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John xxi. 2.






There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Galilee. Didymus, and Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto
Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that
it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he
was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

8. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they
were not far from land, but as it were two hundred
cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.








As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.

Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself
to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter,
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?
He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love
thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

36 The number of fishes caught was the number of the thou-
sands of proselytes in the reign of Solomon. Some suppose this
to have been the number of the nations then known in the

37 These words may either refer to the third appearance which St. John relates, or the third appearance Christ made to the apostles when all, or most of them, were together. He manifested himself to ten of them, John xx. 19. again to eleven of them, ver. 26. and at this time to seven, see ch. xxi. 2. But when the accounts of all the Evangelists are collated, we shall find that our Saviour distinctly revealed himself eleven times after his resurrection.

Joh. xxi.16.

Acts i. 4.









He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Galilee. Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed

my sheep.

He saith unto him, the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee? Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee 3, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following, which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him, saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?

Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is



Christ appears to his Apostles at Jerusalem, and commissions them to convert the World.

LUKE XXIV. 44-49. ACTS i. 4, 5.

And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem,


38 Peter was now in the act of girding on his dry clothes, and our Lord, according to his custom, spoke from the object before him.

39 This command was given for the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah, (ch. ii. 3.) “that out of Sion should go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." On the feast of Pentecost the publication of the law on Mount Sinai took place; and on its approaching anniversary a new, and spiritual law, was to be delivered to the world, the substance and substitute of the former figurative economy. The injunction of our Lord evidently shews an appointed analogy between the old and new dispensations. The time when this address was spoken by our Lord cannot be exactly ascertained. There is reason,

Acts i. 4. wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye Galilee. have heard of me :


La. xxiv.44.


For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me

Then opened he their understanding, that they might
understand the Scriptures.

46. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it
behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the
third day:


And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48. And ye are witnesses of these things.



And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye endued with power from on high.


Christ leads out his Apostles to Bethany, within sight of
Jerusalem, gives them their final Commission, blesses
them, and ascends up visibly into Heaven-from whence
he shall come to judge the Living and the Dead.

MATT. XXviii. 18-20.

MARK XVii. 15-20. 50-53. ACTS i. 6-12 40. Lu. xxiv.50. And he led them out as far as to Bethany",


however, to believe, that what is related in this, and the follow-
ing section, took place when the apostles where returned to
Jerusalem, after they had seen Christ in Galilee. With this
order, "to tarry in Jerusalem," the instructions contained in
the last chapter of St. Luke, from the end of the 43d verse,
are considered as more nearly connected, in point of time, than
with the transactions which immediately precede them, as given
by that Evangelist. The harmonists likewise refer to this pe-
riod, (the latter part of the forty days,) and all that is related by
St. Matthew, in his last chapter, from the 18th verse; and also
what is mentioned by St. Mark in his concluding chapter, from
the end of the 14th verse.

40 The arrangement of the contents of this section has been
principally made on the plan proposed by Mr. Cranfield, which
appears to me to be preferable to that of Dr. Townson.

Cranfield is of opinion, that from ver. 18. of Matt. xxviii.— from ver. 15 to 19. of Mark xvi.-and from ver. 50 to 52. in Luke xxii. must be referred to the address of our Lord to his disciples, on the occasion of his ascension into heaven. The speech of our Lord in St. Matthew, he observes, begins thus: "All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth." Some harmonists have made this clause to have been spoken on the mountain in Galilee, separating it from the remaining part of the speech; but, whenever it was uttered, the rest of the speech


Acts i. 6.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of Galilee.

must have been spoken on the same occasion, by reason of the connective particle sv. Our Lord here declares all power in heaven and on earth to be given to him at his resurrection; in consequence of which power, he proceeds to tell his disciples, that he had the authority and right to commission them to convert, baptize, and instruct the world: "Go ye therefore," that is, in consequence of this power, or absolute authority. On the above clause our Lord founds his authority to commission his disciples: it was therefore rather unskilful to destroy the force of the argument by dismembering the speech. Now, as we learn from St. Mark, that our Lord did not commission his disciples till he led them out to his ascension, so, as we are not aware of any reasons to the contrary, we think it best to consign this passage in St. Matthew to the time of the ascension. Indeed, the passage itself furnishes internal evidence that it was spoken on this occasion: it implies that the disciples were fully instructed, and that our Lord was now going to take his final leave of them. We say, final leave; for the words, 66 Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world," can have no other meaning than this, "Though I am going now to ascend with my body into heaven, and therefore will be no longer visibly upon earth; yet will I be always spiritually with you, and your successors, and direct the Church, even unto the end of the world." This seems to me a strong indication that the passage in question can have been spoken on no other occasion than that of the ascension.

It is observable, that the Evangelists were more careful in giving us the words of our Lord, than in noting on what particular occasions they were spoken. The speech in St. Matthew, for instance, one might think, at first view, was given on the mountain in Galilee. He indeed says, that our Lord spoke then unto his disciples; but I cannot apprehend that be would commission them so soon, and give them to understand that he was then about to take his final leave of them, and ascend into heaven. For the ascension did not take place till what we may call long after the appearance on the Galilean mountain. St. Matthew then, not thinking it material to notice what particular words our Lord spoke on the mountain in Galilee, only says, "That Jesus came up and spake unto his disciples." This was enough to show us, that he of consequence removed the doubts of those of his disciples who had not beheld him till then after his resurrection. We may render, and point the 18th verse in the following manner: Then Jesus came up, and spake unto them.

We may understand this clause as the ending of the transaction on the mountain in Galilee, so far as we have it recorded. And as our translators have rendered, in innumerable instances, the participle as if it were a verb, so we may be allowed the same liberty here, especially when the true meaning of the Evangelist, and the just method of harmonizing, seem to require it: and render Xɛywy, not literally, Saying, but, He saith. This therefore may begin a new paragraph, continued on till the end of his Gospel; which paragraph we are under the necessity of supposing was meant by St. Matthew to relate to the ascension. Had the Evangelist written κa, deyel, the matter would not be capable of dispute. But, on the other hand, when we discover sufficient reasons to assure us that this paragraph refers to our Lord's last appearance to his disciples, and, consequently, that its place should not be regulated by the

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Acts i. 6. him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the Galilee.
kingdom to Israel?

7. And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the
times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own


Mar. xvi.15.

But ye shall receive power 42, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And he said unto them,

Mtxxviii18. saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19. Go ye therefore,

Mar.xvi.15. Go ye into all the world,

Mtxxviii19. and teach all nations,

Mar.xvi.15. and preach the Gospel to every creature.

Mtxxviii19. baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;





Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you;

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned,

And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Mtxxviii19. and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mar. xvi.19.

Acts i. 9.


So then after the Lord had spoken to them,
And when he had spoken these things,

Lu.xxiv.50. he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
And it came to pass, while he blessed them,
while they beheld,

Acts i. 9.

word λɛyov; and when we also take into account the manner of
the Evangelists in several instances, how they, by reason of
their close adherence to brevity, seem to bring into one view,
as belonging to one and the same transaction, things which,
on a minuter inspection, we find to relate to different transac-
tions; the liberty may be allowed to the harmonist of departing
from the usual translation of the original reading, so far as he
may judge it necessary. The passage in St. Luke contains in-
ternal evidence that it must be understood of no other than
our Lord's last appearance to his disciples on Mount Olivet (a.)
(a) Cranfield's Observations on Townson. &c. sect. xii. p. 75, 76.
42 We must not understand dúvajuv, which we translate
power, in this verse, as we do ovoia, which is translated by
the same word in the preceding verse. In the former, the in-
finite authority of God over all times and seasons is particularly
pointed out in the other, the energy communicated by him to his
disciples, through which they were enabled to work miracles, is
particularly intended.


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