|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.
Verses 6, 7. - John stood gazing, waiting, wondering, and, while doing this, then cometh Simon Peter following him across the very garden which must have borne many marks of the dreadful tragedy that had been hurriedly terminated before the commencement of the sabbath. The expression, "following him," may refer to what Luke (Luke 24:12) says that Peter did, viz. that he too stooped down and looked as John had done. Westcott says, "without a look or pause." But why need we suppose a point-blank contradiction of Luke? Such a mode of entrance is almost unthinkable. But he did more: And entered into the sepulcher. How strangely impulsive this man! how characteristic of every other recorded action of Peter! There must have been a Peter who corresponded to the four- or five-fold portraiture of the evangelistic history. The last time that Peter saw his Lord was when a "look" of his cruelly insulted Friend and Master had broken his own heart; yet now he was rushing impulsively to gaze again upon that face with, so far as he knew, all the marks of infernal insult yet upon it. The contrast of character between John and Peter is everywhere maintained. John, in John 21:7, first recognizes the Lord; Peter hurries through the waters to fall once more at his feet. John is lost in silent meditations; Peter exclaims, and wonders. And he beholdeth (θεωρεῖ, with a closer and more careful, vivid, and instructive gaze, not merely βλέπει, the word used by John of his own conduct) the linen cloths lying, and the napkin (sudarium, schweisstueh) which was (had been) upon his head. He does not say whose head. How full the writer's mind was of Christ! Not lying with the linen cloths, but separately in one place, rolled up, as if it had been folded up or wrapped together (see for this use of χωρίς, AEschylus, 'Again.,' 623; Homer, 'Iliad,' η. 470 - this is the only time that χωρίς is thus adverbially used in the New Testament - and see for ἐντετυλιγμένον, present participle, Luke 23:53). It was clear, then, that the body had not been carried away for another burial, nor had it been hastily removed, seeing that there were signs of deliberation, choice, and care. All that was suggested by this wonderful appearance of the grave, all that it means to us, we cannot fathom. The new life has raiment of its own, belonging to a higher region of existence, woven in spiritual looms; yet the hands that unwound these bandages and head-cloth, and laid them as Peter and John saw them, were capable of physical exertions and activity. What dogmatic hints are involved in this recital! He is a living Person, not an abstract principle or vague force. There are evident proofs that, however great the change which had passed over him, the Living One was the same man that he had ever been.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then cometh Simon Peter following him,.... In a very little time after him:
and went into the sepulchre; itself, though not without first stooping down, as John did; see Luke 24:12.
And seeth the linen clothes lie; as John did; and as by the mouth of two or three witnesses everything is confirmed, so was this; both saw the linen in which the body was wrapped, but that was gone; and which was a sign that the body was not stolen away, otherwise the linen would not have been left; and besides, it would have taken up some time, and given a good deal of trouble, to have unwrapped the body, when it is considered how many foldings the Jews used to wind up their corpse in.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6-7. seeth the linen clothes lie—lying.
And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes—not loosely, as if hastily thrown down, and indicative of a hurried and disorderly removal.
together in a place by itself—showing with what grand tranquillity "the Living One" had walked forth from "the dead" (Lu 24:5). "Doubtless the two attendant angels (Joh 20:12) did this service for the Rising One, the one disposing of the linen clothes, the other of the napkin" [Bengel].
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