John 20:26
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) And after eight days again his disciples were within.—That is, on the octave of the first appearance to them; as we should now say, on the first Sunday after Easter. There is no reason for thinking that they had not met together during the interval, and that their meeting was a special observance of the Lord’s Day. At the same time this appearance on the recurrence of the first day of the week would take its place among the steps by which the disciples passed from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to that of the Christian Sunday.

The place is obviously the same as that of the first appearance, and the doors are shut for the same reason. (Comp. Note on John 20:19.)

The repetition of the greeting, Peace be unto you,” is partly the natural salutation as He appears to them, but now indeed full of a new meaning, which the thoughts of the week must have written upon their hearts, and partly, it may be, is specially intended to include Thomas, who was not present when it was spoken before.

John

THOMAS AND JESUS

John 20:26 - John 20:28
.

There is nothing more remarkable about the narrative of the resurrection, taken as a whole, than the completeness with which our Lord’s appearances met all varieties of temperament, condition, and spiritual standing. Mary, the lover; Peter, the penitent; the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, the thinkers; Thomas, the stiff unbeliever-the presence of the Christ is enough for them all; it cures those that need cure, and gladdens those that need gladdening. I am not going to do anything so foolish as to try to tell over again, less vividly, this well-known story. We all remember its outlines, I suppose: the absence of Thomas from Christ’s first meeting with the assembled disciples on Easter evening; the dogged disbelief with which he met their testimony; his arrogant assumption of the right to lay down the conditions on which he should believe, and Christ’s gracious acceptance of the conditions; the discovery when they were offered that they were not needful; the burst of glad conviction which lifted him to the loftiest height reached while Christ was on earth, and then the summing up of all in our Lord’s words-’Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed!’-the last Beatitude, that links us and all the generations yet to come with the story, and is like a finger pointing to it, as containing very special lessons for them all.

I simply seek to try to bring out the force and instructiveness of the story. The first point is-

I. The isolation that misses the sight of the Christ.

‘Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.’ No reason is assigned. The absence may have been purely accidental, but the specification of Thomas as ‘one of the Twelve,’ seems to suggest that his absence was regarded by the Evangelist as a dereliction of apostolic duty; and the cause of it may be found, I think, with reasonable probability, if we take into account the two other facts that the same Evangelist records concerning this Apostle. One is his exclamation, in which a constitutional tendency to accept the blackest possibilities as certainties, blends very strangely and beautifully with an intense and brave devotion to his Master. ‘Let us also go,’ said Thomas, when Christ announced His intention, but a few days before the Passion, of returning to the grave of Lazarus, ‘that we may die with Him.’ ‘He is going to His death, that I am sure of, and I am going to be beside Him even in His death.’ A constitutional pessimist! The only other notice that we have of him is that he broke in-with apparent irreverence which was not real,-with a brusque contradiction of Christ’s saying that they knew the way, and they knew His goal. ‘Lord! we know not whither Thou goest’-there spoke pained love fronting the black prospect of eternal separation,-’and how can we know the way?’-there spoke almost impatient despair.

So is not that the kind of man who on the Resurrection day would have been saying to himself, even more decidedly and more bitterly than the two questioning thinkers on the road to Emmaus had said it, ‘We trusted that this had been He, but it is all over now’? The keystone was struck out of the arch, and this brick tumbled away of itself. The hub was taken out of the wheel, and the spokes fell apart. The divisive tendency was begun, as I have had occasion to remark in other sermons. Thomas did the very worst thing that a melancholy man can do, went away to brood in a corner by himself, and so to exaggerate all his idiosyncrasies, to distort the proportion of truth, to hug his despair, by separating himself from his fellows. Therefore he lost what they got, the sight of the Lord. He ‘was not with them when Jesus came.’ Would he not have been better in the upper room than gloomily turning over in his mind the dissolution of the fair company and the shipwreck of all his hopes?

May we not learn a lesson? I venture to apply these words, dear friends, to our gatherings for worship. The worst thing that a man can do when disbelief, or doubt, or coldness shrouds his sky, and blots out the stars, is to go away alone and shut himself up with his own, perhaps morbid, or, at all events, disturbing thoughts. The best thing that he can do is to go amongst his fellows. If the sermon does not do him any good, the prayers and the praises and the sense of brotherhood will help him. If a fire is going out, draw the dying coals close together, and they will make each other break into a flame. One great reason for some of the less favourable features that modern Christianity presents, is that men are beginning to think less than they ought to do, and less than they used to do, of the obligation and the blessing, whatever their spiritual condition, of gathering together for the worship of God. But, further, there is a far wider thought than that here, which I have already referred to, and which I do not need to dwell upon, namely, that, although, of course, there are very plain limits to be put to the principle, yet it is a principle, that solitude is not the best medicine for any disturbed or saddened soul. It is true that ‘solitude is the mother-country of the strong,’ and that unless we are accustomed to live very much alone, we shall not live very much with God. But on the other hand, if you cut yourself off from the limiting, and therefore developing, society of your fellows, you will rust, you will become what they call eccentric. Your idiosyncrasies will swell into monstrosities, your peculiarities will not be subjected to the gracious process of pruning which society with your fellows, and especially with Christian hearts, will bring to them. And in every way you will be more likely to miss the Christ than if you were kindly with your kind, and went up to the house of God in company.

Take the next point that is here:

II. The stiff incredulity that prescribed terms.

When Thomas came back to his brethren, they met him with the witness that they had seen the Lord, and he met them as they had met the witnesses that brought the same message to them. They had thought the women’s words ‘idle tales.’ Thomas gives them back their own incredulity. I need not remind you of what I have already had occasion to say, how much this frank acknowledgment that none of these, who were afterwards to be witnesses of the Resurrection to the world, accepted testimony to the Resurrection as enough to convince them, enhances the worth of their testimony, and how entirely it shatters the conception that the belief in the Resurrection was a mist that rose from the undrained swamps of their own heated imaginations.

But notice how Thomas exaggerated their position, and took up a far more defiant tone than any of them had done. He is called ‘doubting Thomas.’ He was no doubter. Flat, frank, dogged disbelief, and not hesitation or doubt, was his attitude. The very form in which he puts his requirement shows how he was hugging his unbelief, and how he had no idea that what he asked would ever be granted. ‘Unless I have so-and-so I will not,’ indicates an altogether spiritual attitude from what ‘If I have so-and-so, I will,’ would have indicated. The one is the language of willingness to be persuaded, the other is a token of a determination to be obstinate. What right had he-what right has any man-to say, ‘So-and-so must be made plain to me, or I will not accept a certain truth’? You have a right to ask for satisfactory evidence; you have no right to make up your minds beforehand what that must necessarily be. Thomas showed his hand not only in the form of his expression, not only in his going beyond his province and prescribing the terms of surrender, but also in the terms which he prescribed. True, he is only saying to the other Apostles, ‘I will give in if I have what you had,’ for Jesus Christ had said to them, ‘Handle Me and see!’ But although thus they could say nothing in opposition, it is clear that he was asking more than was needful, and more than he had any right to ask. And he shows his hand, too, in another way. ‘I will not believe!’-what business had he, what business have you, to bring any question of will into the act of belief or credence? Thus, in all these four points, the form of the demand, the fact of the demand, the substance of the demand, and the implication in it that to give or withhold assent was a matter to be determined by inclination, this man stands not as an example of a doubter, but as an example, of which there are too many copies amongst us always, of a determined disbeliever and rejecter.

So I come to the third point, and that is:

III. The revelation that turned the denier into a rapturous confessor.

What a strange week that must have been between the two Sundays-that of the Resurrection and the next! Surely it would have been kinder if the Christ had not left the disciples, with their new-found, tremulous, raw conviction. It would have been less kind if He had been with them, for there is nothing that is worse for the solidity of a man’s spiritual development than that it should be precipitated, and new thoughts must have time to take the shape of the mind into which they come, and to mould the shape of the mind into which they come. So they were left to quiet reflection, to meditation, to adjust their thoughts, to get to understand the bearings of the transcendent fact. And as a mother will go a little way off from her little child, in order to encourage it to try to walk, they were left alone to make experiments of that self-reliance which was also reliance on Him, and which was to be their future and their permanent condition. So the week passed, and they became steadier and quieter, and began to be familiar with the thought, and to see some glimpses of what was involved in the mighty fact, of a risen Saviour. Then He comes back again, and when He comes He singles out the unbeliever, leaving the others alone for the moment, and He gives him back, granted, his arrogant conditions. How much ashamed of them Thomas must have been when he heard them quoted by the Lord’s own lips! How different they would sound from what they had sounded when, in the self-sufficiency of his obstinate determination, he had blurted them out in answer to his brethren’s testimony! There is no surer way of making a good man ashamed of his wild words than just to say them over again to him when he is calm and cool. Christ’s granting the request was Christ’s sharpest rebuke of the request. But there was not only the gracious and yet chastising granting of the foolish desire, but there was a penetrating warning: ‘Be not faithless, but believing.’ What did that mean? Well, it meant this: ‘It is not a question of evidence, Thomas; it is a question of disposition. Your incredulity is not due to your not having enough to warrant your belief, but to your tendency and attitude of mind and heart.’ There is light enough in the sun; it is our eyes that are wrong, and deep below most questions, even of intellectual credence, lies the disposition of the man. The ultimate truths of religion cannot be matters of demonstration any more than the fundamental truths of any science can be proved; any more than Euclid’s axioms can be demonstrated; any more than the sense of beauty or the ear for music depend on the understanding. ‘Be not faithless, but believing.’ The eye that is sound will see the light.

And there is another lesson here. The words of our Lord, literally rendered, are, ‘become not faithless, but believing.’ There are two tendencies at work with us, and the one or the other will progressively lay hold upon us, and we shall increasingly yield to it. You can cultivate the habit of incredulity until you descend into the class of the faithless; or you can cultivate the opposite habit and disposition until you rise to the high level of a settled and sovereign belief.

It is clear that Thomas did not reach forth his hand and touch. The rush of instantaneous conviction swept him along and bore him far away from the state of mind which had asked for such evidence. Our Lord’s words must have pierced his heart, as he thought: ‘Then He was here all the while; He heard my wild words; He loves me still.’ As Nathanael, when he knew that Jesus had seen him under the fig-tree, broke out with the exclamation, ‘Rabbi! Thou art the Son of God,’ so Thomas, smitten as by a lightning flash with the sense of Jesus’ all-embracing knowledge and all-forgiving love, forgets his incredulity and breaks into the rapturous confession, the highest ever spoken while He was on earth: ‘My Lord and my God!’ So swiftly did his whole attitude change. It was as when the eddying volumes of smoke in some great conflagration break into sudden flame, the ruddier and hotter, the blacker they were. Sight may have made Thomas believe that Jesus was risen, but it was something other and more inward than sight that opened his lips to cry, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Finally, we note-

IV. A last Beatitude that extends to all generations.

‘Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.’ I need not do more than just in a sentence remind you that we shall very poorly understand either this saying or this Gospel or the greater part of the New Testament, if we do not make it very clear to our minds that ‘believing’ is not credence only but trust. The object of the Christian’s faith is not a proposition; it is not a dogma nor a truth, but a Person. And the act of faith is not an acceptance of a given fact, a Resurrection or any other, as true, but it is a reaching out of the whole nature to Him and a resting upon Him. I have said that Thomas had no right to bring his will to bear on the act of belief, considered as the intellectual act of accepting a thing as true. But Christian faith, being more than intellectual belief, does involve the activity of the will. Credence is the starting-point, but it is no more. There may be belief in the truth of the gospel and not a spark of faith in the Christ revealed by the gospel.

Even in regard to that lower kind of belief, the assent which does not rest on sense has its own blessing. We sometimes are ready to think that it would have been easier to believe if ‘we had seen with our eyes, and our hands had handled the {incarnate} Word of Life’ but that is a mistake.

This generation, and all generations that have not seen Him, are not in a less advantageous position in regard either to credence or to trust, than were those that companied with Him on earth, and the blessing Which He breathed out in that upper room comes floating down the ages like a perfume diffused through the atmosphere, and is with us fragrant as it was in the ‘days of His flesh.’ There is nothing in the world’s history comparable to the warmth and closeness of conscious contact with that Christ, dead for nearly nineteen centuries now, which is the experience today of thousands of Christian men and women. All other names pass, and as they recede through the ages, thickening veils of oblivion, mists of forgetfulness, gather round them. They melt away into the fog and are forgotten. Why is it that one Person, and one Person only, triumphs even in this respect over space and time, and is the same close Friend with whom millions of hearts are in loving touch, as He was to those that gathered around Him upon earth?

What is the blessing of this faith that does not rest on sense, and only in a small measure on testimony or credence? Part of its blessing is that it delivers us from the tyranny of sense, sets us free from the crowding oppression of ‘things seen and temporal’; draws back the veil and lets us behold ‘the things that are unseen and eternal.’ Faith is sight, the sight of the inward eye. It is the direct perception of the unseen. It sees Him who is invisible. The vision which is given to the eye of faith is more real in the true sense of that word, more substantial in the true sense of that word, more reliable and more near than that sight by which the bodily eye beholds external things. We see, when we trust, greater things than when we look. The blessing of blessings is that the faith which triumphs over the things seen and temporal, brings into every life the presence of the unseen Lord.

Brethren! do not confound credence with trust. Remember that trust does involve an element of will. Ask yourselves if the things seen and temporal are great enough, lasting enough, real enough to satisfy you, and then remember whose lips said, ‘Become not faithless but believing,’ and breathed His last Beatitude upon those ‘who have not seen and yet have believed.’ We may all have that blessing lying like dew upon us, amidst the dust and scorching heat of the things seen and temporal. We shall have it, if our heart’s trust is set on Him, whom one of the listeners on that Sunday spoke of long after, in words which seem to echo that promise, as ‘Jesus in whom though now ye see Him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’John 20:26. After eight days — That is, eight days after his resurrection, namely, the next Sunday; again his disciples were within — Were in a private room, as they were before; and Thomas with them — For though he had been absent once, yet he would not be absent a second time. When we have lost one opportunity of receiving good, we should give the more earnest heed to lay hold on the next. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, as before, and stood in the midst — And they all knew him; for he showed himself now just as he had shown himself before. Our Lord deferred this his second appearance for some time, 1st, To show his disciples that he was not risen to such a life as he had formerly lived, to converse daily and hourly with them, but was as one that belonged to another world, and visited this only as angels do, now and then, when there was occasion. Where Christ was during these eight days, and the rest of the time of his abode on earth, would be folly to inquire, and presumption to determine. Wherever he was, no doubt angels ministered unto him. 2d. He deferred it so long as seven days for three reasons: 1st, That he might put a rebuke on Thomas for his incredulity, and perhaps also for his negligence. He had not attended the former meeting of the disciples, and to teach him to prize those seasons of grace better for the future, he shall not have such another opportunity for several days. A very melancholy week we have reason to think he had of it; drooping and in suspense, while the other disciples were full of joy: and the cause was in himself: it was his own folly and unbelief. 2d, That he might try the faith and patience of the rest of the disciples. They had gained a great point when they were satisfied that they had seen the Lord; then were the disciples glad; but he would try whether they could keep the ground they had gained when they saw no more of him for seven days. And thus he would gradually wean them from his bodily presence, which they had doted and depended too much upon. 3d, That he might put an honour upon the first day of the week, and give a plain intimation of his will, that it should be observed in his church as the Christian sabbath, that is, the weekly day of holy rest and holy convocations. That one day in seven should be religiously observed, was an appointment from the beginning; as old as innocence; and that, in the kingdom of the Messiah, the first day in the week should be that solemn day, Christ’s meeting his disciples in a religious assembly once and again on that day was indication sufficient. Add to this, it is highly probable, that in his former appearance to them he had ordered them to come together again that day seven-night, and had promised to meet them, and also that he appeared to them every first day of the week, (besides at some other times,) during forty days. And the religious observance of that day has been from thence transmitted down to us through every age of the church. This therefore is the day which the Lord has made sacred, and appointed for his peculiar worship and service. On this occasion also Christ said, Peace be unto you — Thus saluting them all in a friendly and affectionate manner, as he had done before. And this was no vain repetition, but significant of the abundant and assured peace which he gives, and of the continuance of his blessings upon his people, for they fail not, but are new every morning, new every meeting.20:26-29 That one day in seven should be religiously observed, was an appointment from the beginning. And that, in the kingdom of the Messiah, the first day of the week should be that solemn day, was pointed out, in that Christ on that day once and again met his disciples in a religious assembly. The religious observance of that day has come down to us through every age of the church. There is not an unbelieving word in our tongues, nor thought in our minds, but it is known to the Lord Jesus; and he was pleased to accommodate himself even to Thomas, rather than leave him in his unbelief. We ought thus to bear with the weak, Ro 15:1,2. This warning is given to all. If we are faithless, we are Christless and graceless, hopeless and joyless. Thomas was ashamed of his unbelief, and cried out, My Lord and my God. He spoke with affection, as one that took hold of Christ with all his might; My Lord and my God. Sound and sincere believers, though slow and weak, shall be graciously accepted of the Lord Jesus. It is the duty of those who read and hear the gospel, to believe, to embrace the doctrine of Christ, and that record concerning him, 1Jo 5:11.And after eight days again - That is, on the return of the first day of the week. From this it appears that they thus early set apart this day for assembling together, and Jesus countenanced it by appearing twice with them. It was natural that the apostles should observe this day, but not probable that they would do it without the sanction of the Lord Jesus. His repeated presence gave such a sanction, and the historical fact is indisputable that from this time this day was observed as the Christian Sabbath. See Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10. 26-29. And after eight days—that is, on the eighth, or first day of the preceding week. They probably met every day during the preceding week, but their Lord designedly reserved His second appearance among them till the recurrence of His resurrection day, that He might thus inaugurate the delightful sanctities of THE Lord's Day (Re 1:10).

disciples were within, and Thomas with them … Jesus … stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

After eight days signifieth here the eighth day from the resurrection, counting the day wherein Christ rose for one; as we call those third day agues which have but one day’s intermission, and those quartan agues which have but two days’ intermission; so it is said, Mark 8:31, after three days he shall rise again, that is, the third day. This appears the most probable sense of the phrase: the disciples beginning from Christ’s resurrection to keep the first day of the week for the weekly sabbath, and having met on the resurrection day, met again that day seven night, hoping (probably) for such a presence of Christ with them in their meeting as they had before experienced; nor was their expectation vain. It appears also there, from Acts 20:7, and 1 Corinthians 16:2, that the Christians were wont ordinarily to meet together the first day of the week for religious exercises; which from Christ’s resurrection, or institution, or both, is thought to be called the Lord’s day, Revelation 1:10. Nor indeed do we read in all the Scripture of any congregation of Christians on the Jewish sabbath, but upon this day; though, indeed, we find that the apostles (and possibly some other Christians) did meet together with the Jews in their synagogues on their sabbath; but we have not so much as one instance after the resurrection of any congregation, where Christians only were assembled upon the Jewish sabbath. Thomas at this time was with them. It is said again that Christ came and stood in the midst of them,

the doors being shut: concerning which phrase, See Poole on "John 20:19". And after eight days,.... That is, after another week, the same day a week later, which taking in the day in which Christ rose and appeared to Mary Magdalene, and his disciples, and the day in which he now appeared to the disciples with Thomas, made eight days; a like way of speaking see in Luke 9:28 compared with Matthew 17:1. And Dr. Hammond has proved from Josephus (w), that the Jews used to express a week by eight days.

Again, his disciples were within; within doors, in some private house; probably the same as before, in some part of the city of Jerusalem:

and Thomas with them: which shows their harmony and agreement, their frequency and constancy in meeting together, and their Christian forbearance with Thomas, notwithstanding his unbelief; whom they looked upon as a good man, and retained in their company, hoping by one means or other he would be convinced: and it also shows Thomas's regard to them, and affection for them, by meeting with them, though he had not the same faith in the resurrection of Christ:

then came Jesus; when the disciples, with Thomas, were together; so making good his promise to meet with his people when they meet; and thereby putting an honour upon, and giving encouragement to with the saints: if it should be asked, why did not Christ come sooner? it may be replied, that the reason, on his part, was, it was his will and pleasure to come at this time, and not before; Christ has his set times to himself, when he will appear and manifest himself to his people: on Thomas's part the reasons might be, partly to rebuke him for his sin, and that the strength of his unbelief might appear the more, and that some desire might be stirred up in him to see Christ, if he was risen. And on the part of the disciples, because they did not meet together sooner; and for the further trial of their faith, whether it would continue or not, Thomas obstinately persisting in his unbelief:

the doors being shut; as before, and for the same reason, for fear of the Jews, as well as for the privacy of their devotion and conversation:

and stood in the midst; having in the same powerful manner as before caused the doors, locks, and bars to give way, when at once he appeared in the midst of them all, not to Thomas alone, but to all the eleven; and this the rather, because the disciples had bore a testimony to Christ's resurrection, and which he meant now to confirm; and to rebuke Thomas publicly, who had sinned before them all:

and said, peace be unto you; which he had said before, and now, saluting Thomas in like manner as he did the rest, notwithstanding his unbelief.

(w) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 9.

And 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 20:26-27. “Interjectis ergo diebus nulla fuerat apparitio,” Bengel. This appearance is contained only in John.

πάλιν ἦσαν ἔσω] points back to the same locality as in John 20:19. Wetstein, Olshausen erroneously transfer the appearance to Galilee. They were again within, namely, in the house known from John 20:19 (comp. Kypke, I. p. 412), and again from a like self-intelligible reason as in John 20:19, with closed doors. But that they were gathered together for the celebration of the resurrection-day (Luthardt, Lange), and that Jesus desired by His appearance to sanction this solemnity (Hengstenberg), is without any indication.

The invitation, John 20:27, presupposes an immediate knowledge of what is related in John 20:25, which precisely in John least of all required an indication (in answer to Lücke, who, as also Schleiermacher, supposes a communication of the disciples to Jesus).

Bengel, moreover, well remarks: “Si Pharisaeus ita dixisset: nisi videro, etc., nil impetrasset; sed discipulo pridem probato nil non datur.”

φέρεκαὶ ἴδε] The wounds in the hands he is to feel and see; the wound in the side, under the garments, only to feel. Observe the similarity in circumstantiality and mode of expression of the words of Jesus with the expression of the disciple in John 20:25.

καὶ μὴ γίνου ἄπιστος, ἀλλὰ πιστ.] Not: be, but: become not unbelieving, etc. Through his doubt of the actual occurrence of the resurrection Thomas was in danger of becoming an unbeliever (in Jesus generally), and in contradistinction to this his vacillating faith he was, through having convinced himself of the resurrection, to become a believer.John 20:26. Καὶ μεθʼ ἡμέραςαὐτῶν. μεθʼ ἡμέρας ὀκτὼ πάλιν. Probably he had been with them every day during the interval, but as Bengel remarks, “interjectis diebus nulla fuerat apparitio”. On the first day of the second week the disciples were “again,” as on the previous Sunday, “within” in the same convenient place of meeting, and now Thomas is with them. As on the previous occasion (John 20:19), the doors were shut and Jesus suddenly appeared among them and greeted them with the customary salutation.26. after eight days] Including both extremes, according to the Jewish method. This is therefore the Sunday following Easter Day. We are not to understand that the disciples had not met together during the interval, but that there is no appearance of Jesus to record. The first step is here taken towards establishing ‘the Lord’s Day’ as the Christian weekly festival. The Passover is over, so that the meeting of the disciples has nothing to do with that.

again … within] Implying that the place is the same. No hint is given as to the time of day.

then came Jesus] Better, in the simplicity of the original, Jesus cometh.John 20:26. Μετὰ ἡμέρας ὀκτὼ, after eight days) the first day of the week again (Sunday). There had been therefore no appearance vouchsafed during the intervening days. [But for how many periods of eight days, not to say periods of eight years, hast thou cherished unbelief?—V. g.]—τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων, the doors having been shut) Not yet had they altogether ceased to fear.—ἐιρήνη, peace) a third time: John 20:19; John 20:21.Verse 26. - And after eight days - i.e. after the Passover week was over, during which the disciples were pondering the new revelations of the Easter Day, and becoming more able to understand the meaning of a spiritual presence - to understand what the real "touching" of the risen Lord meant - again his disciples were within the same or a similar abode referred to in ver. 19. Some have urged that this manifestation occurred in Galilee, whither the disciples had been directed to journey to receive the most convincing proofs of his power and presence. There is no evidence of this at all, and the form of expression corresponds so closely with the description of the conditions of the first meeting, that we cannot accept the suggestion of Olshausen and others. Some have urged that this is the beginning of the celebration of the Resurrection-day - the sanctification of the first day of the week. Such a conclusion cannot be positively asserted. "Eight days" having fully elapsed might bring them to the evening of the second day of the second week. The expression, "seven days," is unquestionably used for a week in the Old Testament, though Luke (Luke 9:28) seems to use the expression, "about eight days," for a well-known division of time, probably "from sabbath to sabbath;" and from the Jewish way of reckoning the beginning of a day on the sunset of the preceding day, we might reckon that, from the middle of the first Sunday to the evening of the second, the period would include parts of eight days. There is nothing, therefore, to prevent the calculation of parts of eight days from the great events of Easter Day as a whole to the evening of the second Sunday. And though, as Meyer says, there is nothing indicative of any consecration of the first day of the week, it is obviously calculated to explain the custom which so rapidly sprang up in the Christian community. Nor is it without interest that John, in the Apocalypse, described himself as receiving his first great vision on "the Lord's day." And Thomas was with them. He had not broken with the disciples, even if he could not accept their unanimous testimony. He was now, at least, sharing their excitement, and perhaps their hope, and many in addition to the eleven disciples were striving to realize with them the new condition of things, even their common relation to an invisible and triumphant Lord. The Gospel of Matthew and the undisputed portion of Mark 16. describe no appearance to the apostles in Jerusalem, and consequently the opponents of the Fourth Gospel have commented on the apostles' cowardly flight from Jerusalem, and on the unhistoric character of the two appearances to them in the metropolis. The fact is that there is no indication of flight in the synoptists, and the Fourth Gospel throws light on the return to Galilee in John 21. (see Weiss, 'Life of Jesus,' vol. 3:403, 404). Matthew gives rather a summary of the appearances of forty days (Acts 1:3), in an event to which probably St. Paul refers (1 Corinthians 15:6). When the doors had been shut (observe here and in ver. 19 the perfect passive participle), Jesus cometh, and stood in the midst, and said (once more, as he saw their natural perturbation; for do not men always shrink from manifestation of pure spirit or spiritual body?), Peace be unto you (see notes on vers. 19, 20). The repetition of the appearance at a similar hour and place confirmed and intensified their previous experience. If doubts had crept into any minds, the rectification of the first impression would be secured, and a Divine joy once more surcharge their minds. Then came Jesus

There is no connecting particle, then, and the verb is in the present tense. The abrupt Jesus cometh is more graphic.

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