Partner with as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

John 20

Verse 1


1) "The first day of the week," (te de mia ton sabbaton) "Now on the first day of the week," Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1-2.


Three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, start for the sepulchre, before day, followed by other women bearing spices. They find the stone rolled back, then Mary Magdalene left to tell the disciples, Luke 23:55; Luke 24:9; John 20:1-2; Then Mary, the mother of James and Joses, drew nearer the tomb and saw the angel of the Lord, Matthew 28:2; She then went back to tell the other women who were bringing spices. While Peter and John, now told by Mary Magdalene arrived, looked in and went away, John 20:3-10; Then Mary Magdalene returned weeping, saw the two angels and Jesus, John 20:11-18; and then left as He told her to tell the disciples. Then Mary (the mother of James and Joses) who had met the women who were bringing spices, returned with them and saw the two angels, Luke 24:4-5. They too received the angelic message and left to tell the disciples when Jesus met them, Matthew 28:8-10.

2) "Cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark," (Maria he Magdalene erchetai proi skotias eti ouses) "Mary Magdalene came very early, while it was yet dark;" It was she who had been healed of possession by seven demons, who also was first directed by an angel to carry the resurrection message to the disciples, Mark 16:9; Luke 24:2.

3) "Unto the sepulchre," (eis to mnemeion) "To the tomb," Mark 16:1. It was yet so dark that she could not see into the tomb.

4) "And seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre," (kai blepei ton lithon ermenon ek tou mnemeiou) "And sees at a glance that the stone had and has been taken out of and away from the tomb entrance," and that the grave was open Luke 24:2. Though it was too dark to see inside she was certain the tomb had been disturbed.

Verse 2

1) "Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter," (trechei ou kai erchetai pros Simon Petron) "She then runs and comes (until she came) to Simon Peter," to tell him of the disturbance at the tomb, Mark 16:10.

2) "And to the other disciple," (kai pros ton allon matheten) "And she also ran to the other disciple," to report to him what she had found, John 13:23; John 19:26; John 21:7.

3) "Whom Jesus loved," (hon ephilai ho losous) "The one whom Jesus loved," as a dear friend or comrade, to John the writer of this gospel, John 21:20; John 21:24.

4) "And saith unto them," (kai legei autois) "And she told them," says to them, in excitement, breathless and anxious.

5) "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre," (eran ton kurion ek tou mnemeiou) "They took the Lord out of and away from the tomb," John 19:11-13. She did not yet realize that He had risen from the dead, and it had been too dark at first for her to see inside, only that the stone entrance was open, John 20:1; Luke 24:21.

6) "And we know not where they have laid him." (kai ouk oidamen pou ethekan auton) "And we do not know where they put or placed him," supposing that the legal authorities, either the Sanhedrin or the Roman soldiers, had removed the body of Jesus, The "we" indicates that other women had arrived before she left the tomb, after which they went into the preparation room, Mark 16:5.

Verse 3

1) "Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple," (ekselthen oun ho Petros kai ho allos mathetes) "Then Peter and the other disciple (John the modest writer of this gospel) went out from where Mary had run to them," John 13:23; John 2:1-7.

2) "And came to the sepulchre." (kai erchonto eis to mnemeion) "And they came toward the tomb," together, in haste, and in wonder. Luke mentions Peter only, Luke 24:12. But John was also an eyewitness, 1 John 1:1-3.

Verse 4

1) "So they ran both together" (etrechon de hoi duo homou) "So the two of them ran together," in eagerness to find what had disturbed the tomb, to solve Mary’s doubts and their own uncertainties.

2) "And the other disciple did outrun Peter," (kai ho allos mathetes proedramen tachion tou Petrou) "And the other disciple (John) ran ahead, more quickly than, or outran Peter," for love is more durable than impulsive zeal, John 13:30.

3) "And came first to the sepulchre." (kai elthen protos eis to mnemeion) "And he came first (in order) to the tomb," or ahead of Peter, who had run with him, after Mary Magdalene had brought them the report that the tomb had been emptied, John 20:2. John was perhaps younger than Peter.

Verse 5

1) "And he stooping down, and looking in," (kai parakupsas) "And upon stooping, and peeping inside," the tomb proper, through a small opening to the inner tomb, beyond the preparation room.

2) "Saw the linen clothes lying," (blepei keimena ta othonia) "He sees the sheets (with which Jesus had been wrapped) lying there," strips of linen that had been used to swathe the corpse of the Lord, Luke 24:12.

3) "Yet went he not in." (ou mentoi eiselthen) "However he did not enter or go in," with fear, with awe, with wonder, and with reverence he paused, in unbelief, Luke 24:11.

Verse 6

1) "Then cometh Simon Peter following him," (erchetai oun kai Simon Petros akolouthon auto) "Then comes (arrives) Simon Peter, following him," close behind.

2) "And went into the sepulchre," (kai eiselthen eis to mnemeion) "And he entered directly into the tomb," from which the stone had been rolled away: His natural impulsiveness drove him on as he went inside at once.

3) "And seeth the linen clothes lie," (kai theorei ta othonia keimena) "And he also sees the sheets lying," the ones with which Jesus had been wrapped for burial, in an orderly arrangement, a thing that made him wonder at what had happened, Luke 24:12. On what he saw he could draw first hand conclusions.

Verse 7

1) "And the napkin, that was about his head," (kai to soudarion ho hen epi tes kephales autou) "And the kerchief which was on his head," covering the forehead, eyes, nose, and mouth, similar to that used in Lazarus’ burial, that the Lord asked be removed when He raised him, John 11:44.

2) "Not lying with the linen clothes," (ou meta ton othonion keimenon) "Was not lying with the wrapping sheets," the strips of linen, John 20:6; John 1:14. This was evidence that the body had not been hastily snatched or stolen away.

3) "But wrapped together, in a place by itself." (alla choris entetuligmenon eis hena topon) "But it was lying aside or apart by itself, tidily wrapped up," or rolled up, as done by one with calm composure, not by a grave robber. These eye-witness details are recounted by John only, of the Gospel writers, later confirmed, 1 John 1:1-5.

Verse 8

1) "Then went in also that other disciple," (tote oun eiselthen kai ho allos mathetes) "Then at that point the other disciple (John himself) also went into the tomb," to be an eye-witness reporter, 1 John 1:1-5.

2) "Which came first to the sepulchre," (ho elthon protos eis to mnemeion) "The one who (outran the other) and came first to the tomb," John 20:4. He entered to stand or stoop and gaze until he saw the truth, that Jesus had risen.

3) "And he saw, and believed." (kai eiden dai episteusen) "And he (also) saw and believed," or was convinced that He was risen, not that His body had been stolen, when he had had time to review the evidence and remember the Lord’s pledge, Matthew 26:32.

Verse 9

1) "For as yet they knew not the scripture," (oudepo gar edeiasn ten graphen) "For they did not yet know or comprehend the scripture," the Old Testament prophecies regarding His resurrection, Luke 24:24-27; Luke 24:44-45. He believed first because of physical testimony.

2) "That he must rise again from the dead." (hoti dei auton ek nekron anastenai) "That it was necessary for him to rise again out of and from among the dead," from among dead corpses, Psalms 16:8-11; Acts 2:25; Acts 2:31; Acts 13:34-35. The empty tomb, neatly rolled burial linen strips, and the folded napkin were enough physical evidence to convince him of the certain resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Verse 10

1) "Then the disciples went away again," (apelthon oun hoi mathetai palin) "Then the disciples (Peter and John) went away again," away from the tomb, left it:

2) "Unto their own home." (pros hautous) "Directly to their own home or residence," satisfied or resigned to the fact that He had truly risen, John 21:3.

Verse 11


1) "But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping:" (Maria de heistekei pros to mnemeio ekso klaiousa) "Then Mary stood at the tomb, outside and away, weeping;" She returned after she told Peter and John and they outran her back to the empty tomb. It was Mary Magdalene, John 20:18; Mark 16:9.

2) "And as she wept," (hos oun eklaien) "Then as she was weeping," still thinking that the body of Jesus had been stolen, John 20:13.

3) "She stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre." (parekupsen eis to mnemeion) "She stooped (and) peeped into the tomb," into the burial place, after she had perhaps seen Peter and John come out of it, having found it empty.

Verse 12

1) "And seeth two angels in white sitting," (kai theorei duo angelous en likois kathezmeonus) "And she observed two angels sitting in white array," inside the empty sepulchre proper. when she and the other women had peeped in, then had gone into the preparation room, joining the sepulchre, Luke 24:3-4.

2) "The one at the head," (hena pros te kepale) "One toward the head," of the inner tomb where our Lord had lain reverently, indicating where Jesus had lain.

3) "And the other at the feet," (kai hena pros tois posin) "And one toward the feet," of the tomb where our Lord had lain. They came after Peter and John were gone.

4) "Where the body of Jesus had lain." (hopou ekeito to soma tou lesou) "Where the body of Jesus had (once) lain," in Joseph’s new tomb. Note Luke refers to these "angels in white" as two men, while Mark 16:5 recounts their seeing a young man, sitting on the right clothed in a long white garment; It was the "angel of the Lord," which spoke to them, Matthew 28:5. The informing angel was likely of Gabriel’s host, Hebrews 1:14.

Verse 13

1) "And they say unto her, Woman," (kai legousin aute ekeinoi gunoi) "And they ask her, woman," not shocking her at first with their good news announcement.

2) "Why weepest thou?" (ti klaieis) ’’Why do you weep?" This they asked to give her an opportunity to tell them of her grief, which they had been sent to relieve, Hebrews 1:14.

3) "She saith unto them," (legei autois) "She replied directly to them," explaining, earnestly, honestly.

4) "Because they have taken away my Lord," (hoti eran ton kurion mou) ’’They took my Lord," What, "they," she did not know, but likely the Roman soldiers or the Sanhedrin who had killed Him and set a guard at His tomb for three days, Matthew 27:62-66.

5) "And I know not where they have laid him," (kai ouk oida pou etnekan auton) "And I do not know where they have put him," John 20:2. She had surely wept at His death, been party to plans for His anointing for burial, and now grieved at the seeming sacrilege of His stolen body, a new occasion for tears, John 11:35.

Verse 14

1) "And when she had thus said," (tauta eipousa) "When she had said these things," to the inquiring angels, John 20:13.

2) "She turned herself back," (estra phe eis ta opiso) "She turned back," turned away from the tomb entrance, to meet Jesus face to face, the source of comfort for all one’s grief, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

3) "And saw Jesus standing," (kai theorei ton lesoun hestota) "And she observed Jesus standing there," right before her, at hand to help. Hebrews 13:5; John 14:1-3.

4) "And knew not that it was Jesus." (kai ouk edei hoti lesous estin) "And she did not know, recognize, or perceive that it was Jesus." It was not only because her eyes were dim from weeping but also because of His altered or changed resurrection appearance that she did not instantly recognize Him, as she had for more than three years since He cast the seven devils (mentally deranging spirits) out of her, Mark 16:9; Mark 16:12; Luke 24:16; John 21:4.

Verse 15

1) "Jesus saith unto her," (legei auto lesous) "Jesus said personally and directly to her," who had communed with the angels within the preparation room and sepulchre, John 20:11-13.

2) "Woman, why weepest thou?" (gunai ti klaieis) "Woman, why do you weep?" He too asked, not for information but to give her opportunity to express the occasion of her grief and frustration.

3) "She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him," (ekeine dokousa hoti ho kepouros estin auto) "Thinking that that one (Jesus) was the gardener, she replied to him," supposing him to be a gardener, servant of Joseph.

5) "Sir, if thou have borne him hence," (kurie ei su ebastasas auton) "Sir, if you have or did carry him away," because His body was in your way.

6) "Tell me where thou hast laid him," (eipe moi tou ethekas auton) "Tell me where you have put him;" Her statement indicates that she concluded that it had been inconvenient to keep the body in the garden and he had carried it elsewhere.

7) "And I will take him away." (kago auton aro) "And I will take him and bear him away." If this were the case she affirms that she will gladly take the body up and away and bury it elsewhere, So 3:2; Romans 8:11.

Verse 16

1) "Jesus saith unto her, Mary." (legei auti lesous Mariam) "Jesus said to her, Mary," Isaiah 53:1, revealing Himself as a friend, by showing that He recognized her, though she had not recognized who He was, John 10:3; John 21:17.

2) "She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni;" (strapheisa ekeine legei auto hebraisti hrabbouni) "That one (Mary) then turned and said directly to him in Hebrew, Rabboni," startled by His well known voice, So 3:4. With surprise, recognition, relief and joy out of deep sorrow, she exclaimed it.

3) "Which is to say, Master." (ho legetai didaskale) "Which it is said to mean, teacher," or my master, a true-hearted response and recognition of Him now, as Thomas did later, John 20:28.

Verse 17

1) "Jesus saith unto her," (legei aute lesous) "Jesus says to her," with forbidding caution,

2) "Touch me not;" (me mou haptou) "Do not touch me," or do not detain or delay me, for it appears that she was about to cast herself physically upon Him, to embrace Him, in earnest expression of affections for Him, as her Lord for more than three years, Mark 16:9; John 20:18.

3) "For I am not yet ascended to my Father:" (hopou gar anabebeka pros ton patera) ’’For I have not yet ascended (up bodily) to the Father;" and she was not to regard Him as she had before His death. For He would not have her think this was a visible permanent return for fellowship with His disciples.

4) "But go to my brethren, and say unto them," (poreuou de pros tous adelphous mou kai eipe autois) "But you go directly to my brethren and tell them," directly and personally, as my brethren, of whom I am not ashamed, Psalms 22:22; Romans 8:29; Hebrews 2:11. She must not detain and monopolize Him.

5) "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father;" (anabaino pros ton patera mou kai patera humon) ’’That I ascend directly to my Father and to your Father," John 17:11; Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 4:6.

6) "And to my God, and your God." (kai theon mou kai theon humon) "And to my God and to your God." They are children, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Him, and the Father and this He confirms to her, Romans 8:14-15: 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 3:26; Galatians 4:6-7.

Verse 18

1) "Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples," (Mariam he Magdalene angellousa tois mathetais) "Mary Magdalene then came of her own willing choice and announced to the disciples,’’ as an apostle to the apostles, forthwith, without delay, Matthew 28:10.

2) "That she had seen the Lord," (hoti heoraka ton kurion) "That I have seen the Lord;" Mark 16:10-11 indicates that "they believed not," though some of them, at least Peter and John, had seen and gone into the empty tomb, John 20:6-8.

3) "And that he had spoken these things unto her." (kai tauta eipen aute) "And that he had told these things directly and personally to her," Luke 24:10-11. And their words seemed as idle tales to the disciples and apostles.

Verse 19


1) "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week," (ouses oun opsias te hemera ekeine te mia sabbaton) "Then when it was (existed as) early evening, on the first one (day) of the week," on the new sabbath, the new day of rest and worship, the Lord’s day. Earlier in the evening He appeared to two disciples on the Emmaus road, Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36; 1 Corinthians 15:5.

2) "When the doors were shut," (kai ton thuron kekleismenon) "And when the doors had been shut," closed or fastened, so that His sudden appearance was surely a miraculous one, reminding them of His miracles in life, John 20:30-31.

3) "Where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews," (hopou esan hoi mathetai dia ton phrobon ton loudaion) "Where the brethren, church disciples were, gathered, had come together, congregated, or assembled, out of fear of the Jews," John 7:13; John 12:42; John 19:38; Acts 12:12-17. They were likely discussing the events of that day in awe and wonder.

4) "Came Jesus and stood in the midst," (elthen ho lesous kai este eis to meson) "Jesus came and stood and walked in the midst of the seven churches of Asia, Revelation 1:12-20; as also He appeared, Luke 24:36-37.

5) "And saith unto them, Peace be unto you." (kai legei autois eirene humin) "And he said directly personally to them, Peace to you all," or may peace exist in, to, or for all of you, as they were in awe, John 14:27; Ephesians 2:17. For this was the legacy that He had promised them.

Verse 20

1) "And when he had so said," (kai touto eipon) "And having said this," to quiet their fears and strengthen their faith, Romans 5:1. When they had been tranquilized by His presence and words,

2) "He shewed unto them his hands and his side." (edeiksen kai tas cheiras kai ten pleuran autois) "He showed (made bare) to them both his hands and his side," the nail scars and the spear scar in His side, when He had been pierced in His death on the cross, Luke 24:40; Colossians 1:20; Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10.

3) "Then were the disciples glad," (echaresan oun hoi mathetai) "Then the disciples rejoiced," expressed gladness, as the promised joy of John 16:22 was fulfilled.

4) "When they saw the Lord." (idontes ton kurion) "When they perceived the Lord," as He had promised them they would after "a little while," John 16:19-20.

Verse 21

1) "Then said Jesus to them again," (eipen oun autois ho lesous palin) "Then Jesus again said directly to them," to His assembled New Covenant church disciples, to impress upon them that He had come through a great conflict with victory.

2) "Peace be unto you:" (eirene humin) "Peace be to you all," in a special, spiritually comforting sense, in which He had promised them, John 20:19; John 14:27, as He repeated His greeting.

3) "As my Father hath sent me," (kathos apestalken me ho pater) "Just as the Father has and did send, commission, or mandate me," into the world, John 3:17; John 17:18; Galatians 4:4-5. So had He and would He send them.

4) "Even so send I you." (kago pempo humas) I send or mandate you all," to go into the world, Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; to commit to faithful men who may come after you, 2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 3:1-6.

Verse 22

1) "And when he had said this, he breathed on them," (kai touto eipon enephusesen) "And upon saying this, He breathed in and upon them;" The breathing as a symbol of the Holy Spirit that they were shortly to receive as a world-wide and age-long empowering force, to the church, forever, John 14:16-17; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4.

2) "And saith unto them," (kai legei autois) "And said directly to them," as they awaited the Pentecost outpouring of consecration, He breathed His own Spirit upon them, in confirmation of the Spirit’s soon coming from the Father, John 16:7-11.

3) "Receive ye the Holy Ghost:" (labete pneuma hagion) "You all receive the Holy Spirit," His presence, His power, and His guidance, a foretaste and earnest of pledge that was to be poured out on Pentecost, Acts 2:4; Acts 2:38.

Verse 23

1) "Whose soever sins ye remit," (an tinon aphete tas hamartias) "Of whomever you all forgive sins," or cause their sins to be remitted or forgiven. Note that in every instance such a pledge was made, it was addressed to the "church ye" as a body, not to any individual person, minister, bishop, priest, or pope, Matthew 18:18.

2) "They are remitted unto them;" (apeontai autois) "They have been forgiven to them," by pre-provision, through my sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection, but you are to remit them through being "witnesses unto me," to cause them to repent of their sins and believe the Gospel, Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21; Romans 1:16.

3) "And whose soever sins ye retain," (an tinon kratete) "Of whomever you all hold," retain, or fail to bear testimony, in "witnessing of me," John 15:16; John 15:26-27; Acts 1:8.

4) "They are retained." (kekratentai) "They have already been held," for unless men: 1) hear, Romans 10:17; Romans 2) repent, Luke 13:5; Acts 17:31; Acts , 3) believe in Christ, John 8:21; John 8:24; Acts 16:31; Mark 16:16, they shall be forever unforgiven.

Verse 24

1) "But Thomas, one of the twelve," (Thomas de eis ek ton dodeka) "Then Thomas, one out of the twelve," of the apostles, who had companied with Jesus through all His ministry, from the baptism of John, Matthew 10:2-3; Acts 1:21-22.

2) "Called Didymus," (ho legomenos Didymos) "The one who was and is called Didymus," meaning a twin, once willing to follow Jesus in death, John 11:16; Revelation 2:10.

3) "Was not with them when Jesus came." (ouk hen met’ auton hote ’ elthen lesous) "Was not with- them (the church assembly of disciples) when Jesus came," Why? No one knows why, that early sabbath evening or day, the first day of His resurrection, John 20:19. Where had he been? Why was he absent? Did he know that the other church disciples were meeting?

Verse 25

1) "The other disciples therefore said unto him," (elegon oun auto hoi alloi mathetai) "Then the other disciples said to him," told him plainly and firmly, with evident faith.

2) "We have seen the Lord." (heorakamen ton kurion) "We have beheld and observed the Lord;" Joyfully they said it to encourage him and to cause him to have joy, though he heard it with mistrust, misgiving, considered them to be hallucinating.

3) "But he said to them," (ho de eipen autois) "Then he said to them," in reply, responded with doubt and skepticism.

4) "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails," (ean me ido en tais chersin autou ton helon) "Unless I see (for myself) the mark, type, or imprint of the nails in his hands," where they were driven, Zechariah 12:10. He must have physical and visible and tactile or touch sensations, he asserted, before he would ever believe.

5) "And put my finger into the print of the nails," (kai balo ton daktulon mou eis ton topon ton helon) "And put or place my finger into the place, type, or imprint of the nails," which made holes in His hands and His feet, Psalms 22:16; Isaiah 53:7.

6) "And thrust my hand into his side," (kai balo mou ten. cheira eis ten pleuran autou) "And put my hand into his (lanced) side," where the lance penetrated when blood and water came after His death, John 19:34; John 19:37.

7) "I will not believe." (ou me pisteuso) "I will not believe, by any means," John 4:48, or simply will not be convinced that He is alive and that you all have seen Him. He was an all out skeptic still, regarding the resurrection of the Lord, as the other disciples had also been at first, Mark 16:11; Mark 16:13; Luke 24:11. Seven days Thomas went on living in doubt, dread, fear, and uncertainty.

Verse 26

1) "And after eight days again," (kai meth hemeras okto palin) "And after eight days had come again," literally on the eighth day, the second Lord’s day after His resurrection, in church assembly once again, for worship and fellowship, as before, John 20:19.

2) "His disciples were within, and Thomas with them:" (esan eso hoi mathetai autou kai Thomas met’ auton) "His disciples were assembled or gathered within a place of assembly, and Thomas was with them," the lingering, doubting twin, also called Didymus, John 20:24; John 11:16.

3) "Then came Jesus, the doors being shut," (erchetai ho lesous ton thuron kekleismenon) "When the doors had been and were shut Jesus came," of His own will, choice, and power! As He had a week before, John 20:19.

4) "And stood in the midst, and said," (kai este eis to meson kai eipen) "And he stood up in the midst and said plainly;" In the midst of the assembly, congregation, or New Covenant church that He had begun and spoke:

5) "Peace be unto you." (eirene humin) "Peace to you all," or may peace be to, for, with, in, and among you all, as He had said on the previous occasion, John 20:19; John 20:21; It was His customary greeting, as before His death, John 14:27; John 16:33; Colossians 3:15.

Verse 27

1) "Then saith he to Thomas," (eita legei to Thoma) "Then he said directly to Thomas," who had so firmly vowed his continuing unbelief that Jesus had arisen, as He had promised that He would, Matthew 26:30-31; and as the other disciples had affirmed to him, John 20:24-25.

2) "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands;" (phere ton daktulon sou hode kai ide tas cheiras mou) "Bring your finger gently right here, and behold closely my hands," for that is what you said was necessary to convince you, as a depraved, sign-demanding Jew, John 4:48; 1 Corinthians 1:21-22.

3) "And reach hither thy hand," (kai phere ten cheira sou) "And bring your hand here, slowly and gently," as you told your brethren you would have to do, to believe, John 20:25.

4) "And thrust it into my side:" (kai bale eis ten apistos alla pistos) "And do not be or exist faithless or skeptical, but you be faithful," exist as one of faith hereafter, being a lightbearer, a witnessing agent to which you have been called and ordained, Matthew 5:15-16; John 15:16; John 15:26-27; Matthew 10:3; Acts 1:8. Jesus offered to show him the physical evidence he required before he would believe in His resurrection, as also certified in prophecy by David, Psalms 22:16, some one thousand years before.

Verse 28

1) "And Thomas answered and said unto him," (apekrithe Thomas kai eipen auto) ’’Thomas replied and said directly and personally to him," to Jesus. Though his confession of faith was slow in coming, it now came with full expression, wholehearted commitment, Psalms 118:28; John 5:23.

2) "My Lord and my God." (ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou) "You are my Lord and my God," the whole of Redemption and Divinity to me, 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:3.


A pious man and woman had an only son, named Thomas, who, to the great grief of his parents, began to turn out wild. Mr. Rees, a worthy minister, went to lodge at the house, and the father and mother, -with many tears, informed him of the ungodliness of their son. The following morning, before family prayer, Mr. Rees took hold of the young man’s hand, and spoke very seriously and affectionately to him respecting his salvation. In family worship he prayed for him with great enlargement, and amongst others, used the following expression: "O Lord, say to this Thomas, ’Be not faithless, but believing,’ " The words, to use his own expression, entered his heart like a sword, and a permanent change was affected: he soon became a church member, and was an ornament to his Christian profession till death.

Verse 29

1) "Jesus saith unto him," (legei auto ho lesous) "Jesus responded to him," to his complete commitment of faith in Him as Savior and Lord, Proverbs 3:5-6.

2) "Thomas, because thou hast seen me," (hoti heorakas me) "Because you have seen me," visibly, as you required, in your own faithless, unregenerate mind, though an apostle and so long with me.

3) "Thou hast believed:" (pepisteukas) "You have believed, haven’t you?" You have now wholly committed yourself to my promise that after a little while you would see me again, after my resurrection, before I go back to my Father, John 16:17-20; John 14:1-3.

4) "Blessed are they that have not seen," (makarioi hoi me idontes) "Blessed are those who have not seen," as you have, the miracles during my ministry, and now my pierced and scarred resurrection body.

5) "And yet have believed." (kai pisteusantes) "And they have still believed," without seeing me as you have, because they received testimony of reputable people of integrity, Acts 10:43; Romans 4:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:8. These have an higher faith than that which comes from visual evidence.

Verse 30


1) "And many other signs truly did Jesus," (polla men oun kai alla semeia epoiesen ho lesous) "Then many other signs Jesus also did:" This is a summary statement of the purpose of which this Gospel was written. It recounted: 1) Prophetic, 2) Miraculous, and 3) the resurrection signs ... three kinds by which men should trust in Him, as the Lamb of God, John 1:29.

2) "In the presence of his disciples," (enopiso ton matheton) "Before or in the face to face presence of the disciples," who were witnesses, His called, chosen, as well as in the presence of many in the world, John 15:16; John 15:26-27.

3) "Which are not written in this book:" (ha ouk estin gegrammena en to biblio touto) "Which are not written (inscribed or recounted) in this book," Which means it was the last of the Gospels. Only a small amount of what He did and taught for more than three years of His active ministry could be recorded, John 21:25.

Verse 31

1) "But these are written," (tauta de gegraptai) "However these have been written," inscribed or recounted, as accurate, trustworthy, and sufficient accounts to render the world without excuse regarding Jesus Christ, Romans 2:1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

2) "That ye might believe," (hina pisteuete) "In order that, or for the purpose that you all may believe," as my church people, be convinced, or believe, with miraculous evidence, as well as prophetic evidence, of prophecies He fulfilled or finished, Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53:1-2; Matthew 1:21.

3) "That Jesus is the Christ," (hoti lesous estin ho Christos) "That Jesus is (exists as) the Christ," the Savior, Redeemer, or Messiah, John 3:17; John 4:25-26; John 4:29; Luke 19:10; Galatians 4:4-5.

4) "The Son of God;" (ho huios tou theou) "The Son (heir) of God," whom the Father sent, John 3:16-17; Matthew 3:17; Matthew 16:16.

5) "And that believing ye might have life," (kai hina pisteuontes zoen echete) "And in order that those who do believe may have, hold, or possess eternal life;" Note, life comes through heart-faith in Him, believing from the heart, the only thing the heart can do, regarding salvation, Acts 15:9; Romans 10:9-10; not by baptism, communion, morality, or reformation, etc., Ephesians 2:8-10.

6) "Through his name."(en to onomati autou) "In His name," authority, besides which name and apart from whom there is no Scriptural or eternal life or salvation for any person under heaven, John 8:21; John 8:24; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Acts 10:43; Romans 1:16; Titus 2:11-14.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on John 20". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.