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20. Resurrection

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

19Then 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. 20And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

31. But these are written, that you may believe. By these words he means, that he committed to writing what ought to satisfy us, because it is abundantly sufficient for confirming our faith; for he intended to reply to the vain curiosity of men, which is insatiable, and allows itself excessive indulgence. Besides, John was well aware of what the other Evangelists had written; and, as nothing was farther from his intention than to set aside their writings, he unquestionably does not separate their narrative from his own.

It may be thought strange, however, that faith is founded on miracles, while it ought to rest exclusively on the promises and word of God. I reply, no other use is here assigned to miracles than to be the aids and supports of faith; for they serve to prepare the minds of men, that they may cherish greater reverence for the word of God, and we know how cold and sluggish our attention is, if we be not excited by something else. Besides, it adds no small authority to the doctrine already received, when, for the purpose of supporting it, he stretches out his mighty hand from heaven; as Mark says that the Apostles taught,

the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by accompanying signs,
(Mark 16:20.)

Although, therefore, strictly speaking, faith rests on the word of God, and looks to the word as its only end, still the addition of miracles is not superfluous, provided that they be also viewed as relating to the word, and direct faith towards it. Why miracles are called signs we have already explained. It is because, by means of them, the Lord arouses men to contemplate his power, when he exhibits any thing strange and unusual.

That Jesus is the Christ. He means the Christ, such as he had been promised in the Law and the Prophets, as the Mediator between God and men, the Father’s highest Ambassador the only Restorer of the world, and the Author of perfect happiness. For John did not seize upon an empty and unmeaning title to adorn the Son of God, but included, under the name Christ, all the offices which the Prophets ascribe to him. We ought, therefore, to contemplate him such as he is there described. This shows more fully what was said a little ago, that faith does not confine its view to miracles, but carries us direct to the word; for it is as if John had said, that what the Prophets formerly taught by the word has been proved by miracles. And, indeed, we see that the Evangelists themselves do not occupy their whole attention in relating miracles, but dwell more largely on doe-trine, because miracles by themselves would produce nothing but a confused admiration. The meaning of the words therefore is, that these things have been written, that we may believe, so far as faith can be aided by signs.

The Son of God. The Evangelist adds this, because not one of the ordinary rank of men could have been found, who was competent to perform so great undertakings; that is, to reconcile the Father to us, to atone for the sins of the world, to abolish death, to destroy the kingdom of Satan, to bring to us true righteousness and salvation. Besides, as the name, Son of God, belongs only to Christ, it follows that he is a Son, not by adoption, but by nature; and, therefore, under this name is comprehended the eternal Divinity of Christ. And, indeed, he who, after having received those striking proofs, which are to be found in the Gospel, does not perceive Christ to be God, does not deserve to look even at the sun and the earth, for he is blind amidst the brightness of noonday.

That believing, you may have life. This effect of faith was also added, to restrain the foolish longings of men, that they may not desire to know more than what is sufficient for obtaining life. For what obstinacy was it, not to be satisfied with eternal salvation, and to wish to go beyond the limits of the heavenly kingdom? Here John repeats the most important point of his doctrine, that we obtain eternal life by faith, because, while we are out of Christ, we are dead, and we are restored to life by his grace alone. On this subject we have spoken largely enough in our exposition of the Third and Fifth Chapters of this Gospel.

Through his name. As to his saying, through the name of Christ, rather than through Christ, the reason of this form of expression has been assigned by us in our exposition of the twelfth verse of the First Chapter of this Gospel. The reader may consult that passage, if he think proper, that I may not be troubled with repeating the same things frequently. 224224     See Vol. 1, p. 42.


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