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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 20 - Verse 17

Verse 17. Touch me not, &c. This passage has given rise to a variety of interpretations. Jesus required Thomas to touch him (Joh 20:27), and it has been difficult to ascertain why he forbade this now to Mary. The reason why he directed Thomas to do this was, that he doubted whether he had been restored to life. Mary did not doubt that. The reason why he forbade her to touch him now is to be sought in the circumstances of the case. Mary, filled with joy and gratitude, was about to prostrate herself at his feet, disposed to remain with him, and offer him there her homage as her risen Lord. This is probably included in the word touch in this place; and the language of Jesus may mean this: "Do not approach me now for this purpose. Do not delay here. Other opportunities will yet be afforded to see me. I have not yet ascended— that is, I am not about to ascend immediately, but shall remain yet on earth to afford opportunity to my disciples to enjoy my presence." From Mt 28:9, it appears that the women, when they met Jesus, held him by the feet and worshipped him. This species of adoration it was probably the intention of Mary to offer, and this, at that time, Jesus forbade, and directed her to go at once and give his disciples notice that he had risen.

My brethren. See Joh 15:15.

My Father and your Father, &c. Nothing was better fitted to afford them consolation than this assurance that his God was theirs, and that, though he had been slain, they were still indissolubly united in attachment to the same Father and God.

{o} "my brethren" Ps 22:22; Ro 8:29; Heb 2:11

{p} "I ascend" Joh 16:28 {q} "your Father" Ro 8:14,15; 2 Co 6:18; Ga 3:26; 4:6,7

{r} "my God" Eph 1:17 {s} "your God" Ge 17:7,8; Ps 43:4,5; 48:14; Isa 41:10; Jer 31:33


Eze 36:28; Zec 13:9; Heb 11:16; Re 21:3

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