The Monthly Bread Archives
John 20:8 So the other disciple (John) who
had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed. (see v4) 9 For as
yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. (NAS)
According to v4, Peter and John had a race for the tomb of Jesus on Easter morning only to find it empty. Peter in all his zeal, has a good head start but was quickly overtaken by John the disciple of love. John is known as the disciple Jesus loved most not because there was favoritism over any natural merit, but because he had the most desire to be close to Christ. If scripture teaches us anything here, it is that the one with zeal doesn't qualify as the best runner. since love never fails, it always wins in the end.
Aside from strength, love has other advantages John has over Peter, relating to insight. Peter arrives second barging into the tomb where angels fear to tread, while John being there first, is careful to observe before entering. A sign that in love he was careful to fear or revere God. In zeal, Peter acts first and asks questions later. This approach can become costly over a period of time.
The second benefit of insight, that John the beloved, has over Peter, is faith and understanding. The bible is careful in v9, to tell us that John was just as dumbfounded as Peter in finding the Body of Jesus missing, and neither understood the scripture about Him rising again. But v6 says John entered "and he saw and believed". Believed what and how? In his love, he believed that there was no foul play of someone stealing the body. In his love, he had a revelation of faith from heaven that Jesus left the tomb in power. Isn't it amazing that in the empty place of the grave where all hope is gone, John continues to love and find insight where others could not understand.
We know from the later account of the gospel of John that Peter in discouragement went back to his old life of fishing because zeal for all its worth in terms of human energy still can't understand how to go on. "Eye hath not seen...what God has for those who love him". This is why the next time Jesus appears to Peter he asks him 3 times "do you love me?" He wanted Peter to get his point and see through Gods love.
Those who are found weak in this almighty love will always strain to understand the significance of the resurrection event as well as walking in the power of it. We need to know, and grow in Gods love daily, to believe for His divine revelation. Until the world comes to know the love of God, they will never get to know the resurrection reality. In us, this love, should better manifest what God is really like, as we live before all men.