The author of the gospel of John tells us that after having been informed by Mary that Christ is risen the disciples(one of them Peter) went to the tomb and only saw the face cloth and linen wrappings he had been wrapped in

John 20:3-7 NASB

So Peter and the other disciple left, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead, faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first; 5 and he stooped to look in, and *saw the linen wrappings lying there; however he did not go in.6 So Simon Peter also *came, following him, and he entered the tomb; and he *looked at the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings but folded up in a place by itself.

It is only after the disciples had left that Christ revealed himself to Mary

John 20:11-17 NASB

But Mary was standing outside the tomb, weeping; so as she wept, she stooped to look into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they put Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and yet she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Thinking that He was the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in [a]Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”

Why did Christ reveal himself to Mary only?

  • 1
    This comes close to being a matter of opinion. We have the facts that are recorded and we can examine the documentation that records those facts. The meaning of words can be a matter of interpretation but motivation and purpose become conjectural if not strongly supported by textual data.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 21, 2022 at 13:17
  • There is only one answer to this - that is what God decided to do!
    – Dottard
    Apr 21, 2022 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


Christ revealed himself physically to Mary in John 20 but John's revelation that "Christ is risen" comes in the same chapter. My answer to your question about only appearing to Mary is that God has made and deals with us as individuals.

Mary was emotional and physical. Nothing wrong in that, it was the way God made her.

John 20:15 "Woman, why are you weeping?". Tears of emotion.

:15 "I will take him away". Look after his body. Mary wants to physically express her feelings of care and adoration.

:15 "Rabboni!" Hearing his physical voice.

:17 "Do not cling". She wanted to touch and restrain him physically from going away again.

John is another sort of individual, not rushing, calm and thoughtful. In John 20 John arrives at the tomb before Peter but does not rush in.

John 20:5 "but he did not go in". Why not? Perhaps he is thinking.

John 20:5 " he saw the linen cloths". John sees,

"he did not go in", John pauses,

20:8 Then John "also went in and he saw and believed". When John had sifted information, when he was ready, then he had weighted up what he considered to be sufficient evidence then he came to a conclusion, he believed.

Jesus reveals himself individually as evidence that he has made us individually.


"Mary" Μαρία (Maria) "Magdalene" Μαγδαληνή in [John 20] was a "Bat-Zion" בַת־צִיּ֔וֹן (Daughter-of-Zion) who came to fulfill [Isaiah 62:11-12]

Behold, YHVH announced to the end of the earth, "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold your salvation has come.' (הִנֵּה יְהֹוָ֗ה הִשְׁמִיעַ אֶל־קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ אִמְרוּ לְבַת־צִיּוֹן הִנֵּה יִשְׁעֵךְ בָּא)

In [John 20:17] Maria (Μαρία) has a vision of her "teacher" (ῥαββουνί) called "salvation" (Ἰησοῦς) passing into the everlasting life, symbolic of [Isaiah 62:1] since Yeshua's teachings would forever inspire Maria.

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