Matthew R. Perry

“The Resurrection of Jesus Christ” by John Calvin

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2007 at 9:06 am

One may find it strange at first glance that our Lord Jesus wishing to give proof of His resurrection, appeared rather to women than to His disciples. But in that we have to consider that He wished to prove the humility of our faith. For we must not be grounded in human wisdom, but we must receive in absolute obedience what we know to proceed from Him. On the other hand, there is no doubt that He wished to punish the disciples, when He sent them women to instruct them, because the instruction which they had received from His mouth had been of no profit to them when it came to the test. For look how they are scattered. They desert their Master; they are confused by fear. And what good has it done them to be for more than three years in the school of the Son of God? Such cowardice, then, deserved great punishment, even that they might be entirely deprived of the knowledge which they had received before, inasmuch as they had, so to speak, trampled it under foot and buried it. Now our Lord Jesus did not wish to punish them severely, but to show them their fault by gentle correction He appointed women to be their teachers. They had been chosen beforehand to publish the Gospel to the whole world (they are really the first teachers of the Church), but since they were so cowardly as to be found thus bewildered, so much so that their faith was, as it were, deadened, it is entirely proper that they should know that they are not worthy to hear any teaching from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice, then, why they are sent back to women until they have better recognized their faults, and Jesus Christ has restored them to their position and privilege, but by grace. Besides (as I have said), all of us in general are urged to receive the testimony which is sent to us by God, even if the persons who speak are of little importance or if they have no credit or reputation in the eyes of the world. As in fact, when a man is elected or appointed to be a notary public or a public officer what he does will be received as authentic. One would not say this or that to contradict him. For the office gives him respect among men. And will God have less preeminence than earthly princes, if He ordains only those whom He pleases to be His witnesses, from whom one receives whatever He should say without contradiction or reply? Certainly it must be so unless we want to be rebels even against God Himself. This, then, we have to remember in the first place.

(Click here to read the rest of Calvin’s sermon.)

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