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Jerusalem. belief and hardness of heart, because they believ
ed not them which had seen him after he was
And after eight days $2 again his disciples were John xx. %.
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy John XX. 27. finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side : and be not faithless, but believing.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My John XX. 28. Lord and my God 33.
compare the proofs of his resurrection, and to call to mind his own predictions and promises concerning it. They who continued incredulous were become more worthy of blame. Then if he said no more by way of reproof than what he said to St. Thomas, it was a reprehension of the rest of the company who were in the same state of mind : and it is sufficient to justify St. Mark's expression, “ He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart." St. Mark says, “ He appeared unto the eleven," and it was of consequence to inform us that he was seen by the apostles : but when he adds, “And he upbraided them with their unbelief," he extends his view to all those whom he had spoken of as incredulous in the preceding verse.
32 The first appearances of our Lord to his apostles appear to have taken place uniformly on the first day of the week; and from their consequent observance of that day, originated the Christian Sabbath. 33 ON THE EXCLAMATION OF ST. THOMAS, AND ON THE WORD
ΠΡΟΣΚΥΝ ΕΩ. The disbelief of the Apostles is the means of furnishing us with full and satisfactory demonstration of the resurrection of Christ. Throughout the divine dispensations, it is to be observed, that every doctrine, and every important truth, is gradually revealed ; and here we have a conspicuous instance of this progressive system. An angel first declares the glorious event! The empty sepulchre confirms the women's report. Christ's appearance to Mary Magdalene shewed that he was alive-that to the disciples at Emmaus proved that it was at least the spirit of Christ, by his expounding the prophecies, and breaking of bread --that to the eleven shewed the reality of his body, and the conviction given to St. Thomas, proved it the self-same body that had been crucified. The resurrection was testified by the conviction of the senses. The ear heard it, and blessed—the eye saw it, and gave witness the hand was satisfied with feeling
the intellect was fed upon the heavenly teaching, and the Holy Ghost descended in confirmation of the holy truth. The miracle of the draught of fishes gave evidence of the continued existence of the same divine and almighty nature, which had been displayed before the crucifixion, and the Spirit of God was manifested in opening the Scriptures, till their hearts burned within them. Every possible demonstration was vouchsafed that man could receive, or Gol
John XX. 29.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou Jerusalem. hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
bestow. The wounds which had been inflicted upon the body of Christ were still visible, bearing testimony to his identity, unclosed, yet free from corruption. Incredulity itself was satisfied, and the convinced apostle exclaims, in the joy of his heart, “ My Lord and my God.”
The question whether St. Thomas, at the moment of his conviction, intended his address to our Lord in an act of religious worship, must be decided by a consideration of the conclusions from which it must have originated. St. Thomas had denied the possibility of the resurrection. Our Lord convinced him of his error; then he expressed himself in these remarkable words, “My Lord and my God.” “So far," says Bishop Horsley, “ as the disciples believed in Jesus as the Messiah, in the same degree they understood and acknowledged his divinity. In the first interview of Nathaniel with our Lord, when he proved to him his omniscience, he exclaimed, “ Thou art the Son of God, thou art the divine and expected king of Israel. When the miraculous draught of fishes convinced St. Peter of the power of Christ, he addressed him as his Lord.' When the Angel Jehovah appeared to the patriarchs of old, they all worshipped and paid their homage in the same manner, and with similar expressions to those used by the Evangelists. It was some sudden proof of divinity in the mysterious personage who addressed them, which elicited the language of homage and adora
The exclamation of the Apostle was 'O Kúplos poū, kai ó Ozos poū, in the nominative, which is frequently put for the vocative, in pure, as well as in Hellenistic Greek. It seems, however, preferable to read the passage où el, understood, “ Thou art my Lord, even my God;" or, as the word Kúpios corresponds to the principal names given in the Old Testament to the manifested God of Israel, it would be better to interpret the exclamation accordingly, as if he had said, Dobxmin", or, as the Jews were accustomed to omit the ineffable name, and substitute 778 in its place, he might have used only the latter O bx 69798. It seems, however, more probable, that on the present occasion he would omit the substituted term, and express himself in the very language of the Scriptures, :D'mbx 77777. This was the name given to the manifested God of the Old Testament, and the exclamation of the apostle therefore may be more fully rendered, “ Thou art the Lord Jehovah, the manifested God of my fathers."
It is true that the word at pookUvéw, in the original, which is rendered by our translators by the term “ worship," is used by the Evangelist to denote civil respect, or the homage due to persons of rank and dignity. But the word is one of general import; and the cases in which it must be understood of religious adoration on the one hand, or of civil homage on the other, can be discriminated only by attending to the circumstances in each instance. To assist in determining the true sense in the examples under consideration, let the following remarks be considered:
1. Out of sixty places in which this word occurs in the New Testament, there are only two or three in which it indisputably bears the inferior sense ; there
And when they saw him, they worshipped him : Matt. xxviii. but some doubted 34
And Jesus came and spake unto them 3. Mat.xxvifi.IS.
are forty-three in which it is manifestly to be understood of religious worship ; and the remaining instances are those of application to Christ, the genuine import of which we are desirous of ascertaining.
2. Our Lord, during the whole of his public ministry, evidently made it a principle of his conduct, to disavow and refuse all earthly eminence. The repeated attempts which were made to invest him with the regal dignity he inflexibly discountenanced. Even when he was accosted with an epithet which he might have accepted very inoffensively, he rebuked the person who gave it, because he perceived it was the language of adulation rather than of sincere conviction—" Why callest thou me good ?” On the contrary, he never refused acknowledgments of spiritual supremacy. He openly claimed to be called Lord and Master, the Son of God, and the King of his Church,
A translation of the New Testament into Hebrew has been lately published by the London Society for Promoting the Conversion of the Jews; in this translation the words of St. Thomas are rendered literally mbx 3978. This Hebrew translation, so far as I am able to judge, appears to be executed with ability and faithfulness (a).
34 Beza reads this passage oudè édioraoav, “they did not doubt any longer." The Prussian version reads, προσεκύνησαν αυτώ, οι δε εδίστασαν, « they worshipped him, even those who had doubted." In which sense it should be oi Te. Grotius interprets it, “but some had heretofore doubted.” Bishop Pearce conjectures, that those who doubted did so because they might be at a greater distance from him than others, and therefore could not so well distinguish.
35 St. Matthew's words are cai # popełowy ó'Incoûçeálnoey aútois; implying, that when our Lord first appeared to them it was at a distance: APOCA own is rendered by Grotius, “ accedens."-See Townson, p. 167, and Bowyer, p. 136.
(a) Horsley's Letters in reply to Dr. Priestley, p. 239. Sermon on the Adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ, vindicated from the charge of Idolatry. By Dr. Pye Smith, 8vo. 1811.
John xxi. 5.
with Peter 36.
JOHN xxi, 1–25. John xxi. 1. After these things, Jesus shewed himself again Galilee.
to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias ; and on this
wise shewed he himself.
called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee,
They say unto him, We also go with thee. They
and that night they caught nothing.
stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not
Then Jesus saith unto them, * Children, have * Or, Sirs. ye any meat? They answered him, No.
And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it
for the multitude of fishes.
unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon
himself into the sea.
(for they were not far from land, but as it were two
hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. John xxi. 9. As soon then as they were come to land, they
saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and
bread. John xxi. 10. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which
ye have now caught. John xxi. 11. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land
full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three:
John xxi. 6.
John xxi. 10.
36 The contents of this section are very curious and important. So little did the apostles anticipate their future elevation, as the reformers of the religion of the world, that they had absolutely returned to their former occupation as fishermen of Galilee. Humble and unambitious, they appear to have as much forgotten all the splendid hopes and expectations of the past, as they were ignorant of their future high destinies.
Galilee. and for all there were so many, yet was not the
Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And John xxi, 12. none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth John xxí. 13. them, and fish likewise.
This is now the third time that Jesus shewed John xxi. 14. himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon John xxi, 15. Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord ; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, John xxi. 16. son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
He saith unto him, the third time, Simon, son John xxi. 17. of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast John xxi. 18. young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee 38, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
This spake he, signifying by what death he John xxi. 19. should glorify God. And when he had spoken
this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 23.25. & 4x.2. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple o John xxi. 20.
whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on
37 These words may either refer to the third appearance which St. John relates, or the third appearance Christ made to the apostles, when all, or most of them, were together. He manifested himself to ten of them, (John xx. 19.); again to eleven of them, (ver. 26.); and at this time to seven, (see ch. xxi. 2.) But when the accounts of all the Evangelists are collated, we shall find that our Saviour distinctly revealed himself eleven times after his resurrection.
38 Peter was now in the act of girding on his dry clothes, and our Lord, according to his custom, spoke from the object before him.