In John 20:11-16 is a famous scene after the resurrection that takes place at the garden tomb. To our surprise we learn that Mary Magdalene failed to recognize the risen Jesus, instead “supposing him to be the gardener” (John 20:15). In this episode of the podcast, we discover that John’s intent in this scene was not to have his readers question Mary’s ignorance or judgment. Rather, the scene draws on a frequent ancient Near Eastern tradition, also present in the Hebrew Bible, that associates kings with gardens and even casts them as gardeners. The garden tomb scene and the identification of Jesus as the “gardener” turns out to be filled with symbolism that presents Jesus as the Davidic messiah-king.