|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:1-10 If Christ gave his life a ransom, and had not taken it again, it would not have appeared that his giving it was accepted as satisfaction. It was a great trial to Mary, that the body was gone. Weak believers often make that the matter of complaint, which is really just ground of hope, and matter of joy. It is well when those more honoured than others with the privileges of disciples, are more active than others in the duty of disciples; more willing to take pains, and run hazards, in a good work. We must do our best, and neither envy those who can do better, nor despise those who do as well as they can, though they come behind. The disciple whom Jesus loved in a special manner, and who therefore in a special manner loved Jesus, was foremost. The love of Christ will make us to abound in every duty more than any thing else. He that was behind was Peter, who had denied Christ. A sense of guilt hinders us in the service of God. As yet the disciples knew not the Scripture; they Christ must rise again from the dead.
Verse 5. - And having stooped down. Παρακύπτω is the verb used in Luke 24:12 to describe Peter's conduct and gesture. It was a necessary preliminary of the subsequent act of Peter, though Luke does not refer to it. Peter himself uses the same word (1 Peter 1:12). It means literally "bending on one side," with a desire to gaze intently on an object (Ecclus. 14:23 Ecclus. 21:23; James 1:25). He seeth the linen clothes lying (see John 19:40), untenanted and unused, those very cerecloths which he had helped to wind round the sacred, wounded body, with their affluence of sweet spices. Yet entered he not within. Awe, reverence, mystery, fear, nascent hope, the thought most possibly, "Not here, but risen," began to dawn faintly on his mind. There was ringing in his ears," Your sorrow shall be turned into joy." The touch of the eye-witness, and the personal part of one who is describing his own activity. Weft-stein, on οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν, adds, "no pollueretur," and quotes numerous Talmudieal authorities to show how the corpse and the grave and gravestone would pollute the living (cf. Numbers 19:16). If so, then Peter, before he came to the conclusion that there was no death in the sepulcher, broke a ritual law which John respected. There seems also rabbinical authority for the fact that disciples might carry "the just" to their grave without such tear of pollution. But at this moment they were both lifted above the region of ritual altogether.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he stooping down and looking in,.... That is, John; when he came to the sepulchre, stooped down to look into it, and see what he could see; he only went into the court, or stood upon the floor, where the bearers used to set down the bier, before they put the corpse into one of the graves in the sepulchre, which were four cubits lower; See Gill on Mark 16:5. Hence he was obliged to stoop down, ere he could see anything within: when he
saw the linen clothes lying; in which the body had been wrapped, but that itself not there:
yet went he not in; to the sepulchre itself, but waited in the court or porch, till Peter came; and perhaps might be timorous and fearful of going into such a place alone; the Arabic version reads it, "he dared not go in".
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