"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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John 20:1-18 Commentary
by Thomas B. Slater
These verses conveyed to the original readers the significance of the empty tomb.
Mary Magdalene comes alone, probably on Sunday, early in the morning. Her devotion to Jesus leads her to begin the week in prayer at the place of his burial. Mary has not come to give Jesus a proper burial, as in Mark 16. There would not have been a need to bring spices because Nicodemus has given Jesus such a lavish burial. She has come out of her devotion to Jesus. She has probably come to pray either for Jesus’ soul or for the Jesus-movement or both. And she finds that the stone has been moved and the body of Jesus is gone.
She runs quickly to tell the men what has happened. She believes the body of Jesus has been stolen and she does not know where it is. If she cannot find it, she cannot pay homage to it properly. She probably believes that the body has been stolen so that the place of Jesus’ burial could not become a shrine for his followers. Peter and the Beloved Disciple go immediately to the tomb. These two men provide a validation that Mary, a woman, has borne a true ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 128: Resurrection
April 20, 2014
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Cameron Howard for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the text for April 20, 2014: John 20:1-18. Accompanying reading: Psalm 118:21-29.