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Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Jesus and Thomas

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”


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Joh 20:19-23. Jesus Appears to the Assembled Disciples.

19-23. 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 (Joh 14:27), but conveying it into their hearts, even as He "opened their understandings to understand the scriptures" (Lu 24:45).

20. 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 Lu 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.

21. Then said Jesus—prepared now to listen to Him in a new character.

Peace be unto you. As my Father hath sent me, so send I you—(See on Joh 17:18).

22. he breathed on them—a symbolical conveyance to them of the Spirit.

and saith, Receive ye the Holy Ghost—an earnest and first-fruits of the more copious Pentecostal effusion.

23. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, &c.—In any literal and authoritative sense this power was never exercised by one of the apostles, and plainly was never understood by themselves as possessed by them or conveyed to them. (See on Mt 16:19). The power to intrude upon the relation between men and God cannot have been given by Christ to His ministers in any but a ministerial or declarative sense—as the authorized interpreters of His word, while in the actings of His ministers, the real nature of the power committed to them is seen in the exercise of church discipline.

Joh 20:24-29. Jesus Again Appears to the Assembled Disciples.

24, 25. But Thomas—(See on Joh 11:16).

was not with them when Jesus came—why, we know not, though we are loath to think (with Stier, Alford and Luthardt) it was intentional, from sullen despondency. The fact merely is here stated, as a loving apology for his slowness of belief.

25. We have seen the Lord—This way of speaking of Jesus (as Joh 20:20 and Joh 21:7), so suited to His resurrection-state, was soon to become the prevailing style.

Except I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my linger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe—The very form of this speech betokens the strength of the unbelief. "It is not, If I shall see I shall believe, but, Unless I shall see I will not believe; nor does he expect to see, although the others tell him they had" [Bengel]. How Christ Himself viewed this state of mind, we know from Mr 16:14, "He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen." But whence sprang this pertinacity of resistance in such minds? Not certainly from reluctance to believe, but as in Nathanael (see on Joh 1:46) from mere dread of mistake in so vital a matter.

26-29. And after eight days—that is, on the eighth, or first day of the preceding week. They probably met every day during the preceding week, but their Lord designedly reserved His second appearance among them till the recurrence of His resurrection day, that He might thus inaugurate the delightful sanctities of THE Lord's Day (Re 1:10).

disciples were within, and Thomas with them … Jesus … stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither … behold … put it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing—"There is something rhythmical in these words, and they are purposely couched in the words of Thomas himself, to put him to shame" [Luthardt]. But wish what condescension and gentleness is this done!

28. Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God—That Thomas did not do what Jesus invited him to do, and what he had made the condition of his believing, seems plain from Joh 20:29 ("Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed"). He is overpowered, and the glory of Christ now breaks upon him in a flood. His exclamation surpasses all that had been yet uttered, nor can it be surpassed by anything that ever will be uttered in earth or heaven. On the striking parallel in Nathanael, see on Joh 1:49. The Socinian invasion of the supreme divinity of Christ here manifestly taught—as if it were a mere call upon God in a fit of astonishment—is beneath notice, save for the profanity it charges upon this disciple, and the straits to which it shows themselves reduced.

29. because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed—words of measured commendation, but of indirect and doubtless painfully—felt rebuke: that is, 'Thou hast indeed believed; it is well: it is only on the evidence of thy senses, and after peremptorily refusing all evidence short of that.'

blessed they that have not seen, and yet have believed—"Wonderful indeed and rich in blessing for us who have not seen Him, is this closing word of the Gospel" [Alford].




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