"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 Mary Hinkle Shore
Christ is risen, and Mary is weeping: John’s account of the disciples’ discovery of the resurrection has this tension at its heart.
In his telling of the story, John stretches out the interval between the event of Christ’s resurrection and the time when his closest friends recognize it.
That interval holds two disciples’ footrace to the tomb, where they see the emptiness of it, and where one of them believes something, but then they both wordlessly return home, as if someone had said to them, “Move along. Nothing to see here.” Mary stays, weeping outside the tomb. All she can see is that the body has been taken, and what she wants is to control the damage: “Tell me… I will take him” (John 20:15).
As with the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, readers who are outside the bounds of the story know that it is the risen Lord speaking. Inside the story, Jesus is hidden from those closest to him. Paul Duke makes the point that identifying Jesus to the reader before Jesus is known to the characters aligns the reader with the risen Jesus.1 We see Mary or the two on the road, ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
April 01, 2018
Podcast on John 20:1-18, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Apr. 1, 2018, (Easter Sunday) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Karoline Lewis. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.