Bible Commentaries
John 20

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Mary Magdalene ; Matthew 28:1 . Believing woman, last at the cross and first at the tomb, has often manifested quenchless love for the Redeemer, and dauntless courage in his cause.

Verse 2

The other disciple ; John.

Verse 8

He saw , and believed ; that Jesus was risen from the dead. The fact that the grave-clothes had all been left in the tomb, arranged in orderly manner, convinced him that the body of Jesus had not been taken away by friends or foes.

Verse 9

For as yet they knew not ; as much as to say, They needed this evidence of sight to convince them, because they did not yet understand the Scriptures.

The scripture ; Psalms 2:7 ; Psalms 16:9-10 ; Psalms 110:1 ; Acts 2:25-36 ; Acts 13:33 .

Verse 11

We are often distressed and weep at that which springs from and is the manifestation of infinite love, and which will best promote the glory of God and the everlasting good of men.

Verse 14

Christ is often much nearer to us, and much better acquainted with our condition, than we imagine; and he can easily so manifest himself that our weeping shall be turned to joy, and our mourning to praise.

Verse 15

Supposing him to be the gardener ; the keeper of the garden in which the body of Jesus was buried. Matthew 27:60 .

Verse 16

After his resurrection, Christ first showed himself to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils; not to Mary his mother. He would not by word or deed do any thing to countenance the superstitious reverence and idolatrous worship which has since been offered to the Virgin.

Verse 17

Touch me not ; when Christ met the two women, Matthew 28:9 , they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Mary might now be approaching for this purpose. But Jesus wished her without delay to go and tell his disciples that he was risen from the dead. She would have opportunity before his ascension for all proper expressions of her regard for him.

Verse 19

The same day at evening ; the first day of the week, which was from that time, and has ever since been observed as the Lord’s day, the Christian Sabbath. Verse John 20:26 ; Acts 20:7 ; 1 Corinthians 16:2 ; Revelation 1:10 .

From the resurrection of Christ to the present time, his people have assembled for public worship on the first day of the week, and while thus assembled he has often manifested himself to them as he does not to the world, and kindly spoken peace to the souls.

Verse 20

He showed unto them his hands ; to convince them that he was certainly raised from the dead. Christ appealed to and admitted the correctness of the judgment of our senses. To these the evidences of his miracles and of his resurrection were addressed. By these it was known with perfect certainty, that his miracles were real, and his resurrection true; by these also it is known, with equal certainty, that the doctrine of transubstantiation is false.

Verse 21

Send I you ; to proclaim the gospel, and make known the way of salvation.

Verse 22

Receive ye the Holy Ghost ; this was to fit them for their work. Jesus Christ, by his Spirit, will furnish his ministers for the discharge of all the duties to which he calls them; and they may at all times with affectionate confidence look to him for all needed aid.

Verse 23

Remit-retained ; the same power and authority are here conferred equally upon all the apostles, and no one is in any respect raised above another. The power conferred was, under the teaching of the Holy Ghost, to declare the way in which men can be pardoned, sanctified, and saved. Matthew 16:19 ; Matthew 18:18 .

Verse 24

Thomas ; chap John 11:16 .

Verse 25

Except I shall see ; this shows how difficult it was to convince even the disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Verse 26

After eight days ; on the next Lord’s day.

Verse 27

Reach hither thy finger ; this showed that Jesus knew what Thomas had said.

Verse 28

My Lord and my God ; this was addressed to Jesus Christ, and was commended by him as a just expression of true faith. Jesus Christ approves of being addressed by his people as their Lord and their God. The more they become acquainted with him, the deeper is their conviction that this is his true character, and the more do both affection and duty lead them thus to adore him. Chap John 5:23 .

Verse 29

Blessed are they ; they who like Thomas believe in Christ, and though they have not seen him, acknowledge him as their Lord and their God.

Verse 30

Signs ; miracles in proof of his divinity, and his resurrection from the dead.

Verse 31

Ye might believe ; exercise living faith in Christ, and through this faith be justified, sanctified, and saved. As the object of God in causing his truth to be written and printed was, that men might believe and be saved, all should be taught, and should be disposed to read it. It was given in this form to promote the salvation of men, and is often rendered effectual by the Holy Spirit for this purpose. It should therefore, without hinderance and without delay, be circulated among all people.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 20". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.