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From this, it would appear, that Thomas's speech, on the evening of the resurrectionday, was a kind of boasting in the strength of his own understanding, and a praising of bimself on that account. He would not believe that his Master was risen og such trivial evideuce as the reports of the women ; nothing would convince him but the evidence of his own senses. TJohn xx. 30.]. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book ; [31.] Rul these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that belicving, ye might have life through his name. He appeared on several other occasions to his disciples after his resurrection ; and by many infallible proofs, which are not written in this book, conviuced them that he was alive after his passion. The appearances mentioned by the evangelists are nine in number. The apostle Paul speaks of one to James, and one to himself, which they have omitted. Accordingly this passage leads us to think that Jesus shewed himself much ofteger than there is any account of upon record.
"Our Lord having, first by the angels, and then in person, ordered his disciples to go home to Galilee, with a promise that they should see him there, it is reasonable to think that they would depart as soon as possible. Wherefore, when they were come to their respective homes, they followed their occupations as usual; and particularly the apostles, who pursued their old trade of fishing on the lake. Here, as they were plying their nets one morning early, [verse 4.] Jesus shewed himself to them. [John xxi. I..4.] After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were gathered together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Sinion Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, we also go with thee. They went forth, and cntered into a ship immediately ; and that night thcy caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore : but the disciples know not that it was Jesus, for it was somewhat dark, and they were at a distance from him. He called to them, and asked if they had caught any thing, They answered, they had got nothing. He desired them to let down their nets on the right side of the boat. The disciples, imagining that he might be acquainted with the places proper for fishing, did as he directed them, and caught a multitude of fishes. [5.] Then Jesus saith unto thein, children, have ye any meat ? They answered hiin, no. He asked this question that he might have an opportunity to give them the following direction. [6.] And he said unto them, cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast, thereforc, and now they were not able to draw it for the inultitude of fishes. Such marvellous success, after having toiled all the preceding night to no purpose, could not fail to make them form various conjectures about the stranger who had given them the bappy advice. Some could not tell who he was; others said he was the Lord. Simon Peter, who was of this latter opinion, entertaining no doubt of it, gist on his fisher's coat, and cast himself into the sea, not to swim, but to walk ashore ; for to have clothed himself had been a very improper preparation for swimming. He knew , that the lake was shallow thereabouts, and would not wait till the boat dragged the net full of fishes ashore, Wherefore, he leaped out hastily, and walked as fast as he could to the land, which was only about sixty paces off. All the inconvenience he sustained by this was but the wetting of his sandals, provided he had them ou; for the antients wore neither breeches nor stockings. [John xxi. 7] Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, it is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter hard thnt it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did east himself into the sea. [3.] And the other disciples came in a little skip; (for they
were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. When the disciples came ashore, they found a fire burning, on which there was a fish broiling. At hand, also, was some bread. But neither being sufficient for the company, or, perhaps, to shew them the reality of the miracle by making them attend to the number and largeness of the fish which they had caught, and to the nets not being broken, Jesus bade them bring some of their own, then invited then to dine, that is, to eat with him : for the greek word, as Keuchenius has shewed, signifies sometimes to take meat in the morning, which is the meaning of it here : see verse 4. By this time they were all so fully convinced that it was the Lord, that none of them durst ask who he was. [9.] As soon as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. (10.) Jesus saith unto them, bring of the fish which ye have now caught. [11.] Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three ; and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. [12.] Jesus saith unto themn, come and dine. And none of his disciples durst ask him, who art thou ? knowing that it was the Lord. [13.7 Jesus ther cometh and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. It is not said, indeed, that Jesus now ate with them ; but his invitation to them, verse 12, implies it. Besides, Peter testifies, [Acts x. 41.] that his apostles did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead ; meaning to tell Cornelius, that that was one of the many infallible proofs by which he shewed himself alive after his passion. It is reasonable, therefore, to think, that he ate with his apostles on this occasion. Thus Jesus proved to his disciples anew the reality of his resurrection, not only by cating with them, but by working a miracle like that which, at the beginning of his ministry, bad made such an inpression upon them, 'as disposed them to be his constant followers.
" 14. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples after that he was risen froin the dead. The evangelist does not say that it was the third time Jesus appeared, but the third time he appeared to his disciples, i. e. to his apostles in a body ; for, in reality, it was his seventh appearance. Besides, John himself has taken notice of threc appearances before this. · “ 15.] So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these ? more than tl:y brethren apostles love me? in allusion to the high professions of love and fidelity which Peter had formerly made to him. He saith unto him, yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. Being taught modesty and diffidence by his late fall, Peter would not now compare himself with others, but humbly appealed to his Master's omniscience for the sincerity of his regard to him. Upon this, Jesus first desired him to feed his lambs, i, e. to exhort and comfort the young and tender part of the flock, thosc who were to be converted. He saith unto him, feed my lambs. Then, to give him an opportunity of renewing his professions,
John xxi. 16, 17.7 He saith unto him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lorest thou me? He saith unto him, yea, Lord, thou knowost that I love thee. He saith unto him, feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, Invest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, lurest thou ine? and he said unto him, Lord, thou knowost all things, thou knewest that I love ther. Jesus saith into him, feed my shecp. From our Lord's asking Peter if he loved him before he gave him commission to feed his lambs and his sheer, it is justly inferred, that to render men duly qualified for the ninisterial function, they must prefer the interest and honour of Christ to every other consideration whatever. This is the great qualification by which alone a minister can be animated to go through. the labours and difficulties of his office, and he fortified against the dangers which nay attend it. Moreover, Christ's exhortation to Peter to fced his lambs and sheep
being the reply which he made to Peter's declaration that he loved him, shews us, that ministers best testify their love to Christ by their singular care and diligence in fecding his flock. To conclude : the repetition of this commission three times, inay have been in allusion to Peter's three denials. In it, the Papists would have us to believe, that supreme dominion over the whole church, clergy as well as laity, was granted to Peter. However, it has quite a different meaning ; for Peter, by his late cowardice and perfidy, having, as it were, abdicated the apostleship, was hereby *10 more than formally restored to his office, through the indulgence of his kind and mcrciful Master.
“ Peter being thus restored to the apostolical office and dignity, from which he had fallen by openly denying his Master three several times, Jesus proceeded to forewarn hiin of the persecutions to which he in particular would be exposed in the execution of his office, intending thereby to inspire him with courage and constancy. [John xxi. 18.] Verily, verily, I say unto thee, when thou wast young, thou girdedsa thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest; alluding to the strength and activity which he had now shewed in wading ashore after he had girded his fisher's coat upon hiin : but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and anolher shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. Instead of that liberty which, in thy youth, thnu enjoyedst, thou shalt, in thine old age, be a prisoner ; for thou shalt be bound and carried whither thou wouldest not ; carried to prison and to death. Accordingly, the evangelist tells us, [19..] This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. The above words imply only that Peter should glorify God by suffering a violent death. But what Jesus added is understood to signify that Peter was to follow him in the kind of his death. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, follow me : follow me to the cross, Agreeably to this, the unanimous testimony of antiquity assures us that Peter was crucified.
"(20.] Then Peter turning about, namely, as he followed Jesus, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following, which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that hetrayeth thee? [21.] Peter, seeing him, saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do ? Peter, it seems, understanding what Jesiis meant when he ordered him to follow him, askerl what would happen to his fellowdisciple John, who was now coming after them. 22.] Jesus saith unto him, if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. If I incline that he should live till my coming, what is that to thee? so the greek word signifies, being elliptical for remain in the flesh. We have the elliptical and the complete phrase, Philip. i. 24, 25. [23.] Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. The brethren, it seerns, understood by Christ's coming his coming to judgment; and that they interpreted the phrase rightly, is evident from what the evangelist adds : Yet Jesus said not unto him, he shall not die ; but, if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? [24.] This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. From this verse, Grotius and others infer, that the Ephesian bishops added this whole chapter to John's gospel after his death. But it evidently proves the contrary; for the verse assures us that John wrote the things contained in this chapter : this is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things.
“Farther, though the evangelist seems to conclude his gospel, chap. XX. 3), it is no unusual thing with the sacred writers to add new matter after such conclusions, See the epistle to the Romans and Hebrews at the end. Moreover, though the writer of this gospel is here spoken of in the third person, it is agreeable to John's maqueta
see chap. xix. 35.] who likewise speaks of himself in the plural number, 1 epist. . 18. Io conclude : the verse under consideration is shewed to be genuine, by a similar passage in the conclusion of the third cpistle, verse 12 : “ yea, and we also bear record, and ye know that our record is true.” Wherefore, the chapter being genuine, this verse is an addition of the Ephesian bishops, as some critics would have us believe, who propose that it should be read in parenthesis. [25.) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written, Amen."
" And now the time approached when Jesus was to shew himself publicly in Galilee. This was the most remarkable of all his appearances. He promised it to the apostles before his death. (Mat. xxvi. 32.] The angels who attended at his resurrection spake of it to the women who came to the sepulchre, and represented it as promised to them alsn. Mark xvi. 7.7 Nay, Jesus himself, after his resurrection, desired the company of women to tell his brethren to go into Galilee, where they should see him ; as if the appearances he was to make that day, and on the eighth day thereafter, were of small importance in comparison. Moreover, the place where he was to appear in Galilee was mentioned by him. So Matthew informs us, xxviii. 16. Then thc eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had 'appointed them. Whether there were more present at this appearance than the eleven, the evangelist does not say ; nevertheless, the circumstances of the case direct us to believe that it had many witnesses. This appearance was known before-hand ; the place where it was to happen was pointed out by Jesus himself. The report, therefore, of his being to appear, must have spread abroad, and brought many to the place at the appointed time. In short, it is reasonable to think that most of the disciples now enjoyed the happiness of beholding personally their Master raised from the dead. What confirms this supposition is, that Paul says expressly, Jesus, after his resurrection, was seen of above five hundred brethren at one time. (I Cor. xv. 6.] " After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” For the number of the witnesses mentioned by Paul, agrees better to the appearance on the mountain in Galilee described by Matthew, than to any other. Galilee having been the principal scenc of Christ's ministry, the greatest part of his followers lived there ; for which reason, he chose to make what may be called his most solemn and public appearance after his resurrectinn on a mountain in that country; an appearance to which a general meeting of all his disciples was summoned,' not only by the angels who attended his resurrection, but by our Loid himself, the very day on which he arose.
“117.) And when they saw him, they worshipped him : but some doubted. The greatest part were so fully convinced that the person they saw was their Master, that they worshipped him. But with respect to a few, their joy on sceing the Lord put them into a kind of perturbation ; and their desire that it might be him, made them afraid it was not. This reason is assigned by Luke for the unbelief of some on a former occasion, chap. xxiv. 41 ; and therefore if may fitly be offered to account for the unbelief of others on this : besides, the thing is agreeable to nature ; men being come mpnly afraid to believe what they vehemently wish, lest they should indulge themselves in false joys, which they must soon lose. Probably, at this appearance, the apostles recei red orders to return to Jerusalem ; for from Acts i. 3..12, compared with Luke xxiv. 50, it is plain that our Lord's discourses before his ascensinn, related Mark xvi, 15, and Luke xxiv. 44, were delivered in or near to the city. Besides, he ascended from the mount of Olives, as we shall see immediately. Wherefore, if the orders for
the apostles to repair to Jerusalem were not given at this appearance, Jesus must have shewed himself again, which, indeed, is not impossible; as it is evident from I Cor. xv. that he shewed himself somewhere to the apostle James alone, though none of the evangelists have given the least hint of that appearance. [7.] After that (viz. bis appearance to the five hundred brethren) he was seen of James. In the college of the apostles there were two persons of this name ; one, the brother of John, who was killed by Herod; another, the brother or cousin of Jesus. Perhaps it was to James the brother of John that our Lord appeared after his resurrection. His being to suffer martyrdom so early, might make this special favoui necessary.
« Thus Jesus, [Acts i, 3.] shewed himself alive, (to the apostles whom he had choscu, and to his other disciples, ) after his passion, by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. It seeins, he continued on earth forty days after he arose ; and, in several interviews which he had with his disciples during that period, he gave them many iufallible proofs of his resurrection, and discoursed to them concerning the new dispensation of religion wbich he was going to erect in the world by their ministry ; and so, having accomplished all the purposes of his coming, nothing remained but that he should ascend into heaven in the presence of his apostles. These men were now gone up to Jerusalem to prepare themselves for the feast of Pentecost. Thither Jesus went, and shewed himself to them for the last time ; and because they were still in deep dejection on account of the amictions of his life, and the ignominy of his death, he, on this memorable occasion, introduced that subject; putting them in mind that, during his abode with them in Galilee, he had often told them, that all the things written in the law, prophets, and Psalms, concerning him, were to be fulfilled. [Luke xxiy, 44, 45.] Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand.. the scriptures. By the operation of his spirit, he removed their prejudices, cleared their doubts, enlarged their memories, strengthened their judgments, and enabled them to discern the true meaning of the scriptures. Having thus qualified them for receiving the truth, he assured them that Moses and the prophets bad foretold that Messiah was to suffer in the very manner he had suffered ; that he was to rise from the dead on the third day, as he had done ; that repentance and remission of sins. were to he preached in Messiah's name among all nations, beginning with the Jews ; and that the first offers of these blessings were to be made to such of them as dwelt in Jerusalem, Then he told them, that in him they had beheld the exact accom, plishment of all the prophecies concerning the sufferings and resurrection of Messiah, and that they were chosen by God as the witnesses of these things, in order that they might certify them to the world. [Luke xxiv. 48.] And ye are witnesses of these things, '. Withral, to fit them for this great and important work, he told them that he would send upon them miraculous gifts of the Spirit, which he called the promise of the Father ; because God had promised them by the prophets. At the same time, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem till they had received those gifts. The season of their receiving the gifts of the Spirit was so near, and the work for which they were to be bestowed was so urgent, that the apostles could not leaye Jerusalem, even on pretence of going home, especially as it was determined by the prophets, that in Jerusalem the preaching of repentance and remission of sins should begin, to qualify them for which, the gift of miracles was to be bestowed upon them. To conclude : he told them that the dignity of his character, who was their Master, and the efficacy of his ministry, should be demonstrated to he greater than John's; by the miraculous gifts, to be bestowed on them. For whereas John only baptized.