A Message Full of Meaning
John 20:17
Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brothers, and say to them, I ascend to my Father…

The risen Christ was the link between Deity and mankind. Standing beyond the tomb, yet below the clouds, he sent a message to the disciples whom he was about to leave, concerning the Divine Father whom he was about to join. How fitly, wisely, and tenderly did he communicate with them in these words!


1. His humanity. He still calls the apostles "my brethren." Although he has risen in glory, and is about to ascend in majesty, "he is not ashamed to call them brethren." Having for men's sake passed through sorrow and death, so far from forgetting what he has endured, he regards his humiliation and sorrow as a bond of attachment uniting him to those whose experience he has partaken.

2. His Sonship. He says, "My Father." Though he has been suffered to drink the cup of bitterness, though he has uttered the cry of desolation, though his body has lain in the earth, still his relation to God is the same as before his Passion. In all he has freely done what was pleasing to God. Still and ever is he the beloved Son, in whom the Father is well pleased. He is mighty as man's Representative. The Mediator and the Brother of mankind is the Son of God.

3. His subordination. He says, "My God." On three occasions our Lord made use of this appellation - on the cross, in this connection, and in Revelation 3:12 from the throne of glory. Similar language is often used of him by the apostles, who call the Eternal "the God and Father of our Lord." It is not for us to understand all that our Savior means when, in his humiliation and obedience and subjection, he declared, "My Father is greater than I."


1. They are brethren of the risen Savior. So he here expressly calls them, sending them at the same time a fraternal message. It is a gracious word of cheer and encouragement to those who have been enduring suspense, sorrow, and depression.

2. They have with Christ a community of relation with God. What the infinite Father is to Christ, that - such is the unity between the Master and the disciples - that is he also to the lowliest and the feeblest of Christ's friends and followers.

3. In this community, however, there is a marked distinction. Jesus does not say, "Our Father and God," as if there were equality between Jesus and his disciples. In fact, God is Father of Christ according to the nature of the Godhead, of Christians according to grace and adoption; he is God of Christ so far as our Lord's humanity is regarded, of Christians by the covenant relation he has instituted.

4. In this community there is a mediatorial superiority on the one side, and a corresponding dependence on the other. It is through Christ Jesus that the character, the disposition, the gracious purposes of the Father are made known to us, and it is especially through him that the Divine Fatherhood is declared; and it is through Christ Jesus that the relations in question are actually established and are constantly maintained.

APPLICATION. This message, in the first instance addressed to the apostles, is left with the whole Church of the Redeemer, that all Christ's people may not only know where he has gone, but may realize the purpose of his going as far as they are concerned, and may enjoy the assurance that his Father is their Father, and his God their God. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

WEB: Jesus said to her, "Don't hold me, for I haven't yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

The Power of the Human Voice and Ear
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