Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:13

And they *said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She *said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Friendship;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Love;   Mary;   Trouble;   Women;   Thompson Chain Reference - Dead, the;   Mary;   Mortality-Immortality;   Resurrection;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Angel;   Resurrection;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Angel;   Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Tammuz;   Thomas;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Hour;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Resurrection of Jesus Christ;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Manuscripts;   Mary;   Tears;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lord;   Mary Magdalene ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Mary;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Papyrus;   Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for November 1;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

They have taken away my Lord - It was conjectured, on John 19:42, that the body of our Lord was only put here for the time being, that, after the Sabbath, they might carry it to a more proper place. Mary seems to refer to this: They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. This removal she probably attributed to some of our Lord's disciples, or to some of his friends.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

They have taken away - That is the disciples or friends of Jesus who had laid him there. Perhaps it was understood that the body was deposited there only to remain over the Sabbath, with an intention then of removing it to some other place of burial. Hence, they hastened early in the morning to make preparation, and Mary supposed they had arrived before her and had taken him away.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-20.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

Mary Magdalene, like Peter and John earlier, despite all that Jesus had taught, was another who had never really believed in the resurrection. The inclusion of such facts by John shows how impossible and preposterous was the falsehood that the Lord's disciples stole his body for purposes of pretending a resurrection had occurred. On the contrary, they hardly believed it after the fact, being singularly blind to it, until the absolute and overwhelming proof of it enlightened them, Matthew recording the launching of the lie that the apostles stole the body (Matthew 28:11-13); and it may be assumed that the falsehood was still being repeated in John's time. The conduct of two of the Lord's most intimate disciples, as well as that of Mary Magdalene, demonstrated the incapacity of the disciples either to contrive or advocate such a falsehood.

Woman, why weepest thou ...? The victory had been won, Satan crushed, death vanquished, and salvation for humanity made possible; but Mary, as yet, did not know it. The stone had been rolled from the grave but not from her heart. Her devotion was rewarded by the very first appearance of our Lord after the resurrection. Even the appearance of two angels in the shining livery of heaven afforded no relief of her sobbing grief. Angels could not take his place in her heart; and thus has it ever been with them that love Jesus.

No angel could his place have taken, Highest of the high though he. The loved one on the cross forsaken Was one of the Godhead Three.[4]

Because they have taken away my Lord ... Stupefied by grief, Mary apparently took no note at all of the angels. She answered their question, but at once turned away from them. No interpolator, forger, redactor, or falsarius could ever have come up with a thing like this. Two mighty angels from heaven opened up a conversation with weeping Mary; but she only made the necessary reply and turned away! How mightily is that soul held in thrall whose heart's love is fastened upon Jesus Christ our Lord!

ENDNOTE:

[4] L. O. Sanderson, Christian Hymns Number Two (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1948), Hymn No. 187, What Did He Do?

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And they say unto her, woman, why weepest thou?.... Signifying, that she had no reason to weep, but to rejoice and be glad; since, though the body of her Lord was not there, yet he was risen from the dead, and was alive. This they said, partly to rebuke her for her grief, and to comfort her under it: Beza's ancient copy adds here, as in John 20:15 "whom seekest thou?" and so does the Ethiopic version: "she saith unto them"; without any concern of mind about what they were, and as if they had been of the human kind; for her grief made her fearless, and she cared not who she opened the case to, so that she could get any relief, and any tidings of her Lord:

because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him; and which she thought was reason sufficient for her weeping; could she but have known, that if he was taken away, it was by his friends, and was well used, and she could have had the opportunity of paying her last respects to him, it would have been a satisfaction; but nothing short of this could dry up her tears.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 20:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away c my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

(c) Mary spoke as the common people used to speak: for they spoke of a dead carcass as they did of a living man.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 20:13". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-20.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Woman, why weepest thou? — You would think the vision too much for a lone woman. But absorbed in the one Object of her affection and pursuit, she speaks out her grief without fear.

Because, etc. — that is, Can I choose but weep, when “they have taken away,” etc., repeating her very words to Peter and John. On this she turned herself and saw Jesus Himself standing beside her, but took Him for the gardener. Clad therefore in some such style He must have been. But if any ask, as too curious interpreters do, whence He got those habiliments, we answer [with Olshausen and Luthardt] where the two angels got theirs. Nor did the voice of His first words disclose Him to Mary - “Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?” He will try her ere he tell her. She answers not the stranger‘s question, but comes straight to her point with him.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-20.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I do not know (ουκ οιδαouk oida). Singular here, not plural as in John 20:2, because clearly Mary is alone here. But the problem is the same. She did not see Peter and John at the tomb.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

She saith

She is so absorbed in her grief and love that she is not appalled by the supernatural manifestation which, under ordinary circumstances, would have terrified her, but enters into conversation as if addressed by a human being.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-20.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

and she beholdeth two angels in white sitting1, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain2.

  1. And she beholdeth two angels in white sitting. Her grief at the loss of the Lord is so great that she forgets to be frightened at the angels; just as a mother in her anxiety for the sick child forgets to fear its fever, no matter how virulent.

  2. One at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. The angels were placed like cherubim upon the ark, as though the grave of Christ was a new mercy seat, which indeed it was. See Exodus 25:19,20.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 20:13". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Жена! что ты плачешь? Из других Евангелий можно вывести, что ангел сказал нечто большее. Но Иоанн кратко передает суть его речи, поскольку этого вполне достаточно для подтверждения воскресения Христова. Речь ангела состоит из упрека и утешения. Он попрекает Марию в неуместном плаче, и одновременно внушает ей радость. Он говорит, что для плача нет причины, ибо Христос воскрес.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

Ver. 13. Woman, why weepest thou?] Angels pity human frailty still, and secretly suggest comfort. But Mary had no such cause to cry, if she had known all, but to rejoice rather; so hath a Christian, in what condition soever, all things reckoned. Had Elizabeth known she should have been queen, she would not have wished herself a milkmaid. Saints are "heirs of the kingdom," saith James, James 2:5, heads destinated to the diadem, saith Tertullian; what mean they then to be at any time in their dumps?

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 20:13

There is Reason in the Tears of Mary, for

I. They show her strong and tender love—the most reasonable of all possible forms of love—the love which she had for the perfect moral Being, our Lord Jesus Christ.

II. They expressed her bitter disappointment. She had come to find Him, and He was gone. "They have taken away my Lord."

III. They imply her longing for more knowledge about Him than she has, as yet.

IV. They are the earnest of her perseverance.

H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 937.

References: John 20:13.—Parker, Ark of God, p. 162.—Christian World Pulpit, vol. vi., p. 198; vol. x., p. 362.—Church of England Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 183. John 20:14-16.—J. G. Rogers, Christian World Pulpit, vol. vii., p. 193.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-20.html.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. That the best company in the world will not satisfy or content such as are seeking for Jesus Christ, when they find not him whom their souls seek: Mary now enjoyed the presence and company of two angels, but this did not satisfy her in the absence of Christ himself.

Observe, 2. How passionately did Mary mourn for the loss and want of Christ's bodily presence, thereby giving testimony of her great affection towards him; but truly our love to Christ is best shown, not by our passionate desires for his bodily presence, but by our holy longings after his spiritual presence in his word and ordinances here on earth, and his blessed and immediate presence in heaven.

Observe, 3. How Christ may be present with, and very near unto, his people, and yet not be presently discerned by them: Jesus stood by Mary, and she knew not that it was Jesus. Her not expecting a living Christ, was one cause why she did not discern him.

Observe, 4. How exceedingly Mary's thoughts were taken up with Christ. She saith to the gardener, If thou have borne him hence.

What him? She doth not say whom, but her heart was so taken up with Christ, and her mind so full of him, that she concluded every body would understand whom she meant, though she did not say whom she meant.

Hence note, that the soul of a sincere believer is full of earnest and longing desires after Jesus Christ.

2. That such a soul is yet sometimes at a loss for Christ, and cannot tell where to find him.

3. That whilst the soul is at a loss for Christ, its desires are often quicker and more stirring after Christ. This was the case of Mary here; with the spouse by night on her bed, and early in the morning, she sought him whom her soul loved.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 20:13". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-20.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

13.] Here again the finest psychological truth underlies the narrative. The other women (Mark 16:5; Luke 24:5) were afraid at the vision; but now Mary, having but one thought or desire, to recover the lost Body of her Lord ( τὸν κύριόν μου), feels no fear.

The angels doubtless are proceeding further to assure her as they did the women before:—but this is broken off by the appearance of the Lord Himself, or perhaps by Mary’s turning away.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:13". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-20.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:13. γύναι, woman) They address her respectfully, as if she were unknown to them. So John 20:15, γύναι, woman; a title of respect, answering to the κύριε, Sir or Lord, in her reply. Comp. with this John 20:16, ΄αρία, Mary!τί κλαίεις; why weepest thou?) She ought rather to have wept, if she had found His dead body. [Her not finding it was really cause for joy, as implying that He had risen again.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:13". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-20.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "John 20:12"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13.Woman—A perfectly respectful address.

Why weepest thou?—Asked, not because they knew not why she wept, but to open the way to make her know that there was no reason to weep.

They have taken away—It may be that she supposed Joseph had intended the sepulchre to be but a temporary abode for the body, and had intended to remove it to some other place.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The angels asked Mary why she was weeping because weeping was inappropriate in view of Jesus" resurrection. However, Mary did not yet comprehend that Jesus had risen. Her answer revealed that she still thought that someone had removed Jesus" body from the tomb. She still doubted the Resurrection in spite of the angels" earlier announcement that Jesus had risen from the dead. That earlier announcement had produced some initial enlightenment and joy ( Matthew 28:6; Matthew 28:8; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:6; Luke 24:8). Mary still wanted to mourn over Jesus" body but did not know where it was. Perhaps her inconsistent behavior is more understandable if we remember that many people in that part of the world still express their grief almost uncontrollably.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-20.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 20:13. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. Mary’s reply betrays neither consternation nor even surprise: as has been well said, her excitement is such that the wonderful ceases to be wonderful to her. Her words are exactly the same as those spoken by her in John 20:2, except that, as she is now expressing simply her own feelings and not those of companions, the utterance becomes more tender: thus for ‘the Lord’ and ‘we know’ we here read ‘my Lord,’ ‘I know.’ She thus comes before us as more fully prepared for receiving a manifestation of the risen Saviour; and that no answer of the angels is recorded may be regarded as a token on the part of the Evangelist that to such a faith Jesus will reveal Himself directly, and without the interposition of any other.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-20.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Woman. See on John 2:4.

have taken = took. Lord. App-98. A.

have laid = laid.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? - You would think the vision too much for a lone woman. But absorbed in the one Object of her affection and pursuit, she speaks out her grief without fear.

She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him

- the very words she had used to Peter and John (John 20:2) are here repeated to the bright visitants from the world of light: q.d., 'Can I choose but weep when thus bereft?'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-20.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?—Comp. Matthew 28:5.

Because they have taken away my Lord.—The passionate feeling of John 20:2 still has entire possession of her mind. It is now more fervent, for she is not addressing her own friends and the Lord’s disciples: “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.” (Comp. Note on the plural, “we know not,” in John 20:2.) She is here alone, speaking to strangers, and may, therefore, have used the singular, whether she went in the early morning with other women or not.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
Woman
2:4; 19:26
why
15; 14:27,28; 16:6,7,20-22; 1 Samuel 1:8; Psalms 43:3-5; Ecclesiastes 3:4; Jeremiah 31:16; Luke 24:17; Acts 21:13
Because
Reciprocal: Matthew 28:2 - for;  Matthew 28:5 - ye seek;  Luke 7:13 - Weep not;  Luke 24:31 - their eyes;  Philippians 3:8 - my;  Hebrews 7:14 - Our Lord;  Revelation 5:5 - Weep

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Mary: Needless Trouble

John 20:13

This weeping woman, standing beside the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, is a typical rather than a unique character in human history. Specially is she typical of those people who are always missing the point in Christian narrative and Christian doctrine. They are faithful, kind, intelligent, deeply and richly sympathetic, but the miss they point. They go long journeys in order to get Wisdom of Solomon, but they always leave the principal thing behind them; they put away the key so carefully that they never know where to find it again, and their minds, though filled with conflicting thoughts, have lost all power of grouping events and shaping them into order and meaning. Mary rushed into the details of a controversy instead of standing a little way from it and catching its outlines and its general bearings. There is very much practical atheism in this devoted woman"s talk. Though she is speaking to angels, she has left God out of her sobbing and tearful speech, and consequently the words which ought to have glowed with a sublime faith are only feverish with personal disappointment, and more or less of peevish complaint. She speaks as if the whole question lay between certain other people and herself; thus, "They have taken" and "I know not." She is lost where millions of other people have been lost; that is to say, in the murky and noisy region of second causes. She was calculating time by her own ill-going clock, and not taking the hour from the unchanging and truth-telling sun; just what we are all doing—and in the doing of which we bring ourselves to disappointment and tears.

Many of us ought to take our stand beside Mary. Those, for example, who are unable to see the divine hand far above all human meddling and strife. To many of us human history is but a disorderly and haphazard movement, an undisciplined and scrambling race, a neck-or-nothing race, enlivened with rude wit or degraded by ruder pleasures. Where is the religious eye that sees God above it all, and that can trace his hand in all the grotesque and riotous features of the course? Mary said that somebody had done mischief—had taken away her Lord; the idea never occurring to her that her Lord might have taken himself away; and thus she missed the point. She saw the Jews, the Romans, the mad rabble, the cruel and hilarious executors, clearly enough; but the divine hand was hidden from her eyes. And what is human history without that hand? A piece of mischief, truly—a gambling speculation or a murderous fight; but when that hand is seen the whole spectacle is changed—it is a chaos out of which order will come, and music and peace that will last for ever. In the meantime we are victimised by our own senses; our eyes deceive us, and our ears and our hearts have lost the power of completely trusting God; and so life has become an enigma without an answer, and a fight in which the strong man wins all, and that all is less than nothing and vanity. That heart-broken, crying woman is this day the centre of a vast multitude of people, all of whom are equally blind to the supreme Presence, though but few of them express their deprivation in tears of helplessness and sorrow.

The great company thus gathered around Mary may be increased by the addition of the innumerable host who in all ages have given themselves up to unnecessary grief. Truly there was no occasion for Mary"s tears. The angels said unto her, "Woman, why weepest thou?" Mary had her answer ready, but it was an answer founded upon a mistake. So we, too, have doubtless some explanation of our grief, but our explanation may be but a fool"s answer, or a blind man"s guess as to the things that are round about him. Are not God"s angels often asking why men weep and mourn and pine in heaviness of heart? The angels see the things that are hidden from us. In the dead seed they see the coming harvest. Behind the bleak east wind they see the fair spring ready to spread her flowers at our feet when the unbidden and unwelcome visitor is gone. We see the underside of the pattern which God is weaving; they see the upper side in all the charm of its celestial colour and all the beauty of its infinite perfection. Over sin we may weep night and day, hut over God"s providence no tear of grief is either pious or reasonable. No doubt it is a providence full of mystery, a road of deep declivities and sharp curves, with many a jungle and many a den where beasts may lurk in cruel patience for their prey; yet there is a foot-track through it all onward to the summer landscape aid the harvest plain. Why weepest thou? Surely not over the child who has gone to the care of the angels and the sweet rest of the pure skies? Surely not over the disappointment whose sharpness has taught thee thy best prayers and mellowed thy voice to the tenderest music? Why weepest thou? If for sin, weep on; if for God, your tears are not vain only, but unnatural and impious. When Mary knew but part of the case, she wept over it; when she knew it all, her joy became almost a pain by its very keenness. So shall it be with ourselves in the revelations which are to come. We cannot stop the tears now—they will come—they must come; but out of every tear shed over the unknown or misknown way of God there will come a new and surprising joy.

The company round about Mary may be increased by another large accession; those, namely, who can only recognise Christ under certain forms and in certain places. If Mary had seen the dead Christ in the grave, probably she would have felt a sad satisfaction; to look at the face cold and pain-stricken, but still sweet with ineffable tenderness, would have brought a comfort welcome to the bereaved heart. But the idea of death having been turned to life never occurred to her. She little thought that this water could be turned into wine, and that all the signs and wonders of Christ"s ministry could culminate and be repeated in the magnificent miracle of his resurrection. Christ was infinitely larger in spiritual influence than Mary had imagined, and he is infinitely larger and grander than any Church has conceived him to be. I would to God I could adequately rebuke all theological and ecclesiastical narrowness. There are people who would rather have a dead Christ in their own sect and ritual than a living Saviour outside of their own approved boundaries. There are others who care more for their own idealised pictures of Christ than they would for the living man himself, were he to look upon them face to face. Now, upon this matter we may all have much to learn. For my own part, I find Christ in all Churches where the Christly spirit is. Christ is not a theory; he is a divine and infinite life, infusing himself into our spirit and history in innumerable and unnamable ways, covering and absorbing all theories, and honouring all honest thought, and reverent doubt, and pure aspiration. The people who mistake a crucifix for a cross are not unlikely to mistake a dead dogma for a living faith. Christ lives in Unitarianism and in Trinitarianism, in the expiatory atonement and in the sympathetic reconciliation, in the resonant Christian anthem and in the sweet children"s song; and until this fact is recognised, and not merely recognised but illuminated and glorified, Christendom will be rather a congeries of squabbling sects than a living and indissoluble Church. But the devil of sectarianism can only be expelled by prayer and fasting. As a Protestant, I wish I loved Christ as some Papists have loved him. As a deeply convinced believer in the Godhead of Jesus Christ, I wish I could know him, and preach him as some believers in his simple humanity have done; and as one who subscribes with his whole heart the evangelical creed, I wish I could get views of truth which have opened upon men who have stood on the bare rocks and slippery places of speculative doubt, or even of intellectual antagonism. What man has seen all the truth of God? In what single pulse throbs the solemn eternity? Into what sectarian hut has God crowded all the riches of heaven? You may find Christ everywhere if you seek him with a true heart; not, perhaps, just in the way you expected, not nominally, not formally, but in all the subtlety of his spiritual power, and all the tenderness of his recovering and comforting grace. You will not suppose that we are to be blind to each other"s errors, real or fancied; on the contrary, we are bound to detect and expose those errors, but we are to look for them with the eye of love, and to refute them with the tongue of charity. Controversy may be elevated into an instrument of high spiritual education, or it may be degraded into a weapon for fighting rude and godless battles.

Another addition may be made to the great crowd already gathered around Mary; those, namely, who are always talking about Christ as if he were absent: it is a historical Christ they refer to—a Christ that once was, but no longer is—a Christ taken away, hidden, or otherwise lost. Now, at the very moment of Mary"s complaint, the Lord was looking at her and listening to her! She thought he was the gardener! How clearly this shows that though we may think we know Christ, yet we know him only in one aspect, and if we happen to see him in any other we actually know nothing about him. This selfsame thing is occurring every day, infinitely to the disadvantage of cur Christian education and to the sad disproof of our supposed growth in spiritual perception and sympathy. We only know Christ in one place, in one ritual, in one theology, in one Church. Take him out of these, and he becomes a common Prayer of Manasseh, unknown, and suspected of stealing Christ, stealing himself! Lord, pity our ignorance, and save it from becoming sin, and save thy preachers from the infinite disgrace of speaking to their Lord as a suspected stranger! Probably there is not in all history so striking an illustration of not knowing Christ except in one particular form and guise. Some persons do not know Christ except from the lips of their favourite preachers. Others do not think they have kept Sunday properly unless they have attended a particular place of worship. Some people can only see Christ in church. I would see him and hear him everywhere: in all history, in all communions, in commerce, in art, in all the endeavours and enterprises of civilisation. Ye fools and blind, ye can read the face of the sky—can you not discern the signs of the times?

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Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on John 20:13". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/john-20.html. 1885-95.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

13.Woman, why weepest thou? From the statements of the Evangelists, it may be readily concluded, that the angel held a long conversation; but John gives a brief summary of what was spoken, because this was sufficient for proving the resurrection of Christ. The conversation consists of reproof mingled with comfort. The angel reproves Mary for her excessive weeping, but, at the same time, mingles joy, when he says that there is no reason to weep, since Christ has risen.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.