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God’s Word for You

Luke 24:9-12 they did not believe the women

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

9 When they returned from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. 11 But because their words seemed like nonsense to them, they did not believe the women.

The “Eleven” in verse 9 is simply the way that the writers describe the Apostles after the defection and death of Judas. We know from John’s account that Thomas wasn’t with them, but we don’t need to insist that they should be called “the Ten” or that they were assembled together at this time in a group. The women reported to the disciples they found, and eventually they all heard their news.

The identity of the “Marys” and of Joanna is a study in itself. Mary the mother of Jesus is not included here with them. Mary Magdalene is better known from her own story in John 20:1-18. She actually encountered the risen Jesus by herself and told the disciples about it (John 20:18). Joanna was a woman of means. Her husband Cuza was the steward or manager (ἐπιτρόπος) of the house of Herod Antipas (Luke 8:3). Jesus had healed her of some disease or possibly he had cast out a demon from here (Luke 8:2-3). Some think that the nobleman of Cana (John 4:46-54) was her husband.

The other Mary, “the mother of James” (and Joses, Matthew 27:56) was the wife of Clopas (John 19:25). According to the same passage in John, she was the sister of Mary, Jesus’ mother; we would call her Jesus’ aunt. Luke says that there were “other women with them,” and this leaves us with the impression that there were even more than the five usually accounted for: three Marys (counting the Lord’s mother), Joanna and Salome. The disciples did not believe; they needed more proof.

12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending down to peer in, he saw only the strips of linen cloth. He went back, amazed at what had happened.

John hints with his usual humility that he and Peter ran out to the tomb together, that he outran Peter, but that Peter was the one who looked in first (John 20:2-7), and that was when he, John, finally believed the report (John 20:8). The clincher for the disciples seems to have been that the graveclothes were still there. In addition, the headcloth was lying there by itself, and folded. I have always wondered about the Lord’s mother Mary looking at that and thinking, “He still remembered to make his bed!”

Finally we begin to see that besides the wonderful evidence and news of Jesus’ resurrection, there were people who were beginning to believe. Faith followed the demonstration of God’s power and love, and now it was faith firmly planted in the most glorious fact of human history: Christ is risen! What was true then is still true today. Christ is risen, and we will rise, too.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.


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