|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 8. - Then, emboldened by the observation of Peter, with a courage reviving from his awe-struck stupefaction, entered in, therefore, the other disciple also, he who came first to the sepulcher. Surely the charge that this writer, under the teaching of second-century tendencies, was systematically endeavoring to lower the common estimate of Peter in favor of John, breaks to pieces on the self-condemnation, which is here recorded. The writer, whoever he was, emphasizes his own smaller courage, his tardy recognition of the fact; but he adds, And he saw, and believed. According to Augustine, Erasmus, and Luther, he believed what Mary had said. He saw now that the tomb was empty, and believed her report, whether it went on to describe the first angelic message or not; but Lucke, Lange, Meyer, and Moulton, following Chrysostom, etc., rightly interpret "he believed" that Jesus had not been taken by others from the grave. He saw there were no signs of haste or confusion, or of a rifled tomb. He believed that he had risen, that this death of his had been done away, that he was living, as he said. This is one of the most vivid indications that the writer assumes acquaintance with the most inward experience of that disciple whom Jesus loved. Luke says that "Peter wondered in himself at that which had happened." John tells us that, from that moment, the whole thing flashed upon himself. There was something for him to see which shed a burning light upon Holy Scripture, upon the promises and acts of Jesus; and he "believed" in the triumph which had been achieved. Godet thinks more - he believed in the Messiah-ship and Sonship in a sense which had not dawned upon him before. The apostle seems to link himself with those who had the smaller and less perfect benediction subsequently pronounced upon Thomas.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then went in also the other disciple,.... John, being animated by the example of Peter, went down into the sepulchre likewise; whither Peter also might beckon, or call him, to be witness with him of the order and situation in which things lay:
which came first to the sepulchre; yet went last into it; so it was, that the first was last, and the last first:
and he saw; the linen clothes lie in one place, and the napkin folded up in order, lying by itself in another:
and believed; that the body was not there, but either was taken away, or was raised from the dead; but whether as yet he believed the latter is doubtful, by what follows; unless what follows is considered as an illustration, especially of the faith of John, that he should believe the resurrection of Christ, though till now he did not know nor understand the Scriptures that spake of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Then went in … that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre—The repetition of this, in connection with his not having gone in till after Peter, seems to show that at the moment of penning these words the advantage which each of these loving disciples had of the other was present to his mind.
and he saw and believed—Probably he means, though he does not say, that he believed in his Lord's resurrection more immediately and certainly than Peter.
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