flesh not yet turn immortal and and incorruptible fles) lastly to ascend and be united with the father. proof: Jesus appeared (w/o tomas) inside closed door room, apeared second time (closed door room now with tomas). tomas shouted “my Lord and my God! why? Tomas sees his Lord but cannot touch like God (a spirit). Jesus eateth, proof Jesus is now a quickening spirit (can be seen but cant betouch)

    • Hi Arthur, I would direct you to Luke in Acts 1:3 where it says Jesus presented himself alive to his disciples by many infallible proofs (one of which is probably eating, cf. Luke 24:41-43) and then spent 40 days with them. I am confident that this demonstrates that He was not a spirit. Concerning when Jesus was incorruptible, why shouldn’t it be from the moment of resurrection (Acts 13:34-37)?

  85. Jesus must have ascended to heaven right after He spoke with Mary when He said , Touch me not for I have not yet ascended to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.” Mary went her way to tell the disciples she had seen the resurrected, risen Lord. He immediately ascended to heaven to finalize His priestly in the Tabernacle in Heaven (Hebrews 9) and then immediately came back again and met the women on their way to the disciples. Matt. 28. at 28:8

  86. John 20:17
    Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:

    Correct translation: “Do not cling to me, for I have yet to ascend to my Father…

    • All translation is interpretation even when it is not acknowledged to be so. Given this fact this common rending is of course possible.

  87. Be careful my friends, to say that Jesus rose in any body other than the one that was placed on the cross (a glorified body) is a akin to or at the very least dangerously close to Gnostic heresy…

  88. IMHO, Jesus is our High Priest through his death. So in his ressurection he is already a High Priest, no need at all to follow the Law of Moses (Torah), like 7 days to ordain a priest

    • Yes Jesus became High Priest in Heaven (after which the earthly temple was a pattern), but how does that nullify anything? If there was no need to follow Torah after Yeshua’s death, then why did Yeshua present His blood for our atonement?
      Matthew 5:17-19 does not allow for annulling Torah. Torah is what lays the foundation and definition for Messiah. Take that away, and Messiah (as well as the prophets and writings) has no leg to stand on, biblically speaking.

    • Thomas and his fellow apostles were called to be priests with Christ the High priest. On Holy Thursday Jesus instituted a New Covenant (Luk 22) by offering himself body and blood in the form of bread and wine which his priests touched and ate after the consecration. When Thomas thus questioned the validity of the ‘Presence’ of the Lord the previous week, Jesus manifested the reality of His “true flesh” to the doubting priest Thomas (Jn 6:32,51). The ministerial male priesthood who consacrate the bread and wine touch it first so that we may belief that it is Him!

      • Thanks for your comment, Henry. Would you please provide your reference for where the 12 were called to be priests? Thanks.

  89. Shalom Dr.Eli
    He have Optical body ,the optical is different with the light , His corpse is clean and clean spirit .The mediator of divine divine is from the universe of Lahu to the Almighty.he was born from Marry but Its nature and its generosity is diffrent Marry I like more explain about him but can not say about him in English and speak about him very hardly.
    Thanks

  90. While I very much appreciate what you have said and would certainly like to see it pointing to a typological truth in what Jesus said to Mary, I have always thought that the main thrust was that with the resurrection of our Lord an altogether new way of communion/fellowship with Him was beginning. As Paul said ‘Even if we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer’ (2 Corinthians 5:16). Mary was wanting to cling on to the Jesus she’d always known, and that could never be. The resurrection meant a new creation.

  91. My understanding from a Messianic Jewish Rabbi is, that Yeshua was tending to both the needs of Mary and Thomas…Mary wasn’t just touching Yeshua, she was clinging to him for dear life. Mary needed the faith to let go, but Thomas needed the faith to hold on.

  92. The Lord didn’t want Mary to touch Him because He was risen like Lazaras. He asked Thomas to touch His resurrected body, not the body He was in when He died. Would not Mary be defiled Mary as recently had touched a lifeless body? “I have not yet returned to My Father.” This has to be “the first fruit” w all the marks from the crucifixion. This makes me very excited because I not only will be in an incorruptible body but will have returned to the Lord Jesus when He returns physically!!!

  93. Thank you so very much for the article. It just made my day, figure of speech beside the dark rainy day rest. I’ve been “feeling” like separated from God. Shalom & Blessed 2019!!

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