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<432001> JOHN 20:1-10 Below is an Analysis of the first section of John 20: — 1. The stone removed from the sepulcher, verse 1. 2. Mary Magdalene’s appeal to the two disciples, verse 2. 3. Love’s race to the sepulcher, verses 3, 4. 4. John’s hesitation and Peter’s boldness, verses 5, 6. 5. The grave-clothes and John’s conclusion, verses 7, 8. 6. The disciples’ slowness of heart, verse 9. 7. Their return home, verse 10.
The resurrection of Christ was more than hinted at in the first Divine promise and prophecy ( Genesis 3:15): if Christ was to bruise the serpent’s head after His own heel had been bruised by the enemy, then must He rise from the dead. The passing of the ark through the waters of judgment on to the cleansed earth, foreshadowed this same great event ( 1 Peter 3:21). The deliverance of Isaac from the altar, after he had been given up to death three days before (see Genesis 22:4), is interpreted by the Holy Spirit as a receiving of him back, in figure, from the dead ( Hebrews 11:19). The crossing of the Red Sea by Israel on dry ground, three days after the slaying of the paschal lamb, was a type of Christians being raised together with Christ. The emergence of Jonah after three days and nights in the whale’s belly forecast the Savior’s deliverance from the tomb on the third day. Prophecy was equally explicit: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hades; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life” ( Psalm 16:9-11).
We cannot make too much of the death of Christ, but we can make too little of His resurrection. Our hearts and minds cannot meditate too frequently upon the cross, but in pondering the sufferings of the Savior, let us not forget the glories which followed. Calvary does not exhaust the Gospel message. The Christian evangel is not only that Christ died for our sins, but also that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures ( 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). He was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification ( Romans 4:25). Had Christ remained in the sepulcher it had been the grave of all our hopes; “If Christ be not raised,” said the apostle, “then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” ( 1 Corinthians 15:14). To be a witness of His resurrection was a fundamental qualification for an apostle ( Acts 1:22). That God raised up the One whom the Jews had crucified, was the central truth pressed by Peter in his pentecostal sermon ( Acts 2:24-36). The same fact was urged again by the apostles in Solomon’s porch ( Acts 3:15), and before the Sanhedrin ( Acts 4:10; Acts 5:30). This foundation-truth was proclaimed also to the Gentiles ( Acts 10:40; Acts 13:34). Its prominence in the Epistles is too well-known to require quotations.
The 20th chapter of John records the appearances which the Savior made to some of His own after He was risen from the dead — we say “after,” for none of them witnessed the actual resurrection itself. “As no eye beheld what was deepest in the Cross, so only God looked on the Lord rising from among the dead. This was as it should be. Darkness veiled Him giving Himself for us in atonement. Man saw not that infinite work in His death; yet was it not only to glorify God thereby, but that our sins might be borne away righteously. We have seen the action of the world, and especially of the Jews, in crucifying Him; high and low, religious and profane, all played their part; even an apostle denied Him, as another betrayed Him to the murderous priests and elders. But Jehovah laid on Him the iniquities of us all; Jehovah bruised and put Him to grief; Jehovah made His soul an offering for sin; and as this was Godward, so was it invisible to human eyes, and God alone could rightly bear witness, by whom He would, of the eternal redemption there obtained, which left Divine love free to act even in a lost and ungodly world. “So with the resurrection of Christ. He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; God raised up Jesus whom the Jews slew and hanged on a tree; He had laid down His life that He might take it again, in three days raising the temple of His body which they destroyed. But if no man was given to see the act of His rising from the dead, it was to be testified in all the world, as well as His atoning death. Assuredly he who withholds His resurrection maims the glad tidings of its triumphant proof and character, and compromises the believers’ liberty and introduction into the new creation, as he immensely clouds the Lord’s glory; even as the denial of resurrection virtually charges God’s witnesses with falsehood and makes faith vain.” (Bible Treasury).
The resurrection of Christ was brought about by the joint action of the three Persons of the Trinity. Just as they cooperated in connection with His incarnation ( Hebrews 10:5 for the Father; Philippians 2:7 for the Son; Luke 1:35 for the Spirit), just as they had each been active in connection with the atonement ( Isaiah 53:6,10 for the Father; Ephesians 5:2 for the Son; Hebrews 9:14 for the Spirit), so the whole Godhead was engaged on the resurrection-morning. “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father” ( Romans 6:4): “I lay down my life, that I might take it again” ( John 10:17): “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you” etc. ( Romans 8:11). “The first of the week” ( John 20:1). All the ways of God express His perfect wisdom, and everything recorded of them in Scripture is written for our learning. Most fitting was it that the Lord Jesus, as head of the new creation, should rise from the dead on the first day of the week — intimating that a new beginning had been inaugurated. The full requirements of the moral law had been met; the shadows of the ceremonial law had all been fulfilled; the old system, connected with man in the flesh, was ended; a new and spiritual dispensation had begun. It was this “first of the week” which the Spirit of prophecy had in mind when He moved the Psalmist to write, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made (appointed); we will rejoice and be glad in it” ( <19B822> Psalm 118:22-24).
Here is the reason why the Lord’s people are under obligations to keep Sunday as their day of rest and worship. * During Old Testament times the Sabbath was the memorial of God’s finished work in the old creation ( Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:11); in New Testament times the Sabbath is the memorial of Christ’s finished work from which issues the new creation. * See author’s “The Christian Sabbath.” (30 cents). “The first of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher” ( John 20:1).
Mark tells us that Mary Magdalene was accompanied to the grave by Mary the mother of James, and Salome ( Mark 16:1,2); but John mentions them not. It is characteristic of this fourth Gospel to present individual souls to our notice; Nicodemus alone with Christ, the woman at the well, the blind beggar in chapter 9 being well-known examples. Another thing which is prominent in John is the heart’s affection, the soul finding a satisfying Object: the two disciples who abode with the Lord, on their very first meeting with Him ( John 1:39); the bringing of others to the Savior, that they also might bask in His presence ( John 1:41,45); the words of Peter ( John 6:68), the appeal of the sisters ( John 11:3), and the devotion of Mary ( John 12:3), are so many illustrations. It is this which Mary of Magdala so vividly exemplifies. To whom much is forgiven, the same loveth much ( Luke 7:47), and abundant cause had this woman to love the Savior, for out of her He had cast seven demons ( Luke 8:2).
It was “very early in the morning” ( Mark 16:2) that Mary came to the sepulcher; as John tells us “when it was yet dark.” But though she had reason for expecting to find the Roman soldiers on guard there ( Matthew 27:66), though there had just been “a great earthquake” ( Matthew 28:2), though there were no male disciples accompanying her, though this was the midst of the Feast, when thousands of strangers were most probably sleeping under any slight shelter near the walls of Jerusalem, love drew Mary to the place where the Savior’s body had been laid. How this devotion of hers puts to shame many of us, who perhaps have greater intelligence in spiritual things, but who manifest far less love for Christ! Few were as deeply attached to the Redeemer as was this woman. Few had received as much at His gracious hands, and her gratitude knew no bounds. How this explains the listlessness and half-heartedness among us! Where there is little sense of our indebtedness to Christ, there will be little affection for Him. Where light views of our sinfulness, our depravity, our utter unworthiness, are entertained, there will be little expression of gratitude and praise. It is those who have had the clearest sight of their de-servingness of hell, whose hearts are most moved at the amazing grace which snatched them as brands from the burning, that are the most devoted among Christ’s people. Let us pray daily, then, that it may please God to grant us a deeper realization of our sinfulness and a deeper apprehension of the surpassing worthiness of His Son, so that we may serve and glorify Him with increasing zeal and faithfulness. “And seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher” ( John 20:1).
Upon this Mr. John Gill has said, “This stone was removed by an angel, for though Christ Himself could easily have done it, it was proper that it should be done by a messenger from Heaven, by the order of Divine justice, which had lain Him a prisoner there.” The stone was rolled away from Lazarus’ sepulcher by human hands ( John 11:41), the stone from Christ’s tomb by angelic — in all things He has the pre-eminence! We believe that God’s principal design in sending His angel to remove the stone was that these believers might see for themselves that the sepulcher was now tenantless. The angel seated on the stone (later, inside the sepulcher) would demonstrate that God Himself had intervened.
Apparently Mary was the first to perceive that the entrance to the grave was now open. “Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him” ( John 20:2).
There is no difficulty in reconciling this statement with the record of Matthew if the following points be kept in mind: First, either Mary was in front of the other women as they journeyed to the sepulcher, or else her vision was keener than theirs; at any rate, she appears to have been the first to perceive that the stone had been removed. Second, she was so excited over this that, instead of going right up to the sepulcher with her companions, she at once rushed off to acquaint the apostles — hence she missed seeing the angel. Third, after Mary’s hurried departure, the rest of the little party drew near the grave, hardly knowing what to conclude or what to expect. Fourth, Mary was, most probably, a long way on the road to John’s dwelling before the other women left the tomb.
Various reasons have been advanced as to why Mary sought out Peter and John. These two seem to have been nearer the Savior than the other apostles. They were among the highly favored three who witnessed the transfiguration, and whom He also took with Him further into the Garden than the others ( Matthew 26:37). These two had also stuck more closely to Him after His arrest, following to and entering the high priest’s residence. Moreover, as another has said, “John alone of all the apostles, had witnessed Peter’s sad fall and observed his bitter weeping afterwards.
Can we not understand that from Friday night to Sunday morning John would be lovingly employed in binding up the broken heart of his brother, and telling him of our Lord’s last words? Can we doubt that they were absorbed and occupied in converse about their Master on this very morning, when Mary Magdalene suddenly ran in with her wonderful news.” Mary, then, sought Peter and John because she knew that among the disciples they would be most likely to respond (at that early hour) to the anxious inquiry that filled her own soul. It is indeed beautiful to see these two disciples now together: “The love and tender nature of John’s character come out most blessedly in his affection for Peter, even after his denial of Christ...
John clings to him, and has him under his own roof, wherever that was. When Judas fell, he had no friend to raise and cheer him.
When Peter fell, there was ‘a brother born for adversity’ who did not despise him!” (Bishop Ryle). “And saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher and we know not where they have laid him.” How this shows us that love needs to be regulated by faith. Mary’s affection for the Savior cannot be doubted, and most blessed it was; but her faith certainly was not in exercise. She had judged by the sight of her eyes. The stone had been removed, and she at once jumped to the conclusion that some one had been there and “taken away” the Savior’s body. The thought that He was now alive had evidently not entered her mind. She supposed that He was yet under the power of death. His own repeated declaration that He would rise again on the third day had made no impression. “Alas, how little of Christ’s teaching the best of us take in! How much we let fall!” What a strange mingling of spiritual intelligence and spiritual ignorance we behold here. “They have taken away the Lord’? How often we see the same confusion in ourselves and in others! Observe her “we know not where they have laid him” — agreeing with Matthew’s account that other women had accompanied her on the journey to the sepulcher. “Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher” ( John 20:3).
The announcement which Mary had made to them was so startling that the two disciples arose at once, setting forth to ascertain what this removal of the stone from the sepulcher really meant. It is most likely that they would first ask Mary, Are you sure the body is gone? But all she could tell them was that the stone was no longer in its place. Finding that Mary had not actually looked in the sepulcher, they deemed it best to go and inspect it for themselves. Strikingly may we behold here the over-ruling providence of God. According to the Mosaic law a woman was not eligible to bear witness (note no mention of them is made in 1 Corinthians 15!), and the truth could not be established by less than two men. Here then we have the needed two in Peter and John, as eye-witnesses of the empty grave and the orderliness of the clothes which the Savior had left behind! “So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher” ( John 20:4).
Their running evidences that they were both excited and anxious. “We can well suppose that Mary’s sudden announcement completely overwhelmed them, so that they knew not what to think. Who can tell what thoughts did not come into their minds, as they ran, about our Lord’s oft-repeated predictions of His resurrection? Could it really be true? Could it possibly prove that all their deep sorrow was going to turn to joy? These are all conjectures, no doubt. Yet a vast amount of thoughts may run through a mind, at a great crisis, in a very few minutes” (Bishop Ryle).
As to the physical reason of John’s out-distancing Peter we cannot be certain, but the popular idea that John was the younger of the two is most likely correct, for he lived at least sixty years afterwards. As to the spiritual reason, we think they err who attribute to Peter a guilty conscience, which made him fearful of a possible meeting with the Savior.
Had this been the case, he had hardly set out for the sepulcher at all, still less would he have gone there on the run! Moreover, the promptness with which he entered the tomb argues against the common view. Yet we cannot doubt that there is a moral significance to this detail which the Spirit has recorded for our ]earning. Peter had not yet been restored to fellowship with the Savior. John, too, was the one of all the Eleven who was on most intimate terms with the Lord. This is sufficient to account for his winning love’s race to the sepulcher. “And he stooping down, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in” ( John 20:5).
Here again we are left to conjecture. The simple fact is recorded; why J ohn entered not in we are not told. Some say, to prevent himself being ceremonially defiled; but that seems very far-fetched. Others think it was out of reverence for the place where the Savior had lain; this, while being more plausible, seems negatived by the fact that only a short while after he did enter the sepulcher ( John 20:8). It appears to us more likely that, after looking in and seeing the sepulcher was empty, he waited for Peter to come up and take the lead — John being the younger of the two, this would be the most gracious thing for him to do. Whatever the motive which guided him, certainly we can see, again, the over-ruling hand of God — two must be present to witness the condition of the grave so as to establish the truth! “And he stooping down, saw the linen clothes lying.” What is the moral significance of John’s act here? Surely it is this: John would never see the risen Christ while he was “stooping down” and looking within the sepulcher! How many there are to-day who conduct themselves as John did! They wish to ascertain whether or not they are real Christians. And what is the method they pursue? How do they prosecute their inquiry? By self-examination, by introspection, by looking within! They attempt to find in their own hearts that which will give them confidence towards God. But this is like seeking to make fast a ship by casting the anchor within its own hold. The anchor must be thrown outside of the ship, so that, lost to sight beneath the waves, it pierces through the mud or sand of the ocean’s bed, and grips the rock itself. The surest way to discover whether or not I am trusting in Christ is not to peer within to see if I have faith, but to exercise faith, by looking away to its Object — faith is the eye of the soul, and the eye does not look at itself. If I look within, most likely I shall see only what John saw — the tokens of death! “Looking off unto Jesus” is what the Word says. “Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher” ( John 20:6). “How this illustrates that there are widely different temperaments among believers! Both ran to the sepulcher. John, of the two, the more gentle, quiet, reserved, deep-feeling, stooped down, but went no further. Peter, more hot and zealous, impulsive, fervent and forward, cannot be content without going into the sepulcher, and actually seeing with his own eyes. Both, we may be sure, were deeply attached to our Lord. The hearts of both, at this critical juncture, were full of hopes and fears, anxieties and expectations, all tangled together. Yet each acts in his own characteristic fashion!
Let us learn from this to make allowance for wide varieties in the individual character of believers. To do so will save us much trouble in the journey of life, and prevent many an uncharitable thought. Let us not judge brethren harshly, and set them down in a low place, because they do not see or feel things as we see and feel.
The flowers in the Lord’s garden are not all of one color and one scent, though they are all planted by the One Spirit. The subjects of Christ’s kingdom are not all exactly of one tone or temperament, though they all love the same Savior, and are written in the same book of life. The Church has some in its ranks who are like Peter, and some who are like John, but a place for all, and a work for all to do. Let us love all who love Christ in sincerity, and thank God that they love Him at all” (Bishop Ryle). “And seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself” ( John 20:6,7) In the Greek the word for “seeth” is different from that for “saw” in the preceding verse: the word used in connection with John signifies to take a glance; the one used of Peter means that he beheld intently, scrutinized.
The design of the Holy Spirit in this verse is obvious: He informs us that Peter found in the empty tomb the clearest evidences of a deliberate and composed transaction. There were no signs of haste or fear. What had taken place had been done “decently and in order,” not by a thief, and scarcely by a friend. “There they beheld, not their Object, but the trophies of His victory over the power of death. There they see the gates of brass and the bars of iron cut in sunder. The linen clothes and the napkin which had been wrapped around the Lord’s head, as though He were death’s prisoner, were seen strewing the ground like the spoils of the vanquished, as under the hand of death’s Conqueror. The very armor of the strong man was made a show of in his own house; this telling loudly that He, who is the plague of death, and hell’s destruction, had been in that place doing His glorious work.” (Mr.
J. G. Bellett). “Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed” ( John 20:8).
There is wide difference of opinion as to the meaning of this verse. What was it that John “saw and believed”? Many say that John saw the grave was tenantless and believed what Mary had said, — “they have taken away the Lord.” But John had already looked into the grave and seen the linen clothes ( John 20:5); what is said here in John 20:8 is clearly something different. But what alternative is left us? Only this, that John now believed that Christ had risen from the dead. But if this be the reference here, how are we to understand the next verse — “For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead?” Does not this bar out the thought that John now believed that Christ was alive?
We do not think so; the contrast pointed between John 20:8 and 9 is not between believing and not believing, but between the grounds on which faith rested!
We believe that the key to the meaning of this verse lies in the word “saw.”
In the Greek it is a different one from that which is used either in John 20:5 or verse 6; the word here in verse 8 has the force of “perceived with the understanding.” But what was it that John now “saw”? In verse 5, when he looked into the sepulcher from the outside, he saw (by a glance) “the linen clothes lying”; but now, on the inside, he saw also “the napkin that was about His head not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself” ( John 20:7).
On this the late Mr. Pierson wrote: “‘Wrapped together,’ fails to convey the true significance. The original means rolled up, and suggests that these clothes were lying in their original convolutions, as they had been tightly rolled up around our Lord’s dead body. In John 19:40 it is recorded how they tightly wound — bound about — that body in the linen clothes; how tightly and rigidly may be inferred from the necessity of loosing Lazarus, even after miraculous power had raised up the dead body and given it life ( John 11:44). This explains John 20:8: ‘And he (John) saw and believed.’ There was nothing in the mere fact of an empty tomb to compel belief in a miraculous resurrection; but, when John saw, on the floor of the sepulcher, the long linen wrappings that had been so tightly wound about the body and the head, lying there undisturbed, in their original convolutions, he knew that nothing but a miracle could have made it possible.”
John “saw and believed” or understood: it was a logical conclusion, an irresistible one, drawn from the evidence before him. The body was gone from the sepulcher; the clothes were left behind, and the condition of them indicated that Christ had passed out of them without their being unwrapped.
If friends had removed the body, would they not have taken the clothes with it, still covering the honored corpse? If foes had removed the body, first stripping it, would they have been so careful to dispose of the clothes and napkin in the orderly manner in which John now beheld them?
Everything pointed to deliberation and design, and the apostle could draw only one conclusion — Christ had risen. Our blessed Lord had left the grave-clothes just as they had rested upon Him. He had simply risen out of them by His Divine power. We believe that this shows there is a deeper significance than is generally perceived in the angel’s word to the women, “Come see the place where the Lord lay” ( Matthew 28:6). The clothes themselves marked His resting-place, somewhat as one would leave the impression of his form upon the bed on which he had been lying — body, arms, head. Here then we have the first proof that the mighty Victor had risen from the sleep of death.
In leaving behind His grave-clothes an Old Testament type was strikingly fulfilled. Joseph, through no fault of his own, was cast into prison — the place of condemnation. While in prison he was numbered with transgressors — two, as Christ was crucified between the two thieves; to the one he was the means of blessing, to the other he was the pronouncer of judgment. All of this is so clear it needs no comment. But Joseph did not remain forever in the prison, any more than Christ continued in the tomb.
Joseph’s place of shame and suffering was exchanged for one of dignity and glory. But before he left the dungeon “he shaved himself, and changed his raiment” ( Genesis 41:14). So the Savior left behind Him the habiliments of death, coming forth clothed in immortality and glory. This was the pledge that at Christ’s second coming His people will also be rid forever of everything connected with the old creation — “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” ( Philippians 3:21). “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead” ( John 20:9).
Very searching and humbling is this. For three years these two leading apostles had heard our Lord speak of His resurrection, yet had they not understood Him. Again and again had He told them that He would rise again on the third day, yet had they never taken in His meaning. His enemies had remembered what He said (see Matthew 27:63), but His friends had forgotten! What a piercing rebuke was that of the angel’s — “He is risen, as he said” ( Matthew 28:6)! And again, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” ( Luke 24:5-7)!
But these words of Christ had fallen on unheeding ears. Moreover, the apostles had had the Old Testament Scriptures in their hands from the beginning, and such passages as Psalm 16:9-11, etc., ought to have prepared them for His resurrection. But wrong teaching in childhood, traditions imbibed in their youth ( John 12:34), had prejudiced them and made void the Word of God. This statement of John’s here brings out, once more, his trustworthiness as a wit ness. “Hereby it appears that they were not only honest men, who would not deceive others, but cautious men, who would not themselves he imposed upon” (Matthew Henry). “For as yet they knew not the scripture that he must rise again from the dead.” The Holy Spirit here contrasts a faith which rests on the Word of God, with an intellectual assurance which proceeds from mere external evidence. Much has been made by Christian apologists of the value of “evidences,” but it has been greatly overrated. Creation demonstrates a Creator, but the outward proofs of His hand do not move the heart, nor bring the soul into communion with Him — the written Word, applied by the Spirit, alone does that! “Facts are of high ‘interest and real importance; and as the Israelite could Point to them as the basis of his religion, to the call of Abram by God, and the deliverance of the chosen people from Egypt and through the desert and into Canaan, so can the Christian to the incomparably deeper and more enduring ones of the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Son of God, with the consequent presence of the Holy Spirit sent down from Heaven. But faith to have moral value, to deal with the conscience, to purify the heart, is not the pure and simple acceptance of facts on reasonable grounds, but the heart’s welcoming God’s testimony in His Word. This tests the soul beyond all else, as spiritual intelligence consists in the growing up to Christ in an increasing perception and enjoyment of all that God’s Word has revealed, which separates the saint practically to Himself and His will in judgment of self and the world. “To ‘see and believe’ therefore is wholly short of what the operation of God gives us; as traditional faith or evidence answers to it now in Christendom. It is human, and leaves the conscience unpurged and the heart without communion. It may be found in him who is in no way born of God ( John 2:23-25), but also in the believer as here; if so, it is not what the Spirit seals and in no way delivers from present things. And this it seems to be the Divine object to let us know in the account before us. Faith, to be of value and have power, rests not on sight or inference, but on Scripture.
And as the disciples show the most treacherous memory as to the words of the Lord till He was raised up from the dead ( John 2:22), so were they insensible to the force and application of the written Word: after that they believed both, they entered into abiding and enlarging blessing from above. This, as Peter tells us in his first Epistle ( 1 Peter 1:8), is characteristically the faith of a Christian, who, having not seen Christ, loves Him; and on whom, though not now seeing Him but believing he exults with joy unspeakable and full of glory. The faith that is founded on evidences may strengthen against Deism, Pantheism, or Atheism, but it never gave remission of sins, never led one to cry Abba Father, never filled the heart with His grace and glory who is the Object of God’s everlasting satisfaction and delight” (The Bible Treasury). “Then the disciples went away again unto their own home” ( John 20:10). “Here also we have the further and marked testimony of its powerlessness (John’s ‘believing’ A.W.P.). The fact was known on grounds indisputable to their minds but not yet appreciated in God’s sight as revealed in His Word, and hence they return to their own unbroken association” (Bible Treasury).
Doubtless this is one reason why the Holy Spirit recorded this detail, but are we not meant to link it up with John 19:27 as well “From that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” Did not Peter and John now hasten to tell the Savior’s mother that He was risen from the dead!
The following questions are to aid the student for our next lesson: — 1. What is the typical picture in verses 11-23? 2. Why did not Mary recognize Him in verse 15? 3. Why did she recognize Him in verse 16? 4. Why “touch Me not,” verse 17? 5. Why refer to the ascension here, verse 17? 6. What do the last words of verse 19 prove? 7. Why the repetition in verse 21 from verse 19?