Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Matthew 28.
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.
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.Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 20:8. On Peter reporting what he saw τότε οὖν … ἐπίστευσεν. “then entered accordingly the other disciple also, who had first arrived at the tomb, and he saw and believed”. Standing and gazing at the folded napkin, John saw the truth. Jesus has Himself risen, and disencumbered Himself of these wrappings. Cf. John 11:44. It was enough for John; ἐπίστευσεν. He visited no other tomb; he questioned no one.8. Then … that other] Better, Therefore went in also the other. He is encouraged by his older companion. Note how all the details tell of the eye-witness: he remembers even that the napkin was folded. Contrast the want of detail in Luke 24:12.
and believed] More difficulty has perhaps been made about this than is necessary. ‘Believed what?’ is asked. That Jesus was risen. The whole context implies it; and comp. John 20:25. The careful arrangement of the grave-cloths proved that the body had not been taken away in haste as by a foe: and friends would scarcely have removed them at all. It is thoroughly natural that S. John speaks only of himself, saying nothing of S. Peter. He is full of the impression which the empty and orderly tomb made upon his own mind. S. Luke (Luke 24:12) speaks only of S. Peter’s wonder, neither affirming nor denying his belief.John 20:8. Εἶδε, καὶ ἐπίστευσεν, saw, and believed) He saw that the body of Jesus was not there, and he believed that it had been removed elsewhere, as Mary Magdalene had said, John 20:2, [not, he believed in the resurrection of Jesus]: comp. the following verse, “For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again.”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.
This word is explained by what follows. He believed (at length) that Jesus was risen; for up to this time (οὐδέπω) he, with his fellow-disciple (plural, ᾔδεισαν) knew not, etc. The singular number, he believed, as Meyer profoundly remarks, "only satisfies the never-to-be-forgotten personal experience of that moment, though it does not exclude the contemporaneous faith of Peter also." On knew (ᾔδεισαν), see on John 2:24.
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