20 John


Bill Huffman


John 20:1-31


  • Mary Magdalene had strong enough sentiments that she was at the tomb while it was still dark, that she returned after telling Peter and John, and that she was still there, weeping, after they left.  And Jesus appeared to her first of all.
  • Mary's *statement* here seems important.  Jesus reveals himself only after she has stated to the angels in words that she is seeking Jesus. And then again to Jesus that she is seeking him.
  • Even in person, Jesus is known only by those to whom he wishes to be known.  Mary saw Jesus and heard him speak and still did not know, until Jesus spoke to her in a way that would ensure that she knew.  And immediately, she knew completely, without hesitation.
  • Jesus then sent her on the first command mission after he rose -- to tell the disciples that he was ascending "to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
  • Peter and John were excited enough to run to the tomb.
  • Peter and John saw the linen cloths lying in the tomb, and most particularly, the face cloth folded up and in a place by itself.  This is a strong witness from them that the body was not stolen.  The empty tomb, the linen cloths, and the face cloth folded were strong enough evidence that they believed.
  • Peter and John believed first from the evidence.  They were not expecting it from the scriptures and thus did not believe because they were pre-conditioned to do so.  Rather they were completely surprised and only later realized that the Scriptures had told them all along.
  • By the evening of that same day, the disciples had gathered.  But they were, even at this point, afraid of the religious authorities.
  • Jesus came to them.  And showed them his hands and side.  Jesus was happy that they should believe on evidence and made a special point with Thomas, who had asked for the evidence, to show him as well.  Jesus offered what it took for each disciple to believe.  For Peter and John, the empty tomb.  For Mary, a personal word.  For the other 9 disciples, his hands and side.  For Thomas, asking that he believe.
  • All, and Thomas especially, believed emphatically and were glad.  They were not believing by 51% evidence, but by all that they could possibly have asked for.
  • Jesus called for Peace to be with them.  Twice.  And Jesus sent them out, specifically in the same way the Father had sent him.  And Jesus commanded that they receive the Holy Spirit -- as a part of sending them out.


God is not stingy with evidence of resurrection.  Neither is he weak in his call to us.  What is recorded for us is the disciples’ response to the resurrection in their heart, mind, and soul, completely given to the fact of Jesus' resurrection.


Father, will you grow in us not just a knowledge of or agreement with the resurrection of our Lord, but the same kind of emphatic, heart-filling certainty which you grew in the disciples.  May this triumph of the Heavenly over the earthly drive our entire lives.


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