John 20.14-15 cont.
14 Having said these things she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said (says) to her: “Lady, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” She, thinking that He is the gardener said (says) to Him: “Sir, if you have taken Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
There was another possible reason why Mary did not recognize Jesus, and it was that her eyes were filled with tears, which would obstruct her vision so that she would not see clearly.
Present circumstances can also affect our view of things. Concentrating on the facts as we understand them can make us blind to God’s possibilities.
This was true for Mary, the mother of Jesus, when the archangel Gabriel told her that she was to become pregnant. Her response was:
34 Mary said to the angel: “How can this happen, since I don’t know a man?”
35 The angel answered her: “The Holy Spirit will descend (and operate in you) upon you and the power of the most high will envelope you. Therefore, the one being born will be called: Son of God”.
36 And, look, your relative, Elizabeth has conceived a son in her old age, and the one being called barren is in her sixth month.
37 Because with God’s word nothing will be impossible – Luke 1.34-37.
It is the Holy Spirit who raises us up over and above the circumstances.
On that occasion Mary’s only understanding of conception was through the normal means of a man and woman becoming one flesh. She would have known that God miraculously brought about conception in this way when all hope of conception had gone by. We can assume that she would have been familiar with the events of Abraham and Sarah and the conception of Isaac. Also she would have known that her relative Elizabeth was pregnant by Zechariah, even though she was no longer able to have children.
However, Mary would have had no understanding of conception other than by the normal means.
In a similar way, even though Mary Magdalene would have heard the teaching of Jesus that He would rise again three days after having been killed, she was not expecting this fulfilment.
Let us be aware that we can also fail to see the reality of the ways of Jesus, because our spiritual eyes are blinded by present circumstances.