Sunday, April 8, 2012

Woman, why are you weeping?

In John 20:1-18 it is to Simon Peter and “the other disciple, whom Jesus loved” that Mary announces that the stone has been rolled away. This unnamed disciple (also called the “beloved disciple”) appears several times throughout the gospel of John (13:23-25; 19:26-27; 21:1-25, and probably 1:35-40 and 18:15-16). There is considerable debate over the identity of this disciple, and the purpose here is not to wade into the interpretive gymnastics of that debate, especially since it has little bearing on the central resurrection event. Whether he or she is named is immaterial.

It is interesting to note that the beloved disciple does see and believe something about who Jesus is, but Peter, standing in the same empty tomb, has no such moment of belief. Why the difference? Could it be that “the disciple whom Jesus loved” sees something different in the empty tomb as a result of Jesus’ love for him? If that is his primary defining characteristic, then might we conclude that not only the empty tomb, but all things and all people, are perceived differently if viewed through the lens of Christ’s love? This is certainly a notion worth reflecting on in light of this text.  (Lee Koontz,First Look, 3/29/10)


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