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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

John 20

 

 

Verses 1-9

John 20:1-9. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene alone early, when it was yet dark — See notes on Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1; where the circumstance of John’s mentioning only Mary Magdalene as visiting the sepulchre, is accounted for, and explained at large. And seeth — With the other women, mentioned by the three other evangelists; the stone taken away from the sepulchre — And that the tomb was open. Probably, in consequence of the distinguished ardour of her affection for her dear Lord and Master, she had advanced a little way before the others, and therefore first discovered that the stone was removed. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter — That is, after she and the other women had entered into the sepulchre, had made search for the body there, and had not found it, (Luke 24:3,) but before she and they had seen the angels, who informed them that he was risen: for after that it is very improbable that she should speak as the evangelist says she did to Peter, in the next words, They have taken away the Lord, &c., and we know not where they have laid him. Peter, therefore — Upon hearing that the stone was removed, and the body gone; went forth, and that other disciple — Immediately, and made all possible haste to the sepulchre, to satisfy themselves whether what was told them was a fact, and to see if they could make any further discoveries. Some think the other disciples were with Peter and John, when Mary gave them this information; but it seems more probable that she told it only to them; at least, it is evident that only these two went to the sepulchre. So they ran both together — Being eager and anxious to have their doubts cleared up. And the other disciple — John, being probably the younger man; outran Peter, and came first to the sepulchre — He did not, however, go in, perhaps being afraid; he only stooped down; and saw the linen clothes lying — Or rollers which had been about Christ’s body. Then cometh Simon Peter — Following him very quickly; and went into the sepulchre — Without hesitation; and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, &c. — And that in such regular order as fully satisfied him that the body had not been taken away in a hasty manner, by persons who feared being interrupted or detected. Doubtless, the angels who ministered to him, when he rose, folded up the napkin and the linen clothes, and laid them in this order. Then went in also that other disciple — Who, being less adventurous than Peter, had hitherto stood without; and he saw — That the body was not there; and believed — That it had been taken away, as Mary had told them. Thus Grotius, Bengelius, Wesley, Macknight, Campbell, and most commentators understand the clause, which sense certainly the next words favour. Whitby, however, and Doddridge, view it in a different light. “Peter,” says the former, “only saw and admired what was done; (Luke 24:12;) but John saw and believed, not the words of Mary, for we find not that either of them suspected her of falsehood, but the resurrection of Jesus, or the words of Christ, After three days I will rise again. This, John saith, was the reason of his faith, not the predictions of the Old Testament; for, as for the apostles, (John 20:9,) as yet they knew not the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” Dr. Doddridge speaks to the same purpose. “I understand it,” says he, “as a modest intimation, that he, (John,) first indeed of all others, believed the truth of Christ’s resurrection, inferring it, as he reasonably mighty from the order in which he found the sepulchre. The words,” adds he, “have a force and grace in this interpretation, which I think no other can give them.” In consistency with this view of the passage, he translates and paraphrases the next verse as follows. “For hitherto they did not know, or had not known, as ουδεπω ηδεισαν properly means; the full meaning of the various intimations of Scripture, to which Jesus had so often referred, to convince them that he must certainly rise from the dead; which if they had considered, they would cheerfully have expected the accomplishment of them, and would not have been so much surprised at the news which Mary brought them.”

Whichever be the sense of the clause, it must, at least, be acknowledged, that the circumstances of which these two disciples were now spectators “were very awakening, and very proper to prepare their minds for something extraordinary, since nothing but the resurrection of Jesus could, in right reason, be concluded from them. The body, they saw, was gone; but by whom could it be taken away, and for what purpose? Not by friends; for then, in all probability, they would have known something about it. Not by Jews; for they had nothing to do with it. Pilate, to whom alone the disposal of it belonged, as the body of a malefactor executed by his orders, had given it to his disciples, who laid it in the sepulchre but two days before: and wherefore should they remove it again so soon? Not to bury it; for in that case they would not have left the linen clothes or winding-sheet, and the napkin, folded up behind them. Whoever, therefore, had removed the body, they could not have done it with a design to bury it, and yet no other purpose for the removal of it could be imagined. Besides, it must have been removed in the night by stealth, and consequently in a hurry. How then came the winding-sheet and napkin to be folded up, and disposed in so orderly a manner in the sepulchre? Add to this, that the stone was very large; and therefore many people must have been concerned in this transaction; not one of whom was there to give an answer to any such questions. These, and such like reflections, could not but rise in their minds, and these difficulties could not but dispose them to expect some extraordinary event; especially as they knew the life of Jesus was a life of miracles, and that his death was attended with prodigies and wonders; all which would now come crowding into their memories.” Still, however, they did not understand from the prophets, that the Messiah was to rise again from the dead: on the contrary, they supposed them to have predicted that he should not die, but abide for ever; which was an additional cause of perplexity to them, and an obstacle to their believing Jesus was risen. See West.


Verses 10-13

John 20:10-13. Then the disciples (Peter and John) went away again unto their own home — Went to their companions in the city, as the original expression, προς εαυτους, seems evidently to signify. Accordingly, soon after this the women found the eleven and the rest together. It was very prudent in Peter and John to retire immediately, lest they should have been questioned by the rulers, if found near the sepulchre. But Mary stood without — It seems she had followed Peter and John to the sepulchre, but did not return to the city with them, being anxious to find the body of her Lord; but after they were gone, she stood without at the sepulchre weeping — Being in great perplexity at her not knowing what was become of it. And as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre — To examine it afresh; and seeth — To her great surprise; two angels — In the form of men; in white — That is, clothed in white habits; the one at the head, and the other at the feet, &c. — “The sepulchre seems to have been a square room hewn out of a rock, partly above ground, its roof being as high as the top of the door, which formed its entrance. This door opened upon a stair which ran down straight to the bottom of the sepulchre, along with the side of its left wall. Having carried the body down with its feet foremost, they would naturally place it length-ways, by the right-side wall of the sepulchre, with its feet to the back wall. This description is agreeable to the accounts which travellers give us of the Jewish sepulchres, particularly Mr. Maundrell, who was on the spot and saw several of them. They were generally caves, or rooms hewn out of rocks. And as the Jews did not make use of coffins, they placed their dead separately in niches, or little cells cut into the sides of these caves. But Joseph’s sepulchre, being a new one, was in all probability unfinished; and might have no niches cut into its sides, where they could deposite the dead; for which reason they laid Jesus on the floor, in the manner described, intending when the sabbath was passed to remove him to some finished burying-place.” — Macknight. And they say unto her — With a tender regard; Woman, why weepest thou? — This question was only designed to give occasion to inform her of that which would turn her mourning into rejoicing. She saith, Because they have taken away my Lord — The blessed body which I came to embalm; and I know not where they have laid him — That is, laid it; or how the sacred corpse may be neglected or abused.


Verse 14-15

John 20:14-15. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back — Probably hearing a sudden noise behind her, and being affrighted; and saw Jesus standing — Near her; but knew not that it was Jesus — His habit being changed, her eyes also overflowing with tears, and her mind being so far from any expectation of his appearance, and so much distressed, that she probably did not so much as look up to the face of the person who appeared; Jesus saith — With his usual tone of voice and accent; Woman, why weepest thou? — These were probably the first words Christ spoke after his resurrection. Why weepest thou? — I am risen. The resurrection of Christ has enough in it to allay all our sorrows, to check the streams, and dry up the fountains of our tears. Here we may observe, Christ takes cognizance, 1st, Of his people’s griefs, and inquires why they weep? 2d, Of his people’s cares, and inquires whom or what they seek, or what they would have; when he knows they are seeking him, yet he will know it from them; they must tell him whom they seek. She, supposing him to be the gardener — The person employed by Joseph to dress and keep his garden, who she thought was come hither thus early to his work; saith, Sir, if thou have borne him hence — If, for any unknown reason, thou hast taken him away from this place, where the master of the sepulchre saw fit so honourably to lay him but a few hours ago; tell me where thou hast laid him — Where I may find his corpse; and I will take him away — Will take effectual care that his corpse shall be removed and decently interred elsewhere. Here we may observe, 1st, That her taking Jesus for the gardener intimates, that there was nothing very splendid in his dress: accordingly when he appeared to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus they seem to have taken him for a person of a rank not superior to their own. 2d, That she accosts this stranger in respectful language, even when she took him for a servant, prudently reflecting, that an error on that hand would be more excusable than one on the other, supposing he should prove a person of superior rank in a plain dress. 3d, That she does not name Jesus, but speaks in indefinite terms; If thou have borne him hence — Intimating that he was the one person of whom her own thoughts and heart were so full, that she took it for granted every one must know whom she meant. 4th, She seems to have supposed, that this gardener disdained that the body of a person who was ignominiously crucified should have the honour of being laid in his master’s new tomb, and that therefore he had removed it to some sorry place which he thought fitter for it.


Verse 16-17

John 20:16-17. Jesus saith unto her, Mary — Expressing himself with an emphasis, and that air of kindness and freedom, with which he had been wont to speak to her. This one word, Mary, was like that to the disciples, in the storm, It is I. She turned herself directly toward him, and, eagerly fixing her eyes upon him, instantly discovered who it was; and transported with a mixture of unutterable passions, she cried, Rabboni, which is to say, Master — And so much was her heart affected, that she could say no more, but immediately prostrated herself at his feet to embrace them; according to that modesty and reverence with which the women of the East saluted the men, 2 Kings 4:27; Luke 7:38. But Jesus refused this compliment, saying, Touch me not — Do not embrace me, either to pay thine homage to me, or to confirm thy faith; or do not cling to me; for it seems she held him by the feet, Matthew 28:9. Or, Do not detain me now, or waste time in embracing me; for I am not yet ascended to my Father — I have not yet left, and am not immediately to leave, the world; thou wilt, therefore, have many other opportunities of testifying thy regard to me. “The word απτεσθαι, (says Dr. Campbell, here rendered to touch,) in the use of the LXX., denotes also to lay hold on, and to cleave to, as in Job 31:7; Ezekiel 41:6, and other places.” The sense here plainly is, “Do not detain me at present. The time is precious. Lose not a moment, therefore, in carrying the joyful tidings of my resurrection to my disciples.” Accordingly it follows, Go to my brethren, &c. — Thus does he intimate in the strongest manner the forgiveness of their fault, even without ever mentioning it. These exquisite touches, which everywhere abound in the evangelical writings, show how perfectly Christ knew our frame. And say unto them, I ascend — He anticipates his ascension in his thoughts, and so speaks of it as a thing already present; to my Father and your Father; my God and your God — This uncommon expression shows, that the only- begotten Son has every kind of fellowship with his Father. And a fellowship with God, some way resembling his own, he bestows upon his brethren. Yet he does not say our God, (for no creature can be raised to an equality with him,) but my God, and your God: intimating that the Father is his, in a singular and incommunicable manner, and ours through him, in such a kind as a creature is capable of.

According to Mr. West, this text, I am not yet ascended, &c., comprehends, in a few words, a variety of very important hints, which have not commonly been taken notice of in them; particularly that our Lord intended by them to recall to the minds of his disciples the discourse he had with them three nights before, in which he explained what he meant by going to the Father, (John 16:28,) and by twice using the word ascend, designed to intimate that he was to go up to heaven, not merely in spirit, as the pious dead do, but by a corporeal motion and translation, and that it would be some time before he took his final leave of earth, by this intended ascension. All which expressions and predictions concur, with a great many other circumstances, to show how impossible it was that such an apprehended appearance should have been merely the result of a disordered imagination, which Mr. West illustrates at large, as he also does the mistaken apprehension of those disciples, who, when some of their companions, whose veracity they could not suspect, testified they had seen the Lord, thought his body was not risen, but that it was only his spirit which appeared to them.


Verse 18

John 20:18. Mary Magdalene came — With the other women; and told the disciples — As they mourned and wept for the loss of their beloved Master, (Mark 16:10,) that she had seen the Lord, &c. — That he had indeed appeared to her, and that he had spoken these gracious things mentioned above. Peter and John had left Mary seeking their common Lord carefully with tears, and would not stay to seek him with her; and now she comes to tell them that she had found him, and to rectify the mistake she had led them into by inquiring after the dead body; for she now found it was a living body, and a glorified one; so that she found what she sought, and, what was infinitely better, she had the happiness of having seen the Master, and was willing to communicate of her joy to them, for she knew it would be good news to them. And, as she told them what she had seen, so also what she had heard: she had seen the Lord alive by this token, that he had spoken these things unto her as a message to be delivered to them, and she delivered it faithfully. Observe, reader, when God comforts us, it is with this design, that we should comfort others. And they that are acquainted with the word of Christ themselves, should communicate their knowledge for the good of others, and not grudge that others should know as much as they do.


Verse 19-20

John 20:19-20. Then the same day at evening — The day on which he arose from the dead; being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut — And fastened on the inside; where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews — In this translation the arrangement of the sentence, as Dr. Campbell observes, is not proper, as it either suggests a false meaning, or at least renders the true meaning obscure. “The disciples assembled, but surely not for fear of the Jews; for, as they did not intend by violence to oppose violence, if any should be offered them, they could not but know that to assemble themselves would more expose them to danger than any other measure they could take. The plain matter is, they assembled for mutual advice and comfort, and being assembled, the doors were shut for fear of the Jews; as they were well aware of the consequence of being discovered at such a time in consultation together. Further, the words do not necessarily imply, that while the doors continued shut our Lord entered miraculously. The word κεκλεισμενων is even more literally rendered, having been shut, than, being shut, or, when they were shut: as it is the preterperfect, not the present, or imperfect participle. They may, therefore, for aught related by the evangelists, have been made by a miracle to open and give him access.” The reading of the sentence, therefore, ought to be, Jesus came where the disciples were assembled, the doors having been shut for fear of the Jews. This circumstance of the doors being shut is very happily mentioned by John, because it suggests the reason why the disciples took Jesus for a spirit, as Luke tells us they did, Luke 24:37, notwithstanding that the greatest part of them believed he was risen. Jesus stood in the midst, and saith, Peace be unto you — See the note on Luke 24:36-43. When he had so said, he showed them his hands — And his feet, (Luke 24:39,) with the prints of the nails in them; and his side — Containing the mark which the spear had left in it. Thus giving them infallible proofs, that he had the very identical body which had been nailed to the cross and pierced. Then were the disciples glad — As it might reasonably be expected they should be, when they thus saw the Lord, and were assured by such infallible tokens that he was really alive.


Verses 21-23

John 20:21-23. Then said Jesus again, Peace be unto you — This is the foundation of the mission of a true gospel minister; peace in his own soul, in consequence of his having received pardoning mercy from God through Christ, 2 Corinthians 4:1. As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you — Christ was the apostle of the Father, Hebrews 3:1 : Peter and the rest the apostles of Christ. And when he had said this, he breathed on them — In a solemn manner, communicating unto them new life and vigour; and saith unto them — As ye receive this breath out of my mouth, so receive ye — That is, ye shall receive; the Holy Ghost — Out of my fulness, in his various graces and gifts, influencing your minds and hearts in a peculiar manner, and fitting you for your great and important embassy. He refers chiefly to those extraordinary influences of the Spirit which they were to receive at the following pentecost. Whose soever sins ye remit — According to the tenor of the gospel; that is, supposing them to repent and believe; they are remitted; and whose soever sins ye retain — Supposing them to remain impenitent and unbelieving; they are retained — So far is plain: but here arises a difficulty. Are not the sins of one who truly repents and unfeignedly believes in Christ, remitted without the absolution by Christ’s ministers here spoken of? And are not the sins of one who does not repent and believe, retained even with it? What then does this commission imply? Can it imply any more than, 1st, A power of declaring with authority the Christian terms of pardon, whose sins are remitted and whose retained? as is done in the form of absolution contained in our church service: and, 2d, A power of inflicting and remitting ecclesiastical censures? that is, of excluding from, and readmitting into, a Christian congregation? See note on Matthew 16:19. Some, indeed, are of opinion, that something further than this is intended in this commission, as given to the apostles, namely, the gift of discerning the spirits of men in such perfection, as to be able to declare with certainty to particular persons in question whether or not they were in a state of pardon and acceptance with God; and it must be acknowledged that such a gift was doubtless conferred in certain cases on some, if not on many, of the first ministers of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:10.


Verse 24-25

John 20:24-25. But Thomas, called Didymus — That is, the twin; was not with them when Jesus came — The cause of his absence is not mentioned. Possibly it might be affliction, or some other unavoidable hinderance. Through this, however, he missed the satisfaction and happiness of seeing his Master risen, and of sharing with the disciples in their joy upon that occasion. Here we may observe, those know not what they lose who unnecessarily and carelessly absent themselves from the stated, solemn assemblies of the people of God. The other disciples, therefore, said to him — The next time they saw him, and that doubtless with great joy; We have seen the Lord — Relating to him, probably, all that had passed at the time, and particularly the satisfaction Christ had given them, by showing them his hands and his side. But he said, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, &c. — As if he had said, This is a matter of too great importance for me to believe on any report, even on yours; nay, more is necessary to convince me than merely a transient sight of mine own eyes: for unless I shall have the fullest evidence of my own feeling, as well as sight of him, I will not by any means, or any testimony whatsoever, believe that he is risen. “Thus ended the transactions of the day on which our Lord arose from the dead; a day much to be remembered by men throughout all generations, because it brought fully into act the conceptions which had lodged in the breast of Infinite Wisdom from eternity, even those thoughts of love and mercy on which the salvation of the world depended. Christians, therefore, have the highest reason to solemnize this day with gladness each returning week, by ceasing from labour, and giving themselves up to holy meditations, and other exercises of devotion. The redemption of mankind, which they commemorate thereon in its finishing stroke, affords matter for eternal thought, being such a subject as no other, how great soever, can equal; and whose lustre, neither length of time nor frequent reviewing can ever diminish. For, as by often beholding the sun we do not find him less glorious or luminous than before, so this benefit, which we celebrate after so many ages, is as fresh and beautiful as ever, and will continue to be so, flourishing in the memories of all reasonable beings through the endless revolutions of eternity.” — Macknight.


Verse 26

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.


Verses 27-29

John 20:27-29. Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, &c. — Thus our Lord lets them see, that he was not unacquainted with what had lately passed among them in his absence, and at the same time takes an effectual way to convince and satisfy his over-scrupulous disciple. Referring to what Thomas had said, he answers it word for word: for he had heard it, though unseen: and one would suppose that his telling him of it so particularly must surely have put him to the blush. Observe well, reader, there is not an unbelieving word in our tongues, no, nor thought in our minds at any time, but it is known to the Lord Jesus. And be not faithless, but believing — Believe on this evidence at least, which addresses itself to so many of thy senses. And Thomas — Overwhelmed at once with such abundant demonstration of the fact in question, and such condescending kindness of his Master, fell under the conviction in a moment, and, instead of entering on any further scrutiny, answered — In the utmost transport of astonishment and joy; My Lord and my God! — As if he had said, I now not only acknowledge thee to be Jesus my Lord, as I have formerly done, and to be infallibly risen from the dead, as my fellow- disciples have affirmed, but I confess thy divine knowledge and power, and prostrate myself before thee as the great incarnate Deity, the glorious Immanuel. And this glorious confession he makes without putting his finger into the print of the nails, &c. The irrefragable argument arising from these words, in proof of the Deity of our blessed Lord, (which so many good writers have stated at large,) cannot be evaded by saying, that these words are only an exclamation of surprise, as if he had said, Good God! is it indeed thus? for it is expressly declared, he spoke these words to him: and no doubt Christ would severely have reproved him, if there had not been just reason to address him thus. It is worthy of observation here, that this slowness and backwardness in Thomas to believe, ought to strengthen and confirm our faith. For hereby it appears, that the witnesses of Christ’s resurrection, who attested it to the world, and pledged their lives upon it, were not easy, credulous men, but very cautious persons, that suspended their belief till they saw the utmost evidence of it which they could desire. Jesus saith unto him, Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed — Thou hast believed my resurrection, because thou hast had it confirmed to thee by the united testimony of several of thy senses. Blessed are they who have not seen me themselves, and yet have believed — On the credible testimony of others. For they have manifested a greater degree of candour and humility, which renders the faith it produces so much the more acceptable: in other words, they are persons of a more pious and virtuous disposition, who, without the evidence of sense, are so candid as to yield to the proofs which the divine wisdom has thought sufficient for convincing the world. If it be queried why a greater blessedness is pronounced on those who believe on more slender evidence, it may be answered, that our Lord by no means intended to assert, that every one who believes without seeing, is happier than any one believing on sight; for then the meanest Christian now would be more happy than the greatest of the apostles: but only that, where the effects of that faith were equal, it argued greater simplicity, candour, and wisdom to yield to reasonable evidence without seeing, than could be argued merely from having believed on sight, after sufficient evidence of another kind had been proposed. It was therefore, in effect, telling Thomas, his faith would have been more acceptable, if he had not stood out so long: and it was doing it in such a manner as would be most calculated for the comfort and encouragement of believers in future ages, to whom, in many of his speeches to the apostles themselves, our Lord expresses a most obliging and affectionate regard. Let us then maturely consider this declaration of our great Instructer and Saviour. And though we have not those sensible manifestations which were granted to Thomas, let it suffice us, that the apostles were the appointed witnesses of all these things; and what they saw with their eyes, and their hands handled, of the word of life, that have they declared unto us, 1 John 1:1; 1 John 1:3. Let us thankfully receive so convincing a testimony. Let us show an upright and candid mind in accepting such evidence as the wisdom of God has seen fit to give us; remembering, that a truly rational faith is the more acceptable to God, in proportion to the difficulties which it is able to surmount; and that there are peculiar blessings in store for them who have not seen, and yet believed.


Verse 30-31

John 20:30-31. And many other signs truly did Jesus — That is, Jesus wrought many other miracles; which are not written in this book — In this gospel of John, nor indeed in those of the other evangelists; but these are written that ye might believe — That ye, into whose hands soever this narrative shall fall, may believe, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ — The true Messiah; the Son of God — In a sense in which no creature, man or angel, can be his son, (see Hebrews 1:4-12,) being not only miraculously begotten, as to his human nature, on which account he is also termed the Son of God, (Luke 1:35,) but that eternal Son, who had glory with his Father, and was beloved by him before the world was, John 17:5; John 17:24; and who was without beginning of days, as well as without end of life, Hebrews 7:3 : and that believing — Applying to, and confiding in, him for salvation, as the only person in and through whom it can be attained, (Acts 4:12,) and receiving him in all his characters and offices, John 1:12 : ye might have life through his name — Spiritual life, the life of grace here, and eternal life, the life of glory, hereafter.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on John 20:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/john-20.html. 1857.

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