Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:19

So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, "Peace be with you."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Peace;   Persecution;   Thompson Chain Reference - Appears, Christ;   Assembly;   Christ;   Day;   Dead, the;   First Day of the Week;   Lord's;   Lost;   Mortality-Immortality;   Opportunity;   Peace;   Rest-Unrest;   Resurrection;   Sabbath;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Miracles of Christ, the;   Resurrection of Christ, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Miracle;   Thomas;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jesus christ;   Lord's day;   Mark;   Resurrection;   Sabbath;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Resurrection of Christ;   Sabbath;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Church;   Hour;   Jews in the New Testament;   John, the Gospel of;   Lord's Day;   Resurrection;   Worship;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Resurrection;   Thomas;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Caiaphas (2);   Calendar, the Christian;   Cowardice;   Discourse;   Fear ;   Lord's Day;   Manuscripts;   Night (2);   Peace;   Peace (2);   Resurrection of Christ;   Sabbath ;   Upper Room (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Thomas ;   1910 New Catholic Dictionary - closed doors;   doors, closed;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Abba;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Salute;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Day;   John, Gospel of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Body, Spiritual;   Christ, the Exaltation of;   First;   Greeting;   Lord's Day;   Papyrus;   Peace;   Sabbath;   Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament;   Worship;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for June 1;   Every Day Light - Devotion for October 19;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The doors were shut - for fear of the Jews - We do not find that the Jews designed to molest the disciples: that word of authority which Christ spoke, John 18:8, Let these go away - had prevented the Jews from offering them any injury; but, as they had proceeded so far as to put Christ to death, the faith of the disciples not being very strong, they were led to think that they should be the next victims if found. Some think, therefore, that they had the doors not only shut, but barricadoed: nevertheless Jesus came in, the doors being shut, i.e. while they continued shut. But how? By his almighty power: and farther we know not. Yet it is quite possible that no miraculous influence is here intended. The doors might be shut for fear of the Jews; and Jesus might open them, and enter in the ordinary way. Where there is no need for a miracle, a miracle is never wrought. See on John 20:30; (note).

The evangelist has omitted the appearing of our Lord to the other women who came from the tomb, Matthew 28:9, and that to the two disciples who were going to Emmaus, Luke 24:13, etc., which all happened in the course of this same day.

Peace be unto you - His usual salutation and benediction. May every blessing of heaven and earth which you need be granted unto you!

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The same day at evening - On the first day of the week, the day of the resurrection of Christ.

When the doors were shut - This does not mean that the doors were fastened, though that might have been the case, but only that they were closed. Jesus had been taken from them, and it was natural that they should apprehend that the Jews would next attempt to wreak their vengeance on his followers. Hence, they met in the evening, and with closed doors, lest the Jews should bring against them the same charge of sedition that they had against the Lord Jesus. It is not certainly said what was the object of their assembling, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that it was to talk over the events which had just occurred, to deliberate about their condition, and to engage in acts of worship. Their minds were doubtless much agitated. They had seen their Master taken away and put to death; but a part of their number also had affirmed that they had seen him alive. In this state of things they naturally came together in a time and place of safety. It was not uncommon for the early Christians to hold their meetings for worship in the night. In times of persecution they were forbidden to assemble during the day, and hence, they were compelled to meet in the night. Pliny the younger, writing to Trajan, the Roman emperor, and giving an account of Christians, says that “they were accustomed to meet together on a stated day before it was light, and sing among themselves alternately a hymn to Christ as God.” True Christians will love to meet together for worship. Nothing will prevent this; and one of the evidences of piety is a desire to assemble to hear the Word of God, and to offer to him prayer and praise. It is worthy of remark that this is the first assembly that was convened for worship on the Lord‘s Day, and in that assembly Jesus was present. Since that time, the day has been observed in the church as the Christian Sabbath, particularly to commemorate the resurrection of Christ.

Came Jesus … - There is no evidence that he came into their assembly in any miraculous manner. For anything that appears to the contrary, Jesus entered in the usual way and manner, though his sudden appearance alarmed them.

Peace be unto you - The sudden manner of his appearance, and the fact that most of them had not before seen him since his resurrection, tended to alarm them. Hence, he addressed them in the usual form of salutation to allay their fears, and to assure them that it was their own Saviour and Friend.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-20.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

The first day of the week ... This was already pinpointed as the time of these events (John 20:1), and therefore the repetition of this fact is emphatic. Chief among the days of the week is Sunday, not Saturday; and this profound change began the day our Lord rose from the dead and met with his disciples. Such New Testament passages at Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1,26; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; and Revelation 1:10 are the Scriptural basis for observing Sunday, the first day of the week, as the correct day for Christian assemblies, contributions, communion, and all other acts of corporate Christian worship.

When therefore it was evening ... indicates that the old Jewish method of reckoning days is over with. There can be little doubt that this appearance behind closed doors took place after sundown. As Westcott noted:

The hour was evidently late, about 8:00 p.m. Time must be allowed for the return of the disciples from Emmaus, who were not likely to leave Jerusalem until after the evening prayer (Acts 3:1).[8]

Despite the lateness of the hour, it was still the first day of the week; and John, writing so long after the events, did not pause to explain a change which had been so long in effect.

This was the third, fourth, or even the fifth appearance of Jesus on this day. He had already appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 10:16), to a group of women (Matthew 28:9), to those on Emmaus road (Luke 24:31), and especially to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34). The apostles had gathered together, perhaps in that same upper room where they had met before. Luke tells of the disciples returning from Emmaus with such excitement and finding the apostles together in the scene before us.

Doors were shut ... for fear of the Jews ... Their fears were natural. They had seen their enemies in action and knew that no mercy, restraint, caution, or even honesty could be counted upon to temper the hatred of the Sadducees and Pharisees if they decided to move against them as they had moved against the Lord.

It is not known if the doors were locked, or only shut, that question being absolutely immaterial; because the point of the statement is that Christ appeared without the necessity of the doors' being opened. As Westcott said, "The clause (when the doors were shut) - can only have been added to mark the miraculousness of our Lord's appearance."[9]

In this connection, Luke records, concerning the appearance of Jesus on the Emmaus road, that "They knew him, and he vanished out of their sight" (Luke 24:31). The Lord's physical body, actual as it was, was not subject to ordinary mortal limitations. It is best not to bother with all the scholarly dissertations on the nature of Jesus' physical body after his resurrection. The apostles offered no explanations but only recorded the facts as they occurred. And what is the great fact here? It is that of Jesus' sudden dramatic appearance before the apostles and the two returning from Emmaus (who had already seen the Lord). This appearance provided positive and infallible evidence of the resurrection; the identification of Jesus was complete and undeniable; he was the one and the same person they had seen crucified and buried three days previously. This is the fact that crushed the head of Satan, set the apostles on fire with holy zeal, and sent them shouting down the ages, "He is risen! He is risen!"

Peace be unto you ... These were the last words Jesus had spoken, perhaps in that very room, when he went forth to endure the agony, arraignment, trials, mockery, and crucifixion. His greeting by the same words in this new context was a shout of victory, a declaration of confidence, and an outpouring of blessing upon the disciples. How welcome were those words! The far from perfect conduct of the group during the previous terrible days had probably left them filled with feelings of guilt and fear; but these glorious words dispelled the gloom.

[8] B. F. Westcott, The Gospel according to St. John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971), p. 294.

[9] Ibid.

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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 20:19". "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

Then the same day at evening,.... The same day Christ rose from the dead, and appeared to Mary; at the evening of that day, after he had been with the two disciples to Emmaus, about eight miles from Jerusalem, and they had returned again to the rest; and after there had been such a bustle all day in Jerusalem, about the body of Jesus; the soldiers that watched the sepulchre, giving out, by the direction of the elders, that the disciples of Christ had stolen away the body, while they slept:

being the first day of the week; as is said in John 20:1 and here repeated, to prevent any mistake; and that it might be clear what day it was the disciples were assembled together, and Christ appeared to them:

when the doors were shut; the doors of the house where they were, which it is plain was in Jerusalem, Luke 24:33 but whether it was the house where Christ and his disciples ate the passover together, or whether it was John's home or house, to which he took the mother of Christ, since he and Peter, and the rest, seem to be afterwards together in one place, is not certain: however, the doors were shut; which is not merely expressive of the time of night, when this was usually done; but signifies that they were really locked and bolted, and barred, for which a reason is given as follows:

where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews; after their scattering abroad upon the taking of Christ, and after his crucifixion was over; and especially after the report of his body being took away, they gathered together, and made fast the doors of the place, lest the Jews should come in upon them, and surprise them; for they might fear, that since they had took away their master's life, theirs must go next; and especially since it was rumoured abroad that they had stole away his body, they might be under the greater fear, that search would be made after them, and they be apprehended and brought into trouble on that account:

came Jesus and stood in the midst of them; on a sudden, at once, and when they had no thought or fear of anyone's coming upon them, without some previous notice; but he being the Almighty God, did, by his omnipotent power, cause the bars and bolts, and doors, in the most secret and unobserved manner, to give way to him, and let him in at once among them: when as a presage and pledge of the accomplishment of his promise to be with, and in the midst of his, when met together, either in private or public, he stood and presented himself in the midst of them: and to let them know at once he was no enemy,

he saith unto them, peace be unto you: שלום לכם, "peace be unto you", is an usual form of salutation among the Jews; see Genesis 43:23 expressive of all prosperity in soul and body, inward and outward, spiritual and temporal; and here may have a special regard to that peace he said he gave unto them, and left with them, upon his departure from them; and which he had obtained by the blood of his cross, and now preached unto them.

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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 20:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

5 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the f doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.

(5) Christ, in that he presents himself before his disciples suddenly through his divine power, when the gates were shut, fully assures them both of his resurrection, and also of their apostleship, inspiring them with the Holy Spirit who is the director of the ministry of the Gospel.

(f) Either the doors opened to him of their own accord, or the very walls themselves were a passage to him.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 20:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-20.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

John 20:19-23. Jesus appears to the assembled disciples.

The same day at evening, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus — plainly not by the ordinary way of entrance.

and saith unto them Peace be unto you — not the mere wish that even His own exalted peace might be theirs (John 14:27), but conveying it into their hearts, even as He “opened their understandings to understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45).

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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 20:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-20.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week. John particularly marks the time of this important event. It is the third or fourth appearance of the Savior upon this memorable day, and the first one to the apostolic body. By a comparison with Mark 16:14-16 and Luke 24:36, we learn that at the moment of his appearance they were discussing the story of the resurrection of which many refused to be convinced, so incredulous were they.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 20:19". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-20.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

When therefore it was evening on that day (ουσης ουν οπσιας τηι ημεραι εκεινειousēs oun opsias tēi hēmerāi ekeinei). Genitive absolute with οπσιαopsia (οπσιοςopsios late), old word with ωραhōra (hour) understood and here for the time from six to nine (John 6:16) and the locative case of time with ημεραιhēmerāi (day). John often uses this note of time (John 1:39; John 5:9; John 11:53; John 14:20; John 16:23, John 16:26). The addition of τηι μιαι σαββατωνtēi miāi sabbatōn (see John 20:1 for this use of μιαιmiāi like πρωτηιprōtēi) proves that John is using Roman time, not Jewish, for here evening follows day instead of preceding it.

When the doors were shut (των τυρων κεκλεισμενωνtōn thurōn kekleismenōn). Genitive absolute again with perfect passive participle of κλειωkleiō shut to keep the Jews out. News of the empty tomb had already spread (Matthew 28:11). See John 7:13 for the phrase “for fear of the Jews”; cf. John 12:42.

Stood in the midst
(εστη εις το μεσονestē eis to meson). Second aorist (ingressive) active (intransitive) of ιστημιhistēmi “stepped into the midst.”

Peace be unto you
(Ειρηνη υμινEirēnē humin). The usual oriental salutation as in John 20:21, John 20:26; Luke 24:36, here with probable reference to John 14:27 (Christ‘s legacy of peace).

Copyright Statement
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 20:19". "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

Assembled

Omit.

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The text of this work is public domain.
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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:19". "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.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 20:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-20.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first [day] of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.
    FIFTH APPEARANCE OF JESUS. (Jerusalem. Sunday evening.) Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25

Copyright Statement
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.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 20:19". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Came Jesus. Just before he appeared, however, the disciples from Emmaus came into the assembly, giving an account of what they had seen. (Luke 24:33.)

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-20.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

В тот же первый день. Евангелист говорит о том, что явление Христово доказало ученикам Его воскресение. Это произошло по провидению Божию: все собрались в одном месте, дабы вера в данное событие стала тверже и яснее. Следует отметить, сколь милостиво поступил с ними Христос, позволив им сомневаться лишь до вечера. Добавь к этому, что Он явился им, неся с Собой залог новой жизни, когда тьма заполонила весь мир. То, что ученики собрались вместе, говорит об их вере и благочестии. То же, что они скрывались, плотно заперев двери, свидетельствует об определенной немощи. Ведь даже в сильнейших и самых мужественных людях иногда возникает страх. Так и апостолы вострепетали, выдавая недостаток своей веры. Пример, достойный быть отмеченным особо. Ведь если апостолы вели себя недостаточно смело, они все равно не потакали своей немощи. Они скрываются в потаенном месте, пытаясь избежать опасности, но одновременно воодушевляются и пребывают вместе. Иначе они рассеялись бы в разные стороны, и никто их них не посмел бы взглянуть на другого. Так и нам надлежит сражаться с немощью нашей плоти и обуздывать свой страх, подталкивающий нас к отпадению. Христос же благословляет их усердие, явившись лично в их собрание. А Фома, словно заблудший воин, отошедший от полкового знамени, заслуженно лишается оказанной другим чести. Итак, пусть те, кто чрезмерно боязлив, научатся воодушевляться и изгонять плотской страх. Ведь прежде всего людям надо бояться собственного страха.

Двери дома. Это обстоятельство отмечается особо, поелику являет в себе пример божественной Христовой силы. Ведь некоторые думают, что Христу кто-то открыл двери, и Он вошел как обычный человек. Но они отступают от смысла евангельских слов. Надобно верить так: Христос вошел, совершив чудо, дабы доказать Свое божество и тем самым привлечь внимание учеников. Но при этом я не допускаю то, о чем твердят паписты: тело Христово насквозь прошло через закрытые двери. Они заявляют это для того, чтобы сделать Его прославленное тело не только подобным Духу, но и безграничным, не содержащимся ни в каком месте. Однако слова Писания говорят совсем об ином. Евангелист не утверждает, что Христос вошел через закрытые двери, но что Он неожиданно появился среди учеников, когда двери оставались закрытыми, и никто еще их не отворял. Мы знаем, что Петр также вышел из запертой темницы. Надо ли поэтому говорить, что он прошел через железо и засовы? Итак, пусть прекратят болтать об этих детских тонкостях, не имеющих под собой ничего твердого и влекущих абсурдные выводы. Нам достаточно, что Христос восхотел этим чудом запечатлеть в учениках веру в Свое воскресение.

Мир вам. Обычная форма приветствия у евреев, которые словом «мир» обозначают процветание и благополучие, необходимые для счастливой жизни. Речение это имеет следующий смысл: живите благополучно и счастливо. Я говорю об этом потому, что некоторые напрасно философствуют здесь о мире и согласии, хотя Христос хотел лишь пожелать ученикам счастья.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE MESSAGE OF PEACE

‘Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.’

John 20:19

The disciples’ sad and gloomy meeting was suddenly interrupted. A new and strange Presence is felt among them, and looking up they see Jesus standing in the midst.

I. Think first of Christ’s action.—He shows the disciples His hands and His side. What a proof of love was this! He shows the marks of His Passion. It was like calling up the Passion before them and reminding them of what He had done for them. But the great thing was that it showed Him to be the same as He had ever been. The Saviour loves to keep the marks of His Passion—those marks by which we may know Him. He keeps them still in heaven, for He Whom John saw in heaven—the Deliverer Who alone was strong enough to open the sealed book—was ‘a Lamb as it had been slain’; and it is to the Lamb that the worship of heaven is paid: ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ So He joins His Death and Resurrection together for our comfort.

II. And now listen to the Saviour’s words.—‘Peace be unto you.’ What wonderful—what blessed words to bring back from the grave—the very words they needed most! Their hearts were sad and heavy, dragged hither and thither with doubt and perplexity, and so He says, ‘Peace.’ ‘Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?’ ‘Peace be unto you.’ They were tormented with reproaches and regrets. They had served Him so badly—had acted so differently from what they had intended. Would He—even if it were true that He had risen—would He ever look upon them with favour again? Would He not be altogether estranged from them? And, lo! He comes, and, without a word of reproach or complaint, says, ‘Peace be unto you.’

III. That is His message to us.—That is the message of Easter—peace. Christ is here amongst us (though we cannot see Him) with words and thoughts of peace. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them,’ and wherever He is, He brings peace with Him, for ‘He is our peace, Who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us … so making peace.’ If you have been trying to kill your sins and bury them with Christ, then Easter Day brings the message of peace. It is not that the war is over—that there is nothing more to do. But we know that Christ has died for our sins and risen again—that He has conquered, and that we in Him may conquer too. The struggle is not over—never will be this side of the grave; but in the midst of the struggle—in doubt, and fear, and temptation—we shall still have peace and joy and hope.

—Rev. F. J. Middlemist.

Illustration

‘“Peace be unto you.” In the Greek it is only two words, “Peace to you.” Peace was the legacy of love He left with His people. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” And He closed His farewell discourses to His people with this word “peace.” “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace” (John 16:33). And what is peace? It is “joy reposing”; it is that true contentment, that quietness of mind, which flows from simple faith in Christ. It is the sweet calm in the soul of the forgiven sinner. And ever since the first Easter evening, from age to age, especially when His people have been persecuted, tempted, desolate, has Christ come to them and whispered, “Peace.” He has given them a peace which passeth all understanding of man by nature, a peace which the world cannot give, and a peace which passeth not away.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on John 20:19". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/john-20.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Ver. 19. When the doors, &c., for fear of the Jews] The sheep had been scattered, but now were by the great Shepherd recollected (according to the promise, Zechariah 13:7; "I will turn my hand upon the little ones"); yet, sensible of their late fright, they show some trepidation. Afterwards, when the Spirit came down upon them, they not only set open the doors, but preached Christ boldly in the temple without dread of danger. So did Basil; when the emperor threatened him with bonds, banishment, &c., he wished him to frighten babies with such bugbears; his life might be taken away, but not his faith; his head, but not his crown, {a} So Luther, at first so fearful and faint hearted, that in the year 1518, he wrote thus to the Pope Leo X: Vivifica, occide, voca, revoca, approba, reproba, vocem tuam vocem Christi in te praesidentis et loquentis agnoscam: I lay myself prostrate at your holiness’ feet, together with all that I am and have; quicken me, kill me, call me, recall me, approve me, reprove me, I shall acknowledge your voice to be the very voice of Christ, ruling and speaking in you. Yet afterwards he took more courage; witness among many other things, that brave answer of his to one that told him that both the pope and the emperor had threatened his ruin, Contemptus est a me Romanus et favor et furor. I hold in contempt both Roman goodwil and wrath. And when Spalatinus had sent unto him to inquire whether he would go to Worms, and appear in the gospel’s cause, if Caesar summoned him? Go, said he, I am resolved to go, though I were sure to encounter so many devils there as are tiles upon the houses. Omnia de me praesumas praeter fugam et palinodiam. Fugere nolo, multo minus reeantare. (Luth. Epist.)

{a} Pueris illa terriculamenta preponenda.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 20:19

The words "Peace be unto you" were the ordinary Jewish form of greeting, at least in later ages. The form marked the grave, religious character of the Hebrew race. Just as the Greek, in his natural gaiety of heart, bid his neighbour "Hail" or "Joy"—just as the Roman, with his traditional notions of order and law, wished him safety—so the Jew, with a deep insight into the scope of the word, would just wish him "Peace." The form itself was of high antiquity. When the steward of Joseph's house would reassure the trembling brethren of the patriarch, who had found their money in their sacks, and had returned to Egypt, he said, in language which he had probably, as an Egyptian slave, heard from his master, and repeated by his orders, "Peace be unto you." When the religious Jew would invoke God's blessing on the holy city, it took this form. He would pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "Peace be within thy walls, prosperity within thy palaces." And thus, as a great Hebrew scholar has observed, we never find this greeting of peace used in the Old Testament as a mere conventional expression which had lost its meaning. "Peace be unto you." The ordinary Jewish greeting, no doubt, as it fell on the ears of the apostles, assured them that Jesus had re-entered, at any rate for a while, and under conditions, upon the social life of man; but the form, the old familiar form, which gave this assurance, was charged now with a spiritual meaning and power which should last through all time. What, then, is the peace of Christ's resurrection blessing?

I. The exact word which our Lord used undoubtedly means, in the first place, thriving, prospering, when a thing is as it should be according to its capacity or its origin. In this way the word implies the absence of disturbing causes, of injury, of sickness, of unhappiness, of want. And thus the idea of rest results from the original meaning of the word. A man has peace, it has been well said, when things are with him as they should be; and peace then is the absence of causes which would disturb the well-being of a society or of a man. It is that well-being conceived of as undisturbed. The peace which Christ breathed on the apostles was that which is needed by a spiritual society. And this peace might mean, first of all, freedom from interference on the part of those who did not belong to it. No doubt as they listened to the sounds of the Jewish mob out in the street, resting as they were in their upper chamber on that Easter evening, the apostles thought of this sense of the blessing. It was for them an insurance against rough handling, against persecution. Certainly it was no part of our Lord's design that Christians should be at constant war with Pagan or Jewish society. On the contrary, the worshippers of Christ were to do what they could to live in social harmony with those who did not know or love their Master. And yet, if the apostles had thought that this was the meaning of the blessing, they would soon be undeceived. Pentecost was quickly followed by imprisonments, by martyrdoms. For three centuries the Church was almost continuously persecuted. The peace which Christ promised is independent of outward troubles. It certainly does not consist in their absence. Does the blessing, then, refer to concord among Christians? Certainly it was meant—we cannot doubt it—that peace should reign within the fold of Christ. He who is the author of peace and lover of concord so willed it; but neither here nor elsewhere did He impose His will mechanically upon baptised men. Such is our human imperfection that the very earnestness of faith has constantly been itself fatal to peace. Controversy, no doubt, is a bad thing; but there are worse things in the world than controversy. The existence of controversy does not forfeit the great gift, which our Lord made to His apostles on the evening of Easter day; for that gift was a gift—we cannot doubt it—chiefly and first, if not exclusively, to the individual soul.

II. Now, upon what conditions does the existence of this peace in the soul depend. (1) A first condition of its existence is the soul's possession of some definite religious principles. I say "some principles," because many men, who only know portions of the religious truth which is to be known and had in this life, yet make the most of the little they know, and may thus enjoy a large measure of inward peace. What is wanted by us men is something to cling to, something to fall back upon, something that will support and guide us amid the perplexities of thought—amid the impetuosities of passion. Without religious principles the human soul is like a ship at sea without chart, without compass. (2) The peace of the soul must be based on harmony between the conscience and our knowledge of truth. Now, this harmony is disturbed, to a certain extent, by the plain facts of every human life—to an immense extent by the facts of most human lives. Conscience, by its very activity—conscience, when it is honest and energetic—destroys peace, because it discovers a want of harmony between life and our highest knowledge. And here, too, our risen Lord is the giver of peace. What we cannot achieve, left to ourselves, we do achieve in and through Him. We hold out to Him the hand of faith; He reaches forward to us His inexhaustible merits, His word of life, the sacraments of His Gospel; we become one with Him. And thus the work of righteousness is peace, and its effect on us is quietness and assurance for ever. Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. (3) And the peace of the soul depends, lastly, on its embracing an adequate and legitimate object of affection. We are so constituted that our hearts must find repose in that which they can really love. Most people pass their lives in trying to solve this problem by attaching themselves to some created object. The love of power, the love of wealth, the love of position, the love of reputation—these are merely, at the best, temporary experiments. The attempt to find peace in the play of the domestic affections is much more respectable—much more likely to succeed for a term of years—for the heart is engaged in this way seriously and deeply. But neither husband, nor wife, nor son, nor daughter, can—we know it—be counted on as a perpetual possession. Death parts us all, sooner or later, for a time; and if the whole heart has been given to the lost friend or relative, peace is gone. When our risen Lord said in the upper chamber "Peace be unto you," He made His great and precious blessing an actual gift. He presented Himself risen from the tomb, inaccessible to the assaults of death, in His human as in His Divine nature, as an object of exhaustless affection to the human heart. The secret of inward peace is simplicity in the affections and in the purpose—the repose of the soul in presence of a love and of a beauty before which all else must pale.

H. P. Liddon, No. 880, Penny Pulpit.

References: John 20:19.—S. Baring Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 152; J. M. Neale, Sermons in a Religious House, 2nd series, vol. i., p. 41; W. H. Jellie, Christian World Pulpit, vol. vi., p. 309; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 194; vol. ii., p. 247; vol. iv., p. 264; vol. xiv., p. 230; C. Stanford, From Calvary to Olivet, p. 164; B. F. Westcott, The Revelation of the Risen Lord, p. 79; A. P. Stanley, Church Sermons, vol. i., p. 385; J. Vaughan, Sermons, 7th series, p. 91; E. Blencowe, Plain Sermons to a Country Congregation, vol. ii., p. 240; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxi., No. 1254; W. C. E. Newbolt, Counsels of Faith and Practice, p. 80.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-20.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 20:19. Then the same day—when the doors were shut, &c.— "After this, in the evening of the very same day on which he arose and appeared to Mary Magdalene, that is to say the first day of the week; when the disciples were gathered together in a private room, and were comparing their informations concerning his resurrection (Luke 24:33-36.) after the doors were fastened ( θυρων κεκλεισμενων ) for fear of being discovered and broke in upon by the Jews, Jesus himself, whose divine power could easily make his way, came in his usual form, before they were aware, to confirm his love to them, and their faith in him; and, standing in the midst of them, he, instead of upbraiding them for, or taking any notice of their having so shamefully deserted him in his late distress, saluted them in a friendly, affectionate, and authoritative manner, saying, All safety, comfort, and quietness, and the best of prosperity, be to you, as consisting of peace with God, with each other, and in your own souls."

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 20:19". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-20.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

19.] The circumstance of the doors being shut is mentioned here and in John 20:26, to indicate what sort of appearances these were. Suddenly, unaccounted for by any approach,—the Lord rendered Himself visible to His disciples. Nor did this affect the truth of that resurrection Body, any more than his withdrawing himself from mortal sight occasionally affected the truth of His fleshly Body. Both were done by that supernatural power dwelling in Him, by which His other miracles were wrought. It seems to have been the normal condition of His fleshly Body, to be visible to mortal eyes:—of His risen Body, not to be. But both these He could suspend when He pleased, without affecting the substance or truth of either.

διὰ τ. φόβ. τ. ἰουδ.] This was natural enough;—the bitter hatred of the Jews (both people and rulers) to their Master,—and his own prophetic announcements,—would raise in them a dread of incipient persecution, now that He was removed.

ἦλθεν—not, by ordinary approach; nor, through the closed doors;—nor in any visible manner;—but (subjectively, of Himself) the word describes that unseen arrival among them which preceded His becoming visible to them.

ἔστη εἰς τ. μ.] Compare Luke 24:36, ἔστη ἐν μέσῳ. The εἰς, as in ch. John 21:4, denotes the coming, and standing, in one—the standing without motion thither, which in ordinary cases would be standing as the result of motion thither;—so that in this case ἔστη itself is the verb of motion.

εἰρ. ὑμ.] See on Luke 24:36, and ch. John 14:27.

John 20:20 answers to Luke 24:39.

ἐχάρησαν] The first and partial fulfilment of ch. John 16:20-22 : see notes there.

The disciples seem to have handled Him: see Luke 24:39; 1 John 1:1, and below, John 20:25.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:19". 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 20:19. [ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων, on the first day of the week) It was not the Sabbath, but the day of the Resurrection, Sunday.—V. g.]— διὰ, on account of) This assigns the reason why the disciples were met together, and why the doors were shut.— ῆλθεν, came) when the disciples were not thinking of Him, much less opening the doors.— εἰρήνη ὑμῖν, peace be unto you) A most appropriate and seasonable salutation, whereby their fear of the guilt which they had incurred by their flight, was removed; and the offence [their stumbling at Him because of the cross] was healed. A usual formula, of extraordinary power. [Thrice the same formula is repeated, John 20:19; John 20:21; John 20:26. The choice and peculiar gifts of the true Passover were, Peace, the mission, the Holy Spirit, remission of sins.—When about to go away, He had left and had given peace to them, ch. John 14:27, “Peace I leave unto you; My peace I give unto you;” ch. John 16:33, “That in Me ye might have peace.” He now imparts peace to them.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:19". 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

Luke expounds this verse, Luke 24:29, where the two disciples told Christ it was towards evening, and the day was far spent; for the Jews called the afternoon evening, as well as the time after sunset; and John tells us expressly, it was yet the first day of the week. This appearance is unquestionably the same mentioned in Luke, Luke 24:36. For it is said, the two disciples went immediately to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven gathered together, and discoursed of the Lord’s appearance to them; and while they spake, Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, ( as here), Peace be unto you. The disciples had shut the doors of the place where they met, for fear of the Jews. Here is a great question between the Lutherans and Calvinists, how Christ came in amongst them when the doors were shut? Whether he went through the doors remaining shut? Which the Lutherans stiffly maintain, as a strong proof of the possibility of the real presence of the body of Christ in, with, or under the elements of the Lord’s supper; though we object, that this is to destroy the nature of Christ’s body, and to assign him a body which indeed is no body, being not obvious to the sense, nor confined to a place; and which must pierce another body, which is contrary to the nature of a body according to our notion of bodies. The Lutherans object:

1. That here is a plain mention of the doors being shut.

2. No mention of the opening of them.

3. Nor of Christ’s entrance upon opening any doors, windows, roof, or by any ordinary way, as men use to enter into houses.

4. Nor, had he so entered, would there have been any occasion for the disciples taking him for a spirit, as it is plain they did, Luke 24:37.

The Calvinists on the other side object,

1. That it is not said that he went through the doors.

2. That if he had gone through the doors, he would not presently have called to them to have seen him, and handled him; by which he evidenced that his body had such dimensions as our bodies have, and so could not go through a door shut.

In the Lutherans’ reason, the fourth is only considerable, the three first have no force, because all circumstances of actions are not recorded in holy writ. Nor is there much force in the fourth, for the doors by his miraculous power opened and shut, and he showed himself in the midst of them, and used to them the usual salutation amongst the Jews, Peace be unto you.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

тот же первый день См. пояснение к ст. 1.

были заперты В греческом слово указывает, что двери были закрыты из-за страха перед иудеями. Поскольку власти казнили их главу, они рассудительно полагали, что их могла постигнуть судьба Иисуса.

мир вам! См. пояснения к 14:27; 16:33. Приветствие Иисуса дополняет Его фразу «совершилось», так как Его смерть на кресте сделала совершенным мир между Богом и Его народом (Рим. 5:1; Еф. 2:14-17).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 20:19". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-20.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

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.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-20.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

John moved his readers directly from the events of Easter morning to those that happened that evening.

"The seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, commemorates God"s finished work of Creation ( Genesis 2:1-3). The Lord"s Day commemorates Christ"s finished work of redemption, the "new creation."...

"For centuries, the Jewish Sabbath had been associated with Law: six days of work, and then you rest. But the Lord"s Day, the first day of the week, is associated with grace: first there is faith in the living Christ, then there will be works." [Note: Wiersbe, 1:391, 392.]

Apparently the Eleven except Thomas were present (cf. Mark 16:14; John 20:24). How much Thomas missed because he did not meet with the other disciples on the Lord"s Day (cf. Hebrews 10:22-25)! He had to endure a whole week of fear and unbelief unnecessarily. The disciples had gathered in a secure room because they feared the Jewish authorities. The Jewish authorities had crucified their rabbi, so it was reasonable to think that they might come after them as well. Contrast their boldness following Jesus" ascension just a few weeks later.

John implied that Jesus appeared miraculously even though the disciples had shut up (Gr. kekleismenon, i.e, "locked" NIV) the doors (cf. John 20:26). Jesus" resurrection body had passed through grave clothes and a rocky tomb. Now it passed through the walls of this structure.

Jesus" greeting was common enough (i.e, Heb. shalom "alekem). However, He had formerly promised His disciples His peace ( John 14:27; John 16:33). Consequently He was imparting rather than just wishing peace on them. This seems clear because Jesus repeated the benediction two more times ( John 20:21; John 20:26). "Shalom" summarized the fullness of God"s blessing, not just the cessation of hostility (cf. Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:7).

"Never had that "common word" [Shalom] been so filled with meaning as when Jesus uttered it on Easter evening. ... His "Shalom!" on Easter evening is the complement of "it is finished" on the cross, for the peace of reconciliation and life from God is now imparted. "Shalom!" accordingly is supremely the Easter greeting. Not surprisingly it is included, along with "grace," in the greeting of every epistle of Paul in the NT." [Note: Beasley-Murray, pp378-79.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:19". "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 20:19. When therefore it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors had been shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst; and he saith unto them, Peace be unto you. The message sent by the Lord to His disciples through Mary Magdalene was, ‘I ascend unto the Father.’ In other words, it was an intimation to them that that glorification had begun whose distinguishing feature would be the bestowal of the Spirit upon the members of Christ’s body. In this thought lies the connection between the last narrative and that now before us, as well as the special point of view from which the Evangelist desires us to look at the manifestation of the Risen One which he is about to relate. In this also we see the difference of aim between John and Luke, in what is universally allowed to be the record of the same scene (Luke 24:36-43). Luke would prove to us the reality of the Resurrection body, and would show that Jesus is substantially the same as He had been: John would show us that, while He is substantially the same, yet it is Jesus filled with the Spirit whom we behold. Hence the structure of John’s narrative, in which it will be observed that the second ‘Peace be unto you’ (John 20:21) takes up again the same expression in John 20:19 (comp. on chap. John 13:3), and that John 20:20 is in a certain sense parenthetical. This aim of our Evangelist also explains the stress which is laid upon the fact that this manifestation of Jesus took place ‘when the doors had been shut.’ That we are to see something miraculous in this is clear, alike from the repetition of the statement below (John 20:26), and from the whole tone and bearing of the narrative. Any idea, therefore, of the withdrawal of the bolts of the doors must be at once dismissed. It is impossible to do justice to the passage unless we admit that, at a moment when the doors were shut, and when no one could enter through them in the ordinary way, Jesus suddenly stood in the midst of the disciples. But this is all that we have any right to say. The travesty of the whole scene presented by those who have ridiculed the idea that a body with ‘flesh and bones’ (Luke 24:39) should penetrate through the substance of the wood, finds no countenance in the words with which we have to deal. Such a thought is not present to the mind of John. He dwells himself, and he would have us dwell, upon the simple circumstance that, at an instant when an ordinary human body could not have entered the apartment because the doors were shut, the glorified Jesus ‘came and stood in the midst.’ Thus looked at, the passage sets before us what is no doubt miraculous, what is at variance with our present knowledge of the properties of a material frame, but at the same time nothing unworthy of the solemnity of the hour. As at Emmaus Jesus suddenly disappeared from those whose eyes were opened and who knew Him, so here He appears with equal suddenness to those who are ready to recognise Him. How He thus appeared through the physical obstacles presented by a room closed on every side it is not possible for us to say. The properties of matter spiritualised and glorified are entirely unknown to us from any experience of our own, nor is light thrown upon them here further than this,—that Jesus, in His glorified humanity, had the power of being present when He pleased, without reference to the ordinary laws which control the movements of men. In this absolute subjection of the body to the spirit, John sees proof and illustration of the fact that in the person of Jesus dualism has disappeared, and that the perfect unity of body and spirit has been reached. The old struggle between the material and the spiritual, between the limited and the unlimited, has been brought to an end: the spiritual and the unlimited have absolute control. As ‘the first Adam became a living soul,’ so ‘the second Adam became a life-giving Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 15:45), and such life of the Spirit the disciples shall immediately receive.—The salutation of the Saviour when He manifested Himself was ‘Peace be unto you;’ and the meaning and force of the salutation are deepened by the contrast with the ‘fear of the Jews’ spoken of immediately before. As in chap. John 14:27 (see commentary), this is the salutation of a departing Master, not of a dying Father. Amidst the troubles of the world upon which the disciples are about to enter, and when there is no help from man, Jesus is at hand to speak peace: ‘In the world they have tribulation,’ but in Him ‘peace’ (chap. John 16:33).—It will be observed that the Evangelist seems carefully to distinguish between ‘the disciples’ (John 20:18-19) and ‘the Twelve’ (John 20:24). Hence we should naturally conclude that this manifestation of the Risen Lord was not limited to the apostles; and Luke 24:33 shows that this conclusion is correct.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-20.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 20:19. The time of the manifestation is defined, it was “on that day, the first of the week,” and during the evening, , which agrees with Luke’s account, from which we learn that when Jesus and the two disciples reached Emmaus, two hours from Jerusalem, the day was declining. The evening was chosen, probably because then the disciples could be found together. The circumstance that the doors were shut seemed to John significant regarding the properties of the risen body of Jesus. , “the doors having been shut,” i.e., securely fastened so that no one could enter, because the precaution was taken . So soon had the disciples begun to experience the risks they ran by being associated with Jesus. Calvin supposes Jesus opened the doors miraculously; but that is no suggested in the words. Rather it is indicated that His glorified body was not subject to the conditions of the natural, earthly body, but passed where it would. Suddenly (cf.Luke 24:36). “Phrasis notat se in publico omnium conspectu sistere.” Kypke. Not only as the ordinary salutation, but to calm their perturbation at this sudden apparition (cf.Luke 24:37), He greets them with , and to assure them of His identity .

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 20:19". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-20.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

29. Cum fores essent clausæ: januis clausis, Greek: ton thuron kekleismenon. See St. Ambrose, in Psal. cxviii.; St. Augustine, tract. 121. in Joan. De Agone Christiano, chap. 24. 4. 6. p. 257. Epist. ad Volusianum. t. 3. p. 405, where he says, demus Deum aliquid posse, quod nos fateamur investigare non posse. In talibus rebus tota ratio facti est potentia facientis. See St. Cyril on this place, lib. xii. p. 1092, 1103, and 1107. St. John Chrysostom, hom. lxxxv. p. 315. Lat. Ed. and hom. lxxxvii. Ed. Ben. p. 520, Greek: to gar outo lepton kai kouphon os kekleismenon eiselthein ton thuron. &c. See St. Jerome, ad Eustochium in Epitaph. Paulæ. t. 4. p. 685. and lib. i. cont. Jovin. t. 4. p. 178; St. Leo, serm. i. de Resurr.; St. Epiphanius, her. lxiv. p. 593. Ed. Petav. &c.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 20:19". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

where. Probably the upper room. See Mark 14:15. Luke 22:12. Acts 1:13.

assembled. All the texts omit.

for = on account of. Greek. dia. App-104. John 20:2.

Peace. Compare John 14:27; John 16:33.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:19". "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

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were [assembled], for fear of the Jews. [The word enclosed in brackets - [ suneegmenoi (Greek #4863)] - is probably not genuine.]

Came Jesus and stood in the midst. That this was not an entrance in the ordinary way is manifest not only from the very special manner of expression, but from the corresponding language of Luke 24:36. But there is no need to fancy any penetrating through the doors, as several of the Fathers did and some still do: far less reason is there to fear that by holding that He appeared among them without doing so we compromise the reality of His resurrection-body. The natural way of viewing it is to conclude that the laws of the resurrection-body are different from those of "flesh and blood," and that according to these the risen Saviour, without any miracle, but in the exercise of a power competent to the risen body, presented Himself among the assembled disciples.

And saith unto them, Peace be unto you - not the mere wish that even His own exalted peace might be theirs (John 14:27); but conveying it into their hearts, even as He "opened their understandings to understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-20.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

19. It was late that Sunday evening. [Whether John used Jewish time or Roman time would identify the exact hour of the day. If Jewish time it is before six o’clock, and just getting dusk.] This is the third or fourth time Jesus has been seen on this most unusual day. This is the first time to the group of apostles, and by comparing Mark 16:14-16 and Luke 24:33-36, we learn they were talking about the Resurrection. McGarvey says the fact that they thought Jesus was a ghost (Luke 24:37) shows how little they believed Jesus had raised from death.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 20:19". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-20.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(19) For this appearance to the disciples (John 20:19-25) comp. Mark 16:14 and Luke 24:36-43. Between the last verse and this we must suppose to occur the bribing of the guard (Matthew 28:11-15), and the conversation on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35; see also Mark 16:12-13, and comp. Chronological Harmony of the Gospels, p. 37)

When the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled . . .—This fact is noted here and in John 20:26, and the obvious intention is to point out that the appearance was preternatural. The body of the risen Lord was indeed the body of His human life, but it was not subject to the ordinary conditions of human life. The power that had upheld it as He walked upon the Sea of Galilee (John 6:16-21) made it during those forty days independent of laws of gravitation and of material resistance. (Comp. Notes on Luke 24:15-16; Luke 24:31; Luke 24:39.) The supposition that the doors were shut, and were miraculously opened (comp. Acts 12:10), is opposed to the general impression of the context, and the incident is one which would probably have been mentioned.

The “fear of the Jews” naturally followed the Crucifixion. The Shepherd was struck, and the flock was scattered. They would remember, too, His own words, which foretold persecution for them (John 15:18 et seq.), and there may have been definite charges against some of them. Peter, e.g., had drawn upon himself the hostility of the high priest’s household, and John was known to be among the disciples. (Comp. John 18:8; John 18:25 et seq.)

Peace be unto you.—The salutation is given also in Luke 24:36. (Comp., in this Gospel, Note on John 14:27.) The well-known words of greeting would come to them now, as her own name came to Mary (John 20:16), bringing, as the familiar tones fell upon the ear, the assurance of the Master’s presence in their midst. But the words would also have the fuller meaning of a message from the spirit-world to them. It is a voice from the darkness beyond the grave into which the living have tried in vain to see, and that voice is one of peace. It is the message of the conqueror of death to man who has conquered in and through Him, declaring that the victory is won. It is the message of atonement, declaring the peace which flows from pardoned sin and reconciliation with God to the disciples themselves, and through them-as the apostles of peace, to all mankind.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
the same
Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-49; 1 Corinthians 15:5
when
26; Nehemiah 6:10,11
came
14:19-23; 16:22; Matthew 18:20
Peace
21; 14:27; 16:33; Psalms 85:8-10; Isaiah 57:18,19; Matthew 10:13; Luke 24:36; Romans 15:33; Ephesians 2:14; 6:23; Philippians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Hebrews 7:2; Revelation 1:4
Reciprocal: Genesis 43:23 - Peace;  Judges 6:23 - Peace be;  Psalm 118:24 - the day;  Proverbs 16:24 - Pleasant;  Isaiah 42:3 - bruised;  Matthew 28:9 - All hail;  Mark 6:50 - it is I;  Mark 16:9 - the first;  Luke 24:33 - and found;  John 7:13 - spake;  John 9:22 - because;  John 16:16 - a little while;  John 20:1 - first;  John 21:1 - these;  John 21:14 - the third time;  Acts 12:10 - which;  Acts 13:31 - he was;  Acts 20:7 - the first;  1 Corinthians 15:44 - there is a spiritual;  1 Corinthians 16:2 - the first;  Hebrews 10:25 - forsaking;  1 Peter 5:14 - Peace;  Revelation 1:10 - on the

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 19. "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them. Peace be unto you."

When our Lord entered into their midst, the Apostles had been in many ways prepared for His coming: by the first message of the women, by the experience of Peter and John at the sepulchre, by the report brought by Mary Magdalene of the appearance she had seen, by the appearance also to Peter, and by the tidings of the Emmaus disciples. We can hardly doubt that their whole soul was rapt in desire and in expectation of the coming of their Master. When we reflect upon the fundamental importance of that visitation of the Apostles, it will be clear that all these preceding preparations were no more than absolutely necessary.

According to strict Jewish computation, the evening was no part of this first day of the week. But in common life the Jews were in the habit of reckoning the evening with the day that it closed; and this we must do here, if we would preserve the integrity, as one whole, of the events which had their climax in the Lord's visitation of the Apostles. Matthew, in ch. Matthew 28:1, reckons the day as continuing until the dawn of the following. It must have been already very late, for, according to Luke, the disciples of Emmaus were present at this appearance.

Luke says, ch. Luke 24:36, "And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself στη ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν, and saith unto them, εἰρήνη ὑμῖν, Peace be unto you." There is here an intentional adherence to Luke's phraseology. What is peculiar to John, becomes all the more emphatic when what is common to both is expressed in the same words. Moses in ancient times pursued the same method, when returning to the same matter. He recapitulates earlier details as much as possible in the same words, and then inserts what was newly to be communicated.

The Greek plural θύραι was often used for a door, on account of the two leaves which frequently formed it, corresponding to the Hebrew דלתים. It was evidently the one door of the place in which the Apostles were assembled. If the Lord's entrance was not of a character transcending the ordinary limits of corporeity, if Jesus had knocked at the door, or if the door of itself had sprung open (comp. Acts 12:10), John must have expressly stated it; since the person of our Lord, especially as delineated by John after the resurrection, would lead us to take a miracle for granted rather than otherwise. The circumstance that the doors were shut, was in itself not important enough to be mentioned; and it is very noteworthy that the mention of the closed doors occurs precisely in that part of the narrative where John simply recapitulates what Luke had already recorded. The more concise he is here, the less probable will it seem that he would have mentioned the fact of the door being shut if it had had to do with our Lord's entrance. And, in that case, the repeated mention in ver. 26 must be very strange. Further, why were the disciples so terrified? why did they believe they saw a spirit? This question, which Luke's narrative suggests, is answered only when we find in John that the doors remained shut after our Lord's entrance. We are led to regard this as the reason of its being mentioned, by comparing Matthew 14:26, "And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying. It is a spirit." They there regarded Him as a spirit, because He was above the law of a material body. So was it here. Finally, we are led to the conclusion that the doors remained shut, by a consideration of the manner in which the risen Lord is represented elsewhere as appearing and vanishing: compare ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτόν, ch. John 21:1; ἐφανερώθη, Mark 16:12; ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν ἐμφανῆ γενέσθαι, Acts 10:40; ἄφαντος ἐγένετο ἀπʼ αὐτῶν, Luke 24:31. It is not said that Jesus came through the closed doors. That would have made John travel beyond the region of his own observation, and forsake the sphere of the historian. The apparent contradiction, that Jesus entered into their midst when the doors were shut, and yet presented Himself to His disciples' touch, and ate before them, is removed by the simple remark, that after His resurrection the glorified body of our Lord was absolutely under the dominion of the spirit. Augustin: "After His resurrection. He did with His body what He listed." Of this our Lord in the days of His flesh gave an earnest, when He walked upon the sea, ch. John 6:19. What was then an isolated act, became after the resurrection the rule. "Peace be unto you" (Bengel: "The same formula is thrice repeated," vers. 19, 21, 26) points back to ch. John 14:27. The peace which Jesus there promised He brings them here, whilst He announces Himself as the risen Lord. In His resurrection His disciples received the pledge of victory over all their enemies and His.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:19". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

19.When, therefore, it was evening. The Evangelist now relates that the resurrection of Christ was proved to the disciples by his presence. It did not happen without the providence of God, that all were assembled in one place, that the event might be more certain and more manifest. It is worthy of notice how gently Christ acted towards them, in not keeping them in suspense any longer than till the evening. Besides, he enlightened them, bringing the pledge of a new life, while darkness was overspreading the world.

Where the disciples were assembled. As to their having assembled, it was an indication of faith, or, at least, of religious feelings. As to the circumstance of their keeping themselves concealed by shut doors, we perceive in it some proof of their weakness; for, though the strongest and boldest minds are sometimes seized with fear, yet it may easily be inferred that the apostles, at that time, trembled in such a manner as to manifest the deficiency of their faith. This example is worthy of notice; for, though they are less courageous than they ought to have been, still they do not give way to their weakness. True, they seek concealment for the sake of avoiding danger, but they gather courage so far as to remain together; otherwise they would have been scattered hither and thither, and no man would have ventured to look at his neighbor. In this manner we ought to struggle against the weakness of our flesh, and not to indulge fear, which tempts us to apostacy. Christ also blesses their zeal, when he appears to them while they are assembled; and Thomas is justly deprived of the favor bestowed on all his brethren, because, like a wandering soldier, he had withdrawn from the standard of union. Here, then, is a lesson for those who are excessively timid, to sharpen and encourage themselves to correct their carnal fear; and particularly they ought to beware lest fear should cause them to scatter.

And while the doors were shut. This circumstance was expressly added, because it contains a manifest proof of the Divine power of Christ; but this is utterly at variance with the meaning of the Evangelist. We ought, therefore, to believe that Christ did not enter without a miracle, in order to give a demonstration of his Divinity, by which he might stimulate the attention of his disciples; and yet I am far from admitting the truth of what the Papists assert, that the body of Christ passed through the shut doors. Their reason for maintaining this is, for the purpose of proving not only that the glorious body of Christ resembled a spirit, but that it was infinite, and could not be confined to any one place. But the words convey no such meaning; for the Evangelist does not say that he entered through the shut doors, but that he suddenly stood in the midst of his disciples, though the doors had been shut, and had not been opened to him by the hand of man. We know that Peter (Acts 10:10) went out of a prison which was locked; and must we, therefore, say that he passed through the midst of the iron and of the planks? Away, then, with that childish trifling, which contains nothing solid, and brings along with it many absurdities! Let us be satisfied with knowing that Christ intended, by a remarkable miracle, to confirm his disciples in their belief of his resurrection.

Peace be to you! This is the ordinary form of salutation among the Hebrews; and by the word peace they denote all that cheerfulness and prosperity which is usually desired for a happy life. The phrase, therefore, means, “May you be well and prosperous!” I mention this, because there are some who, in explaining these words, enter into unnecessary discussions about peace and harmony, though Christ intended nothing else than to desire that his disciples might be happy and prosperous.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:19". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.