Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:20

And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Love;   Thompson Chain Reference - Christ;   Condescension, Divine;   Dead, the;   Divine;   God;   Infallible Proofs;   Mortality-Immortality;   Resurrection;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Resurrection of Christ, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Thomas;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Remnant;   Resurrection;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Resurrection of Christ;   Sabbath;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel According to;   Thomas;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Church;   Hour;   John, the Gospel of;   Lord's Day;   Resurrection;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Resurrection;   Thomas;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Body (2);   Crucifixion;   Discourse;   Feet (2);   Manuscripts;   Print ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Nails;   Thomas ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Body, Spiritual;   Johannine Theology, the;   Papyrus;   Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for June 1;   Every Day Light - Devotion for October 19;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He showed unto them his hands and his side - So it appears that his body bore the marks of the nails and the spear; and these marks were preserved that the disciples might be the more fully convinced of the reality of his resurrection.

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

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He showed unto them his hands … - In this manner he gave them indubitable proofs of his identity. He showed them that he was the same Being who had suffered; that he had truly risen from the dead, and had come forth with the same body. That body had not yet put on its glorified form. It was necessary first to establish the proof of his resurrection, and that could be done only by his appearing as he was when he died.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 20:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-20.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 20:20

When He had so said, He shewed them His hands and His side

The wounds of the risen Christ

I want to point out the significance of Christ’s action in showing to these men His hands and His feet; and what we learn from it is this.

I. CHRIST’S DESIRE THAT HIS DISCIPLES’ BELIEF IN HIS RESURRECTION SHOULD BE RATIONAL. His first purpose was to reduce the agitation of their minds so that they might be able to receive evidence of certain great and essential truths of which they were to be the future preachers. They were to go forth into the world and establish His kingdom amongst men, but the foundations of that kingdom were to be distinct historical facts; the chief among them being these two--that He had died and that He had risen again. Christ purposed to gain rule over human hearts, but no dead man can do that. When, therefore, He stands among them on this memorable evening He invites them carefully to examine Him. He possesses a physical body, and is not a phantom. Their senses are to testify to that. The more closely you consider it, from whatever side you look upon it, you will see how supremely important this fact of the resurrection is, and how essentially necessary it was that the evidence for it should be rational and unquestionable.

II. CHRIST’S DESIRE THAT HIS DISCIPLES SHOULD BELIEVE THAT THOUGH HE WAS RISEN HE WAS ESSENTIALLY UNCHANGED. Perhaps you will mark that I use the words “essentially unchanged.” Essentially--and I do so because there seem to be indications throughout all the incidents of the forty days that though our Lord possessed the same body as He had before the Resurrection, yet there were differences in it. Whatever may have been the effects of the Resurrection upon the outward structure, Christ could say, “It is I, Myself.” For the real personality of a man is not his body. That may change; it has changed many times from childhood up to the years of mature manhood; it is perpetually changing. It is so that we think of death and the resurrection. They will not affect our personal identity, though we may be introduced into a new sphere, and possess God’s gift of a glorified body. The man, the woman, the child in essential characteristics will remain, however sublime and marvellous may be the changes in the form of their manifestation. Christ states this fact, and appeals to it--appeals to it as a reason why these alarmed men should be calmed. “It is I, Myself.” Fear may be banished, because Christ is unchanged. This fact is to be the source of perpetual comfort and strength to those who call Christ Lord. “He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” He fearlessly asserts this fact, and bases on it an appeal for the most perfect confidence. Do you not see how that appeal to His personality rests on their former experience of His character? Ah! we can think of some passed away, whose reappearance with such words on their lips would be a signal for alarm and terror to those who were familiar with them in the earthly life. They were cruel, mean, selfish, tyrannical; their career was marked by all the vices and follies which can stain human character. What an awful thing it would be for us to meet them as they step out of the invisible into our midst and hear them say, “It is I, myself, unchanged by the experience of death.”

III. CHRIST’S DESIRE THAT HIS DISCIPLES SHOULD RECOGNIZE HIM AS THE CRUCIFIED ONE. “He showed them His hands and His feet,” says Luke; “He showed them His hands and His side,” says John; not contradicting, but supplementing, one another’s accounts, for evidently He showed them all three--hands, feet, and side. The disciples knew Him by the marks of His suffering. It is thus He would be recognized by all men everywhere--as the once crucified, though now risen and ascended, Prince and Lord. Not because He received cruel wounds and endured a fulness of agony, but because by that pain and sorrow redemption for mankind has been wrought out. We are at first brought into relationship with Him by this fact. We may know Him afterwards as the Mediator, Intercessor, King, Friend; but all possibility of intercourse with Him must begin at the Cross; must begin through those tokens of His suffering love by which He has ever been known. Offer me a Christ who has no wounds received on behalf of sinners, and I do not know Him; I dare not recognize Him. Tell me that He lived a noble life, that He taught grand truths to men, that He did many a work of mercy and compassion amongst the poor and sorrowing, that He was bitterly and shamefully persecuted by His unresting enemies, that He expired at last with fortitude and heroism, a martyr to His principles--and I say: “Yes, all that is well; but answer me--answer the impassioned yearning of my heart--did He die the just for the unjust? did He bear our sins in His own body on the tree?” (W. Braden.)

The hands of Christ

Those hands are

I. THE HANDS OF A WORKMAN. He has no sympathy with the idler, but honours toil.

II. HEALING HANDS. There was no limit to the beneficence of Christ’s touch. Deafness, dumbness, fever, blindness, leprosy fled from it.

III. PLACED IN BENEDICTION ON THE HEADS OF LITTLE CHILDREN. None are too young to enjoy the Shepherd’s care, none too old to need it.

IV. SAVING HANDS. They grasped the sinking Peter. They will hold us to the end.

V. AN EVIDENCE OF HIS HAVING SUFFERED FOR US. In six days they made the world, now they are pierced for the sins of the world.

VI. A PROOF OF THE RESURRECTION. The wounds are healed, but the sears remain.

VII. USED IN INTERCESSORY PRAYER FOR US. A Roman soldier returned from the wars found his brother on trial for his life. He held up the stumps of his arms, and turned the tide in the court, and saved his brother’s life. Here was sacrifice turned into intercessory prayer.

VIII. THE DIVIDING LINE OF THE DAY OF JUDGMENT. On which hand wilt thou stand? Conclusion: Let the hands of Jesus lead and support you. (T. L.Cuyler.)

The risen Saviour

1. By these tokens Christ made Himself known. He might have taken other steps to bring about a recognition-recalled incidents known to Himself and to them only; or wrought some mighty miracle.

2. It may appear strange that Christ should have risen in this condition.

I. THE PERFECT IDENTITY OF THE SAVIOUR’S PERSON.

1. He is the same Jesus as they had parted from a few days before. A change had taken place, but not such as to affect His identity.

2. This identity exists to-day. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday,” &c., must be the watchword of our faith. How the person of Christ has been altered by men! What “developments” has He undergone! As we look around us to-day, we see men setting up Christs after their own fancies, utterly unlike the Christ of the Gospels. Let us cling to His abiding identity.

II. THE PERMANENT CHARACTER OF HIS REDEEMING WORK. His sufferings still continue, not as to their actual agony, but as to their results. They remain for ever, graven upon the form of the Redeemer. The cross itself stood but for a few hours; the actual sufferings lasted but for a little while. But their influence can never cease. Had He risen with no memorials of His passion upon Him, men might have doubted, and the doubt would have grown stronger with the ages. But as we look upon Jesus, and see His hands and His side, we learn that He still retains His sacrificial character, and that our faith may rest upon Him as surely as though the Cross and resurrection were events of today.

III. THE SAVIOUR’S ESTIMATE OF HIS SUFFERINGS.

1. Men looked upon them as shameful, but to Himself they were glorious. Nothing can minister such joy to His heart as these marks received in that fierce conflict, now crowned with victory, into which He threw Himself for man’s deliverance.

2. There shall be something like this with ourselves. Life is a battle from which we do not escape without wounds. Yet the things that are most terrible now may yield hereafter our greatest joy. The darkest things here may be the brightest there.

IV. THE TRUE METHOD OF PRESENTING CHRIST TO MEN. Show them “His hands and His side.” Insist upon His sacrificial character, upon His death as an atonement for sin.

1. There are those who present Christ to men, but do not show them “His hands and His side.” They point to the mystery of His incarnation, His moral perfection, &c. But all this, necessary and good as it is, fails to meet man’s case as a sinner. Tell them all this, but tell them especially that, being all this, He died for sinners as an atonement for their sins.

2. This method of presenting Christ is the mightiest for overcoming unbelief. You may reason with men on the evidences of Christianity, and they may remain in their unbelief. “Show them His hands and His side;” put Christ before them in His sufferings and self-sacrifice, and minds that had only become stronger in their opposition through argument and embittered by controversy, have yielded.

3. This method is the mightiest for conquering the pride and selfishness of the human heart. Nothing can equal the force of His appeal when He thus presents Himself to man. A legend has come down to us to the effect that Satan once appeared to one of the mediaeval saints in the form of the risen Saviour, but that the saint discovered and repelled him by asking for the print of the wounds.

V. THE METHOD OF HIS REVELATION HEREAFTER. Amidst the countless multitudes of heaven’s inhabitants, we may recognize the Man of Calvary by these signs. (W. Perkins.)

Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord

Gladness in seeing the Lord

The disciples were glad because

I. THEIR SUSPENSE WAS AT AN END. It had been prolonged for two days, and must have been peculiarly distressing. Now light broke in upon their darkness.

II. THEIR FEARS WERE DISPELLED. They doubted and were sad, for they had an awful dread lest all their convictions concerning Jesus were groundless. This was now dissipated.

III. THEIR HOPES WERE REALIZED. Fear and hope had alternately taken possession of them. They hoped against hope; in the hearts of some hope had vanished. But now it dawned again brightly on their sight.

IV. THEIR RELIEF AND CONFIDENCE WERE NOW ESTABLISHED. Now they recollected what they had all but forgotten, that all happened as He had foretold. He would now be to them all that they had ventured to anticipate.

V. THEIR PLEASURE IN HIS SOCIETY WAS RENEWED. He was very dear to them, and had called them “friends.” The sight of Him who was to them “the altogether lovely” brought gladness to their hearts. As they had grieved because they saw Him not, so now when they saw Him, their sorrow was turned into joy.

VI. THEIR EYES WERE OPENED TO THE MEANING OF THEIR EARTHLY LIFE, AND TO THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTAL FELLOWSHIP WITH THEIR DIVINE LORD. Soon they saw that it was to be their vocation to be witnesses of His resurrection, and ambassadors and heralds of His gospel. So honourable an office might well be contemplated with gratification. And they must have felt if His death were no barrier to this Divine fellowship, so theirs could never sever them from Jesus, but must bring them into a nearer and eternal communion. (Family Churchman.)

A sight of Christ:

That holy man, Mr. Walsh, when the Lord revealed Himself to him, was obliged to cry, “Hold, Lord I remember I am but an earthen vessel; and if I have more of this delight I must die.” One said he would like to die of that disease, and I am very much of his mind. They say, “See Naples and die”; but to improve on it, another said, “See Naples and live”: and truly this is the better sight of the two. I would fain see my Lord so as to live to His praise. Oh, for such a vision as should shape my life, my thought, my whole being, till I became like my Lord! Oh, to see Him so as to be changed into His image from glory unto glory! (C. H.Spurgeon.)

The joy of Christians in the presence of their Lord

I. ITS NATURE.

1. It differs from physical delights, intellectual or social, in depth, purity, and permanency.

2. It is the repose of a soul on an infinite, personal Being.

3. Our Redeemer, Advocate, and Friend.

4. Whose presence assures all needed grace, here and hereafter.

II. METHOD OF SECURING IT.

1. Self-renunciation, cordial reliance on Christ.

2. Prayerful meditation on what He is and has done.

3. Doing the duties of the Christian life.

III. RESULTS.

1. Fortifies against sin and inspires in life’s work.

2. Makes religion attractive.

3. Takes away the fear of death.

Conclusion:

1. We see why some do not have this joy; inadequate views of their privilege, absorbed in the world, or indulging in sin.

2. It is practicable and so a duty.

3. Appearance of Christ a joy to the believer and a cause of alarm to the sinner, so a test of character. (Homiletic Monthly.)

Reasons for the joy of the disciples on the Resurrection:

They were glad when they saw the Lord, as

I. IT GAVE PROOF THAT HE HAD ESCAPED THE FURY OF HIS FOES. They had lately looked on Him as lost. Now they saw Him completely exempt from danger; and their joy was proportioned to their intense love. Could He have given them salvation at the expense of His own destruction, it would have yielded them no satisfaction. In proportion as we love our Saviour, we shall rejoice that He is now at the right hand of God.

II. IT AFFORDED AN EVIDENCE OF HIS CHARACTER, AND A CONFIRMATION OF HIS MISSION AND DOCTRINE. God has shown His complacency in virtue by crowning it with glory in the exaltation of His Son. The signature of the Divine hand was thus put upon it: and they were enabled to go abroad and establish Christianity on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Had He not risen, they must have been utterly ashamed and confounded. Who could pretend that the Divine Being would by this stupendous miracle give sanction to imposture. How thankful to God should we be for having placed our religion on such a basis of evidence!

III. IT PROVED THE ACCEPTANCE OF HIS SACRIFICE and the completion of His obedience in behalf of His believing followers. Without this His death is like that of an ordinary man; but this proves the merit and power of His death. “Who is he that condemneth? when it is Christ that died; yea rather, that is risen.” Hence there remains no bar to the salvation of every penitent sinner. This is the source of a joy as extensive as the Church of God.

IV. IT WAS A PROOF OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE BLESSINGS WHICH HE HAS PROCURED BEYOND THE PRESENT STATE a pledge of their entrance into heaven. He rose as the Head of His body the Church; He entered into the holiest as the Forerunner of His people: it was His prayer “that they all may be with Me, and behold My glory.” His desire will be fulfilled that their joy may be full.

V. THEY HAD THUS A PLEDGE OF HIS PROTECTION OF HIS CHURCH FROM ITS ENEMIES, AND OF ITS FINAL TRIUMPH OVER ALL. They were now assured that greater is He that is in the Church than he that is in the world. (Robert Hall.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 20:20". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/john-20.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And when he had said this, he showed unto them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord.

Christ showed them also the wounds in his feet and ate a piece of broiled fish in their presence (Luke 24:36-43). He asked them to handle his body and to be fully convinced of his reality, thus fortifying them forever against any thought that they had merely seen a vision of him, or that his presence was just a spiritual manifestation.

Glad when they saw the Lord ... This appearance before twelve men (including the two from Emmaus) was authentic and convincing; and they who saw it never wavered or doubted afterward. It was even repeated a week later when Thomas had rejoined them; and this double epiphany to the Twelve constituted the very foundation of Christian evidence. This was the sacred fountain that supplied the evangelistic zeal of the apostles. The certainties established in these scenes enabled them to stand before the whole world shouting the message of redemption in Christ. The conviction made final and permanent by these events sustained them in the fires of persecution and death. The Galilean had triumphed! If the facts here related did not occur, then what did happen? Skepticism has no answer. For nearly two millenia the wisest and best have received this narrative as sacred Gospel. The record here is the truth, and it shall stand forever.

Copyright Statement
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 20:20". "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 when he had so said,.... The above salutation, in the most kind, tender, and affectionate manner: and to put them out of all pain, and that they might know certainly who he was,

he showed them his hands and his side; his hands, which had been pierced with the nails, the marks of which were then to be seen; and which they all knew must be the case, since he was crucified; and his side, which was pierced with a spear, and which left a wide open wound, and which John, who was among them, was an eyewitness of. These he showed, partly to convince them that he was not a spirit, or an apparition, which at first sight they took him to be, from his sudden appearance among them, the doors being locked and barred; and partly to assure them of the truth of his resurrection, and in the same body, as well as to lead them into a view of his great love his suffering the death of the cross for them; and also to observe to them from whence that peace and happiness sprung he had just now saluted them with. It is needless to inquire, whether these marks in his hands, feet, and side, still continue; he was raised with them, that he might show them, for the reasons above given; and should they be thought to continue till all the effects of his death are wrought, since he appears in the midst of the throne and elders, a lamb, as it had been slain, and till his second coming, when they that pierced his hands and feet, and side, shall look and mourn, it is not very unreasonable:

then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord; for by these marks in his hands and feet, and side, they were fully convinced, and entirely satisfied, that it was he; and that he was risen from the dead; and who now appeared to them, than which a more delightful sight could not be enjoyed by them; whereby was fulfilled, what he had foretold and promised, John 16:22. So a spiritual sight of Christ is always rejoicing to a disciple of his; that is, one that has learned of Christ, and learned Christ, who has believed in him, and is enabled to deny sinful, righteous, civil, worldly, and natural self, for Christ; and is made willing to take up the cross, bear it, and follow after him: a sight of Christ as God and man, of his personal beauties and excellencies, of his fulness and suitableness, as a Saviour and Redeemer, and so as to have sensible communion with him, is exceeding delightful to such an one; especially when under a sense of sin, when accused or tempted by Satan, or when Christ has been long absent, or when under affliction, and on a death bed; for Christ is a believer's all; he stands in all relations to him; and such a soul never sees Christ aright, but it receives something from him, his leaning on his breast; and who being so near his person, and allowed to use a liberty with him, everyone did not take, at the motion of Peter, asked our Lord at supper, who the person was he meant that should betray him; all this is said as descriptive of the disciple here spoken of, which leaves it without any doubt, that it was the Apostle John; and who, from John 21:2 appears to be one of this company, and is further confirmed at John 21:24.

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

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

And when he had so said, he showed them his hands and his side — not only as ocular and tangible evidence of the reality of His resurrection (See on Luke 24:37-43), but as through “the power of that resurrection” dispensing all His peace to men.

Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.

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

People's New Testament

He shewed unto them his hands and his side. The Lord showed his wounds to convince them beyond a doubt that it was not a fantasy or an apparition. A week later he shows his wounds to Thomas. The resurrected body still bore these proofs of his suffering and love. Sixty years later, when John, at Patmos, saw the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, he beheld "a Lamb as it had been slain." Perhaps our Lord in glory continues to bear the marks of the cross. Perhaps these will forever, as we gaze in glory, remind us of the story of our redemption.

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 20:20". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-20.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Showed (εδειχενedeixen). First aorist active indicative of δεικνυμιdeiknumi This body, not yet glorified, retained the marks of the nails and of the soldier‘s spear, ample proof of the bodily resurrection against the modern view that only Christ‘s “spirit” arose and against the Docetic notion that Jesus had no actual human body. Luke (Luke 24:39.) adds feet to hands and side.

Were glad (εχαρησανecharēsan). Second aorist passive indicative of χαιρωchairō Jesus had said (John 16:22) that it would be so. Luke adds (Luke 24:41) that they “disbelieved for joy.” It was too good to be true, though terror had first seized them when Jesus appeared (Luke 24:37) because of the suddenness of Christ‘s appearance and their highly wrought state.

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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 20:20". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

The Fourfold Gospel

And when he had said this, he showed unto them his hands and his side1. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.

  1. He showed unto them his hands and his side. See .

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 20:20". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Показал им руки. Сие подтверждение добавлено, дабы стало совершенно ясно: Христос действительно воскрес. Если же кому покажется недостойным Христовой славы то, что Он носил раны и после воскресения, то пусть сначала поймет: Христос воскрес не столько для Себя, сколько для нас. Кроме того, все, что способствует нашему спасению, приносит славу и Ему. Ведь, уничижив Себя на время, Он ни в чем не убавил Свое величие. Поскольку же раны, о которых идет речь, подтверждают веру в воскресение, они никак не уменьшают Его славы. Если же кто выведет отсюда, что Христос до сих пор живет с прободенным боком и пронзенными руками, то будет смешон. Ибо раны были полезны лишь на время, покуда апостолы не убедились в том, что Он действительно воскрес из мертвых. Иоанн же, говоря, что ученики возрадовались при виде Господа, имеет в виду следующее: все горести, принесенные им смертью Христовой, рассеялись от лицезрения Его новой жизни.

 

 

 

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

John Trapp Complete Commentary

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

Ver. 20. He showed unto them his hands, &c.] For their further confirmation; so he doth unto us every time we come to his table. But, oh, how should our hearts long to look for ever upon the human nature of Christ, clothed with an exuberance of glory, at the right hand of his heavenly Father! and to consider that every vein in that blessed body bled, to bring us to heaven! Augustine was wont to wish that he might have the happiness to see these three things, Romam in flore, Paulum in ore, et Christum in corpore. Rome in it glory, Paul speaking and Christ in the body. But I should take venerable Bede’s part rather, and say with him, Anima mea desiderat Christum regem meum videre in decore suo: Let me see my King Christ in his heavenly beauty.

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

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 20:20

The Nature of Christian Worship

Consider:—

I. The presence of the Lord Jesus Christ amongst His people. We attach to the Deity the idea of omnipresence. The conception is a tremendous one, but it is unquestionably a correct one. There have been individuals—men of gigantic mental powers and of untiring activity—who have contrived, by the multiplication and adjustment of skilfully ordered agencies, to make their influence felt through the whole of a mighty empire, and, as it were, to be present in every part of it at the same moment of time. But presence by influence is one thing, and presence by person another. And what we believe of the Godhead is this, that in every point of what we call space, God is to be found simultaneously, in all the force of His being and in all the plenitude of His power. There is a difference, however, between this Divine omnipresence of Christ and the kind of presence referred to in the narrative before us. About this latter there is something special. The Saviour, present in the assemblies of His worshipping people, is ready to make His presence felt by them; ready to open communications with them; ready to manifest Himself to them as He is not manifested to the world; ready so to lay His gentle but powerful touch upon their spirits, as that they shall feel that they have been admitted into the very audience chamber of their Father and their God.

II. Christ stands in the midst of His people for the purpose of blessing them and giving them peace. He does not come amongst us to find fault and to call up for judgment. He comes to bless. His language to us is the same as that which He addressed to His disciples of old—"Peace be unto you."

III. The disciples rejoiced at the presence of the Lord. In the act of worship the true disciple cares for fulfilment of duty, certainly; for religious emotion, certainly; but chiefly for personal communication with the personal God. It is God—God Himself, not merely something belonging to God—that he desires to know, to approach, to realise, to grasp, to possess. "My soul," says David, "is athirst for God, for the living God." When the Christian disciple realises Christ in his worship, when Christ has become an actual living personal Presence to him, meeting him, speaking to him, comforting him—then he has attained the object of his spiritual desire. And then, like the disciples of old, he is glad when he sees the Lord.

G. Calthrop, Penny Pulpit, No. 1063.

The Resurrection of Christ

There is in all nations an irrepressible instinct struggling after immortality. But these blind guesses go for nothing. Reason knows nothing to confirm them. Reason leaves us in perplexity. If Christ be not risen, all other risings are fables. The only light has gone out: nothing has happened this year, nothing last year, nothing this century; nothing has happened in all the centuries of the past to throw light on the Beyond, if Christ be not risen. But, once accept the fact that Christ has risen from the dead, and see what questions of supreme importance it answers.

I. The first question of the present day, the first question of all ages, is this: Who is Jesus of Nazareth? It is a question of profoundest importance. Is He only the Son of man, or is He also the Son of God? In presence of the fact that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, it seems easier to get rid of His humanity than of His Godhood. Well, if the Redeemer be Divine; if He is really Emmanuel—God with us; if I can look to Him and say, "My Lord and my God"—I cannot help being glad. Who can help being glad, with such a Saviour?

II. Another question which the Resurrection answers is this: Is Christ's sacrifice accepted and sufficient—the sacrifice that He offered once for all to God? The Resurrection is the answer. It is God's "Yea" to that voice from the cross, "It is finished." The prison doors are opened, and the Surety comes forth—not to life merely, but to glory and dominion.

III. What is Jesus Christ to us today? The resurrection declares the unbrokenness of His love and brotherhood. He has not cast aside the robe of our humanity. He wears it in glory; He wears it for ever. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

IV. What is God's purpose concerning His redeemed? The special revelation of the New Testament is not that of the immortality of the soul, but of a future life resembling the life of Jesus Christ. He has risen from the dead—risen, not for Himself alone, but as the first-fruits of them that slept; and He says, "Because I live, ye shall live also."

J. Culross, Christian World Pulpit, March 2, 1887.

References: John 20:20.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. v., p. 175; J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 9th series, p. 312. John 20:20-23.—A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 502. John 20:21.—J. Keble, Sermons for Saints' Days, p. 185; see also Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times," vol. x., p. 82 J. E. B. Pusey, Church of England Pulpit, vol. i., p. 139.

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

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 20:20. He shewed unto them his hands and his side. Probably the marks made by the nails and the spear were retained, on purpose to give the greater satisfaction to the disciples of the truth of his resurrection, and perhaps for many other reasons; though indeed, without that additional circumstance, the evidence might have been very satisfactory.

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

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:20. ἔδειξεν, He showed) forthwith.— ἐχάρησαν, they were glad) The style of John has a delicate refinement in it. For their joy was great.— ἴδοντες, at having seen) John 20:18.— τὸν κύριον, the Lord) and that too, restored to life.

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

He showed unto them his hands and his side; Luke adds his feet too; those parts of his body where were the most undeniable marks of the death he had suffered upon the cross. Then to disciples, who gave little credit to what Mary Magdalene, and the other woman, and the two disciples going to Emmaus, had reported, believed; seeing the Lord, and being exceeding glad at this confirmation of their faith.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:20". 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

Иисус подтвердил, что Явившийся им был Тем, Кого распяли (ср. Лк. 24:39).

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

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

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

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

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Evidently Jesus showed the disciples His hands and side with their wounds to convince them that it was really He and not just a phantom (cf. Luke 24:37-40). Luke added that He showed them His feet too ( Luke 24:39). Then these disciples rejoiced because they saw (Gr. idontes, i.e, perceived intelligently, cf. John 20:8) who Jesus really was.

"Thus the disciples were forced to grasp what became a central confession of the church: the risen Lord is none other than the crucified sacrifice." [Note: Carson, The Gospel . . ., p647.]

The disciples" initial reaction to Jesus" unexpected appearance was terror ( Luke 24:37). However upon examining His wounds their fear turned to faith. The disciples" joy was the proof of their perception and the testimony to their faith.

"Christian joy has been born, the joy of the redeemed, which Jesus had promised would be theirs after the travail pangs had passed (see xvi20-22)." [Note: Tasker, p222.]

Clearly Jesus" resurrection body resembled His former body, but perhaps His beatings and crucifixion had so scarred Him that even His closest friends could hardly recognize Him (cf. Isaiah 52:14). His resurrection body also possessed properties of immortality that enabled Him to pass through solid objects and to materialize and dematerialize at will, though it was not ethereal.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:20". "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 20:20. And when he had said this, he showed unto them both his hands and his side. If the words of Luke 24:40 are genuine, the feet were also shown; but the genuineness of that passage is too doubtful to permit us to argue from it with confidence. In whatever respects the glorified body of Jesus differed from what it had been before His death, there was at least enough of resemblance to make identification not only possible but the necessary result of careful observation; and it is worthy of notice that the very Evangelist who has given us the most striking conception of the change which it had undergone, is the one by whom the identification is also most clearly established. We shall err, however, if we think that the only object which Jesus had in view in showing His hands and His side was identification. He would also connect His present glorification with His past sufferings. Even now, amidst His glory, His people must not forget that His path to it had been the Cross. He is the Lamb that was ‘slain’ (comp. Revelation 5:6; Revelation 5:12).

The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord. These words describe the effect of the manifestation upon the disciples (comp. chap. John 16:22). They who thus rejoice when they see Him are prepared for further manifestations of His grace.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:20". "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 20:20. His body, therefore, however changed in its substance, retained its characteristic marks. The fear of the disciples was replaced by joy, . In this joy the promise of John 16:22 is fulfilled (Weiss).

 

 

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

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

hands . . . side. Luke says hands and feet. All three were pierced. See on John 19:37.

side. See John 19:34.

were . . . glad = rejoiced.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:20". "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 when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side - not only as ocular and tangible evidence of the reality of His resurrection (see the notes at Luke 24:37-43), but as through "the power of that resurrection" dispensing all His peace to men.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:20". "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

20. He showed them his hands and his side. To convince them he was in his body [resurrection body] and not a ghost. A week later he showed these wounds to Thomas. His resurrection body showed these proofs of his death and his love! Some sixty years later at Patmos, John saw “The Lamb” which appeared to have been killed. It may be that Jesus in Eternity continues in this BODY which shows the evidence of the Cross. If so, the Redeemed will be eternally reminded of God’s act in Christ which set them free!!!

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 20:20". "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

(20) He shewed unto them his hands and his side.—In St. Luke’s account (Luke 24:39) we have “hands and feet.” The piercing of the side is related by St. John only. (Comp. John 20:25-27.)

Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.—Better, the disciples therefore were glad . . . Their joy arose from the proof of corporeal identity which He had given them in the wounds. Their first impression was that they saw a spirit, and they were afraid, but the conviction that it was indeed the Lord, filled them with joy. (Comp. John 6:19-21, and Luke 24:37; Luke 24:41.)

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
he shewed
27; Luke 24:39,40; 1 John 1:1
Then
16:22; Isaiah 25:8,9; Matthew 28:8; Luke 24:41
Reciprocal: Psalm 69:32 - The humble;  Psalm 118:24 - the day;  Matthew 27:35 - they crucified;  Mark 2:7 - who;  Mark 6:50 - it is I;  Mark 16:14 - he appeared;  John 20:25 - Except;  John 21:7 - It is

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

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

Ver. 20. "And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord."

Luke, in vers. 24, 40, mentions the hands and the feet; John, the hands and the side. Since the side is mentioned only on account of the wound (comp. ch. John 19:34), the hands and the feet must have been introduced for the same reason. The wounds received by our Lord on the cross were, to the Apostles, demonstration that they had not now to do with an unessential φάντασμα or "spirit," but with the selfsame Jesus who suffered for them on the cross. A comparison of John with Luke leads to the firm conclusion that our Lord's hands and feet as well as His side were pierced, which Bähr, Hug, and others, show to have been usual at crucifixions. As the εἰρήνη ὑμῖν points back to ch. John 14:27, so does ἐχάρησαν to ch. John 16:22, "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, χαρήσεται."

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

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

20.He showed them his hands and his side. It was necessary to add this confirmation, that by all these methods they might be fully assured that Christ was risen. If any person think it strange and inconsistent with the glory of Christ, that he should bear the marks of his wounds even after his resurrection, let him consider, first, that Christ rose not so much for himself as for us; and, secondly, that whatever contributes to our salvation is glorious to Christ; for, when he humbled himself for a time, this took nothing away from his majesty, and now, since those wounds, of which we are speaking, serve to confirm the belief of his resurrection, they do not diminish his glory. But if any person should infer from this, that Christ has still the wounded side and the pierced hands, that would be absurd; for it is certain that the use of the wounds was temporary, until the Apostles were fully convinced that he was risen from the dead.

Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. This means, that all the grief which had been occasional to them by the death of Christ was dispelled by his new life.

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