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This is a chronologically-ordered Bible site with commentary on each passage.
The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of SouthPointe Bible Fellowship in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the June 26 reading. Select here for a new reading date:

BibleTrack Summary: June 26
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For New King James text and comment, click here.

Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-13;    Listen Podcast
Luke 24:1-35; John 20:1-18


In this passage, we see the following in Jesus' ministry:

First of all...know your Marys
As we read this passage, it is important to know that we are dealing with three different Marys here. To properly gain this perspective, take a look at John 19:25 (see notes), "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene."

So, for the purpose of today's reading, let's number them as follows:

Mary #1, the mother of Jesus, is not mentioned in any of the four gospels in their account of the resurrection of Jesus.

The discovery of the missing stone (Matthew 28:1-4; Mark 16:1-4; Luke 24:1-2; John 20:1)

Matthew 28
Mark 16
Luke 24
John 20
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Matthew gives some detail regarding the earthquake that had moved the stone away from the opening of the sepulchre and the reaction of the "keepers" when it happened. It's after daybreak on Sunday morning, and the tomb is open. While John just mentions Mary Magdalene in his account, Matthew and Mark mention that Mary (Jesus' aunt) was there also. But Luke reports down in verse 24:10 that there were other women present at the tomb site as well.

John beats Peter in a foot race (John 20:2-10)

John 20

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

Only John includes this. Before actually entering the tomb herself, Mary Magdalene runs to get Peter and John. "The other disciple" (verse 8) is the modest way by which John refers to himself in his gospel (along with the not-so-modest "disciple, whom Jesus loved" in verse 2). It's mildly amusing to me that John wants us to know that he's in better physical condition than Peter - beats him to the tomb. Yup, it's empty all right. The grave clothes are there, but Jesus has checked out.

Up to this point, Jesus has not appeared after his resurrection. Peter and John see evidence of his resurrection, and the Marys have not yet entered into the tomb.

The Marys enter the tomb (Matthew 28:5-8; Mark 16:5-8; Luke 24:3-8; John 20:11-13)

Matthew 28
Mark 16
Luke 24
John 20
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8 And they remembered his words,
11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.

Matthew and John specify that the men were angels, while Mark and Luke simply refer to them as men. It was one of these angels at the sepulcher who invites the two Marys to enter, but Mark just records an encounter inside the sepulcher with "a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment." Luke reports the event from within the sepulchers in 24:4, "And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:" At this point they are informed that Jesus has resurrected.

Jesus speaks to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:14-17)

Mark 16
John 20
9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

After her conversation with the two angels, Mary Magdalene gets another surprise. When she turns around, there's Jesus. Not until after a brief conversation does she recognize that she's talking with Jesus. He does instruct her not to touch him at this point because he has not yet ascended to Heaven. The KJV translates the Greek "aptou" as "touch" while the NKJV translates it as "cling to" here in verse 17. For those who are convinced that the exact word here is important, I quote the renown Greek scholar of the late 19th/early 20th century, A. T. Robertson, when he says in his definitive work entitled "Word Pictures in the New Testament" the following: "Present middle imperative in prohibition with genitive case, meaning 'cease clinging to me' rather than 'Do not touch me.'" Specifically, Jesus had resurrected from "the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40, see notes), but had not yet ascended to Heaven. This brings up an interesting discussion when coupled with some other New Testament passages.

Consider the following:
For a complete discussion on the passages listed below, click here to see the article entitled "Paradise Relocated."

Based on these scriptures, it is logical to conclude that the folks saved prior to the resurrection were being held in Hades where Christ showed up after his crucifixion and preached to the inhabitants there. After three days he led "captivity captive" i.e. "a band of captives" i.e. the saved-prior-to-the-resurrection folks to Heaven with a stop on earth to visit Mary (but she's not to touch him), at which time some of these traveling-to-Heaven saints wandered into Jerusalem. The next time he appears, it's ok to touch him. For a complete discussion on the passages listed above, click here to see the article entitled "Paradise Relocated."

Jesus meets the women en route (Matthew 28:9)

Matthew 28
9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Matthew records that Jesus met the double Marys "as they went to tell his disciples." They embrace him at this point in time. This means that the no-touch restriction of John 20:17 is no longer in effect. Therefore, at this point in time, he must have already ascended and returned again per the discussion in the previous section (see above).

The women report to the disciples (Matthew 28:10; Mark 16:10-11; Luke 24:9-12; John 20:18)

Matthew 28
Mark 16
Luke 24
John 20
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Luke reports in verse 10 that there are several women who go back to report their findings to the disciples. You mean they thought the women were making this stuff up? Yup - afraid so! Luke reports that Peter went to the tomb to see what the fuss was all about - apparently his second trip of the day, but this time without John. However, even after this second trip, he apparently isn't certain what it all means.

The evidence of their unbelief (verse 11) is the fact that they did not pack up and head for Galilee as they were instructed to do in Mark 16:7 and again in 10. We see in Mark 16:14 (see notes) that Jesus finally has to go to them in Jerusalem where they were gathered.

I smell a bribe (Matthew 28:11-15)

Matthew 28
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

Matthew gives us a little bit of insight into another issue regarding the resurrection of Jesus. The guards at the tomb are in a little bit of a predicament here; they've lost the body. When you're primary function is to guard something, and you lose it, that's serious. Apparently these were Temple guards - not Roman guards, according to Matthew 27:65 (see notes). That's why they report back to the Jewish leaders for a what-do-we-do-now meeting. Solution: if they will say that they took a snooze at which time the disciples came and stole the body, the Jewish leaders will (1) pay them a bribe for lying and (2) cover for them with the Roman authorities if they are asked. "What a deal!" the guards must have thought, "We don't have to die after all!" Plus, they had a little extra spending money. Matthew wants us to know that this bribe is common knowledge among the Jews (verse 15).

Two of Jesus' disciples meet him on the road (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35)

Mark 16
Luke 24
12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

Luke covers this account exhaustively. He records the teaching session by Jesus for these two men (disciples, but not of the eleven). The initial encounter is on the road to Emmaus, a city about six or so miles away from Jerusalem. We see in Luke 24:33 that these two men went back to Jerusalem to report everything that had been told to them by Jesus to the eleven apostles. This appearance takes place on resurrection Sunday as well as the report back to the eleven. It would appear that these two disciples (one was named Cleopas, about whom we know nothing) did not know with whom they were enjoying fellowship until they broke bread with Jesus in verse Luke 24:30. At that point, they realized that they were communing with Jesus.

One verse in this passage might be easily overlooked with regard to its doctrinal value, Luke 24:27, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." The phrase "beginning with Moses" is particularly significant inasmuch as it is difficult to readily identify which quotation from Moses looks forward to the Messiah. However, it was apparently common knowledge among the Jews in Jesus' day that Deuteronomy 18:15-22 (see notes) was a reference to the anticipated Messiah by Moses himself. Refer to the box to the right of this screen to get the fuller picture or click here to read the article in full screen.

.There's one more significant fact that should be emphasized once again here. The two Marys had been instructed in Mark 16:7 (see above) to tell the disciples to meet Jesus in Galilee. That was to be the first time they would see Jesus. We can only assume that the Marys correctly relayed the message to the disciples, but the disciples did not leave; that's an obvious sign of the unbelief for which Jesus rebukes them in Mark 16:14 (see notes).




For commentary on another passage, click here.

Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner