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The Gate of God
Reflections on the Reformers

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Original photo by James Emery  

John 20:1–18

From the Reformer

For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. They had often heard from the mouth of Christ what they now saw with their eyes, but this flowed from their hearts. Being now warned by the sight of a strange spectacle, they begin to think of Christ as having something Divine, though they are still far from having a clear and accurate knowledge of him. John, therefore, accuses himself, when he acknowledges that the first time that he believed was, when he beheld the proofs of Christ’s resurrection.

Besides, he represents more strongly his own guilt and that of his brethren, by adding, that they not only had forgotten the words of Christ, but that they did not believe the Scriptures; for to this ignorance lie ascribes the deficiency of their faith. Hence, too, we may draw a useful instruction, that we ought, to ascribe it to our carelessness, when we are ignorant of what we ought to know about Christ, because we have not profited as we ought to have done by the Scriptures, which clearly reveal the excellence of Christ.

—John Calvin, Commentary on John

Pulling It Together

Anyone who has read this gospel would not be surprised that the Son is the Gate of God. Jesus is the way to his Father. In the tenth chapter he said, “I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture” (John 10:9). In the fourteenth chapter, he said that he is the only way to God (John 14:6).

When you find yourself, having run to the tomb, empty of breath and life, do not be surprised to find the door wide open. The certainty of this blessed event are discovered when you avail yourself of the Word of God—the key to the Gate of God. Faith comes when you believe what Jesus says; it is then that the Gate of God is open to you.

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