Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:3

So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   John;   Love;   Peter;   Thompson Chain Reference - Dead, the;   Mortality-Immortality;   Resurrection;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John the apostle;   Mary;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Burial;   Grave;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Peter;   Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel According to;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Beloved Disciple;   Footwashing;   Hour;   John;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John the Apostle;   John, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Cave ;   James and John, the Sons of Zebedee;   John (the Apostle);   Peter;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Grave;   Mary Magdalene ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 20;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb.

Note the deference to Peter. Even after John's outrunning Peter and reaching the scene first, it was Peter who first entered the grave.

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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 20:3". "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

Peter therefore went forth,.... Out of the house where he was, upon hearing the account Mary gave:

and that other disciple; John, the Evangelist and Apostle; the rest of the disciples staying at home and continuing together, waiting to hear what account these two would bring:

and came to the sepulchre; to see with their own eyes what was done, and whether things were as Mary had related; and to make a more particular inquiry into, and examination of 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 20:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

They went (ηρχοντοērchonto). Imperfect middle picturing the scene, “they were going.” The two started instantly (εχηλτενexēlthen aorist active indicative).

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 20:3". "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

Came to ( ἤρχοντο εἰς )

Wrong. The tense is the imperfect; they were coming. Rev., they went toward.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:3". "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

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

Peter went out — Of the city.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 20:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-20.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Peter therefore went forth1, and the other disciple2, and they went toward the tomb.

  1. Peter therefore went forth. See .

  2. And the other disciple. John himself.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 20:3". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

And came to the sepulchre; after the party mentioned by Luke had gone away.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 20:3". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-20.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Вышел Петр. Удивительно, вера и в учениках, и в женщинах была немощной, почти никакой, но при этом какое рвение они проявили! Действительно, благочестие непреодолимо влекло их на поиски Христа. Итак, в их сердце оставалось некое зерно веры, но оно было так заглушено, что они совершенно о нем не знали. Так Дух Божий часто действует в сердцах избранных. В итоге, надо верить, что в них пребывал скрытый корень, из которого затем произошел плод. Хотя их чувство благочестия было весьма смутным и связанным с большим суеверием, я все равно приписал бы им косвенную веру. Ибо чувство это было порождено Евангелием, и стремилось не куда-нибудь, а ко Христу. Из этого семени и происходит искренняя и истинная вера, которая, оставив смерть, возносится ко Христу в Его небесной славе. Писание же, имея в виду начатки веры, говорит, что Христос родился в нас, а мы родились в Нем. Ученики были глупее детей, не ведая о воскресении Христовом. И все-таки Господь лелеял их, словно младенцев во чреве. Вначале они были подобны детям и кое-как преуспевали. Но смерть Христова настолько их ослабила, что их надо было как бы заново рождать и образовывать, о чем Павел говорит в Послании к Галатам (4:19). То же, что Петр, спешивший меньше, вошел в могилу первым, говорит нам о том, что некоторым дается больше написанного на их лице. Действительно, многие, вначале пылая рвением, ослабевают, как только доходит до битвы, а другие, кажущиеся вялыми и мягкотелыми, воодушевляются в момент опасности.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

Ver. 3. Peter therefore went forth] He despaired not though he had grievously fallen. The saints cannot fall so far, but that God’s supporting hand is ever under them. They may be doused over head and ears in the waters of iniquity, yea, sink twice to the bottom, yet shall rise again and recover; for the Lord puts under his hand; yea, as he that stumbleth, and yet falleth not, gets ground by his stumbling, so it is here.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 20:3. Peter therefore went forth, Peter and John only are mentioned in this relation; but the circumstances taken notice of by the other evangelists shew, that the apostles lodged all together in one house, as they used to do while their Master was alive: if so, it is reasonable to believe, that they all heard Mary Magdalene's report, and were anxious to know the truth of it. But in their present situation, they would judge it imprudentto go out in a body to examine the matter, and would rather depute two of their number for that purpose. Accordingly we suppose that Peter and John went to the sepulchre by the advice and appointment of the rest. Instead of came to the sepulchre, the Greek should rather be rendered went. The fact mentioned by St. Luke (Luke 24:12.) has been commonly taken to be the same with this related by St. John; from which, however, Mr. West observes, it differs, among other things, in this material circumstance, viz. that whereas St. John expresslysays, that Peter went into the sepulchre, while he [John], who got thither first, contented himself with barely stooping down and looking into it, St. Luke tells us, that Peter stooping down and looking in, beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed. The original word παρακυψας, stooping down and looking in, used by both evangelists, and in the latter applied only to St. Peter, in the former only to St. John, is in St. John's gospel plainly distinguished from the word εισηλθεν, entered in, and set in direct opposition to it; and that not bythe force of etymology and construction only, but by some particulars resulting from the actions signified by those two words, which prove them to be distinct and different from each other. He who went into the sepulchre, saw more than he who, standing without, only stooped down and looked in. Thus Peter and John, when they entered into the sepulchre, saw not only the linen clothes lie, but the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself: but when they only stooped down and looked in, they could see only the linen clothes, as is evident from the words of St. John, John 20:3-8. Now these two actions being by these marks as clearly distinguished from each other in St. John, as the different places where they were performed can be by the terms entrance and inside of the sepulchre, and, as so distinguished, having been separately performed by that apostle, they must also necessarily be taken for separate and distinct actions, when related of St. Peter. And if it be reasonable to conclude from St. John's account, that Peter, when he came with him to the sepulchre, did not stop at the entrance, stoop down and look in, but that he entered into it; it is no less reasonable to conclude from St. Luke's narration, that when he came at the time mentioned by him, he did not enter in, but stooping down, beheld the linen clothes and departed; especially if the force of the Greek word μονα (rendered by themselves) be considered, and the whole passage rendered, as it ought to have been, "Beheld the linen clothes only lying." From all which it appears, that the fact related of St. Peter by St. Luke, and that here related by St. John, are separate and distinct facts, and not one and the same, as has been imagined. And as the facts were different, so did they take their rise from two different occasions; or in other words, as it is evident from all that has been just now said, that Peter went twice to the sepulchre, so there are two distinct reasons for his so doing, assigned in the gospels of Luke and John, viz. the report of Mary Magdalene, and that of Joanna and the other women. By the former having been told that the body of Jesus was taken out of the sepulchre, he ran in great haste to examine into the truth of that account; and in pursuance of this intent entered into the sepulchre, that hemight receive a thorough satisfaction upon that point. In the latter were two additional circumstances of importance, sufficient toawaken the curiosity of a less zealous disciple than St. Peter, whose affection for his Lord was like his natural temper, fervent and impetuous. When he heard therefore from Joanna and the other women of a vision of angels, who had appeared to them at the sepulchre, and informed them that Christ was risen, can we wonder at his running thither a second time, in hopes of receiving some confirmation of the truth of that report, which, though treated by the rest as an idle tale, he certainly then gave credit to, as the whole tenor of this passage implies? We say a second time, because had he gone for the first time upon the report of Joanna, he could have had no inducement to have gone to the sepulchre a second time from any thing he could learn from the first report made by Mary Magdalene, whose account contained nothing but what was implied in that given by Joanna and the other women. His behaviour also upon this occasion, when he only stooped down and looked into the sepulchre, so different from the former, when he entered into it, is very consonant with the purpose of this second visit, which was, to see if the angels who had appeared to the women at the sepulchre, were still there: this could as well be discovered by looking, as by going into the sepulchre, as is plain from the account given by Mary Magdalene, who, stooping down and looking in, saw two angels sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Having now proved that the visit of St. Peter to the sepulchre, mentioned by St. Luke, must have been his second visit, this passage is cleared from two objections which lay against it; one, that it did not agree with the relation given by St. John; and the other, that it disturbed and confounded the whole order of St. Luke's narration. This point being settled, the reader will permit a few inferences in order to explain some passages in the preceding part of that chapter of St. Luke's gospel. First then, it is plain from John 20:9 that St. Peter, after he had been with St. John and Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre, was now got among the other apostles and disciples, whom, in all probability, he and John had assembled upon the occasion of Mary Magdalene's report. Peter, we say, and John had, in all probability, assembled the other apostles and disciples, to inform them of what they had heard from Mary Magdalene, and of their having been themselves at the sepulchre to examine into the truth of her report. For it is not to be imagined, that these apostles would not have immediately communicated to the rest an event of so much consequence to them all, as that of the Lord's body being missing from the sepulchre. And as we now find them gathered together, and Peter with them, it is no unnatural supposition, that they had been summoned thither by Peter and John; at least their meeting together so early in the morning, is this way accounted for. Here then we see the reason of St. Luke's naming Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, among those who told these things to the apostles, John 20:10. For although these two women were with Joanna and her party, and, consequently, could not have joined them in relating to the apostles the vision of the two angels, &c. yet, as the account of their having found the stone rolled away, and the body of Jesus missing, had been reported from them by Peter and John to the other apostles before the return of Joanna from the sepulchre, St. Luke thought fit to set them down as evidences of some of the facts related by him; and indeed it was proper to produce the testimony of the two Mary's concerning these facts, because they first went to the sepulchre, and first gave an account of those two particulars to the apostles. Secondly, It may hence be inferred, that the reports of the women were made separately and at different times. For if St. Peter went twice to the sepulchre, there must have been two distinct reasons for his so doing, the distinct reports of Mary Magdalene and of Joanna: and as there was a considerable interval between his first and second visit, a proportionable space must have intervened between the two reports. After Mary Magdalene's report, he had been at the sepulchre, had returned thence to his own home, and was now got with the other apostles and disciples, whom, as we have said, he and St. John had in all probability called together, before Joanna, and the women with her, came to make theirs. Thirdly, as the reports were made at different times, and by different women; as the facts reported were different, and said to have happened all in the same place, viz. at the sepulchre, and as these facts must of consequence have happened at different times; it follows, that the women who reported those facts as happening in their presence, must have been at the sepulchre at different times. For had they been all present at each of these events, no reason can be assigned for their differing so widely in their relations; and pretty difficult will it be to account for their varying so much as to the time of their making their reports. Here then is a strong argument in favour of the women's coming at different times to the sepulchre. Their different motives for going, some intending only to view the sepulchre, and others to embalm the body, is still another argument; and as this gave occasion to two appearances of Christ, and as many of the angels, it consequently multiplied the proofs and witnesses of the resurrection, and established this important truth upon stronger evidence.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 20:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-20.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here observe, 1. How Peter and John, moved with Mary Magdalene's words, They have taken away the Lord, &c. do run to the sepulchre to satisfy themselves in the truth of it. Such as sincerely love Christ upon the least intimation that he is missing, bestir themselves with great activity and diligence, that they may see him, or hear of him: Peter and John run to the sepulchre, to see what was become of their holy Master.

Observe, 2. That there was such a clear evidence about Christ's grave, as made it apparent that he was indeed risen from the dead, and not conveyed away either by friends or foes; it cannot be supposed that any of his friends (could they have come at it) would have so handled his holy body, as to carry it away naked; and as for his foes, had they stole away the body, they would never have left the fine linen behind them.

Observe, 3. That when Christ arose from the grave, he left his grave-clothes behind him; whereas when Lazarus arose, he came forth with his grave-clothes about him.

It teaches us, that Christ rose never to die more, but to live and reign for ever; therefore he left his grave-clothes in the grave, as never to make use of them more. But Lazarus was to die again, death once more was to have dominion over him; he therefore came forth with his grave-clothes about him.

Observe lastly, how ignorant the apostles were of the doctrine of Christ's resurrection and of the holy scriptures, which declared he was to rise again from the dead: They knew not the scriptures: that is, they did not heed and regard them, ponder them in their hearts, and feed upon them by faith.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 20:3". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-20.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3.] Luke 24:12, speaks only of Peter’s going. Meyer directs attention to the interchange of aorists and graphic imperfects in this and the following verse.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:3". 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 20:3. ἐξῆλθεν, went forth) from the city.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:3". 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

Ver. 3,4. Luke, Luke 24:12, mentions Peter’s going only, upon Mary Magdalene’s report; but he must be expounded by this evangelist, who expressly saith, that Peter and John went together, and that John outran Peter, and got first to the sepulchre.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.That other disciple—John himself, as appears from a variety of passages.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 20:3. Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they came towards the sepulchre. The word rendered ‘went forth’ is so often used in this Gospel in regard to the most solemn events in the life of Jesus, as implying a Divine mission, the accomplishment of a Divine purpose, that we may well doubt whether the Evangelist does not here employ the word in the same pregnant sense. It is possible also that there is design in the manner in which the names of the two apostles are introduced: not ‘Peter and the other disciple went forth,’ but ‘Peter went forth, and the other disciple.’ The other examples of this construction in the Fourth Gospel tend to show that here John intends to set forth Peter as the main person in the narrative: thus the whole ground is cut away from those who hold that the design of this section is to bring ‘the other disciple’ into peculiar prominence.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:3". "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 20:3. At once the two men , singular and plural as frequently, aorist and imperfect, the one referring to the passing beyond the city wall, the other to the whole course from the house to the tomb.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 20:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-20.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

comes = were coming.

to = unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:3". "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

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

Peter therefore went forth, and that - or 'the' other disciple, and came to the sepulchre - to see with their own eyes.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-20.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) The details of the visit of Peter and John (John 20:3-10) are peculiar to this Gospel. St. Luke mentions the visit of Peter only (24:12, but comp. John 20:23); but here we have the whole scene pictured with all the vividness and exactness of one who stated what he himself saw and took part in.

Peter therefore went forth, and . . . came to the sepulchre.—In the original there is a change of tense here; the latter verb expressing the continuance of the journey towards the sepulchre.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
Luke 24:12
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

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

Ver. 3. "Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre."

Luke, after mentioning the cold reception which the women with their message met with at the hands of the Apostles, Luke 24:11, says in Luke 24:12, "Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre;" he singles out Peter from the rest. John completes his account by adding that he was with Peter. That Luke knew more than he recorded, is plain from ch. Luke 24:23, when the disciples of Emmaus say, "And certain of them that were with us went to the sepulchre." If Peter accordingly did not go alone, we might naturally enough suppose that John would go with him: for these two appear everywhere, and in Luke particularly, united in the most perfect manner (compare on ch. Luke 13:24); and certainly there was not one in the whole company of the Apostles more disposed than John to faith in the resurrection. Luke limits himself to the mention of Peter, simply as being the head of the Apostles. John of course had a personal interest in recording his participation.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:3". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.Peter therefore went forth. There being so little faith, or rather almost no faith, both in the disciples and in the women, it is astonishing that they had so great zeal; and, indeed, it is not possible that religious feelings led them to seek Christ. Some seed of faith, therefore, remained in their hearts, but quenched for a time, so that they were not aware of having what they had. Thus the Spirit of God often works in the elect in a secret manner. In short, we must believe that there was some concealed root, from which we see fruit produced. Though this feeling of piety, which they possessed, was confused, and was accompanied by much superstition, still I give to it — though inaccurately — the name of faith, because it was only by the doctrine of the Gospel that it was produced, and it had no tendency but towards Christ. From this seed there at length sprang a true and sincere faith, which, leaving the sepulcher, ascended to the heavenly glory of Christ.

When Scripture speaks of the feeble beginnings of faith, it says that Christ is born in us, and that we, on the other hand, are born in him; but the disciples must be placed almost below infancy, for they are ignorant of the resurrection of Christ, but yet the Lord nourishes them as a mother nourishes the child that is contained in her womb. Formerly they resembled children, and had made a little progress, but the death of Christ had rendered them so weak, that they must be again begotten and formed, as Paul says of the Galatians,

My little children, of whom I Travail In Birth again until Christ Be Formed in you,
(Galatians 4:19.)

When we find that Peter, though he made less haste, is the first to enter into the sepulcher, let us learn from it that many persons have more given to them in the end than appears at the beginning. And, indeed, we sometimes see many, who were full of fervour at the commencement, give way when they come to the conflict; while others, who appeared to be slow and indolent, assume new courage when danger is at hand.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.