John 20 Bible Study

John chapter 20 commentary Bible study

John chapter 20 commentary Bible study


John 20:1 Stone Rolled Away
John 20:2-10 He Is Risen
John 20:11-17 Mary at the Tomb
John 20:18 (A) Mary Magdalene
John 20:18 (B) Guards at Jesus' Tomb
John 20:18 (C) Road to Emmaus
John 20:19-21 Peace Be With You
John 20:22-23 Receive the Holy Spirit
John 20:24-27 Thomas the Twin
John 20:28-31 My Lord and My God
John 20 Bible Study Questions (Handout)
JOHN 20:1  1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

Before we begin John 20, let's read the a few verses in Matthew 27 that fill in the gap between Jesus' burial by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus and John 20:1 above:

Matthew 27:62-66  62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together before Pilate, 63 saying, "Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first." 65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

Are the "chief priests and Pharisees" (Matthew 27:62) concerned that Jesus may rise from the dead?
Their stated concern is that Jesus' disciples may "come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’" (Matthew 27:64)

What is the flaw in what the chief priests and Pharisees said?
For Jesus' disciples to claim "‘He has risen from the dead,’" they will need to provide evidence of Jesus being alive again, not just of his dead body being missing from the tomb.

Why did they go to Pilate instead of just ordering their own temple guards to guard the tomb?
If the body of a rabbi was not claimed by his family, his disciples had a rightful claim to it. At worst, the disciples would have been guilty of stealing a dead body. However, once they "made the tomb secure" by "sealing the stone" (Matthew 27:65) with a Roman seal, breaking that seal for any reason was punishable by death. Roman soldiers were not only also better trained than Jewish temple guards, they also would have defended the Roman seal with their lives since failing to do so was also punishable by death.

Why are the chief priests and Pharisees even bothered by a prophecy given by a man they just successfully murdered?
They may have felt insecure after what they witnessed when Jesus gave up His last breath on the cross (see It Is Finished and Veil of the Temple).