One of the Lord’s most faithful disciples teaches us this principle well. Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the resurrected Christ. Do you remember what she did as soon as she recognized Him? She grabbed Him, and she wouldn’t stop clinging to Him.
Jesus responded saying, “Stop clinging to me.” En. This is what the Greek text says. See The Gospel According to John (Revised), by Leon Morris (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), pp. 741-743.
Why did Jesus tell Mary to stop clinging to Him? Because He had somewhere He had to go. He was on the move. Jesus was poised to go to Galilee to see the other disciples and then to ascend to His Father. He was moving forward, but she was clinging to Him.
Jesus was in effect saying to her: “Mary, stop holding on to me. There’s a new way to know me that’s different from what you’ve experienced thus far. Let me go for I must move on.”
Do you remember the disciples who walked on the road of Emmaus? Their hopes were shattered by the Lord’s horrible death. Suddenly, the Resurrected Christ began walking beside them, yet their eyes were blinded from recognizing Him.
When He engaged in the very simple gesture of breaking bread, something He had done frequently before them, their eyes were opened.
Then He quickly disappeared from their sight.
These stories hold a critical insight. You cannot cling to the Christ that you know today. He will vanish from your midst. Jesus Christ is an elusive Lover. Seeking Him is a progressive engagement that never ends. He does not dance to our music. He does not sing to our tune.