New Defender's Study Bible Notes
20:14 saw Jesus standing. It is significant that Mary of Magdala, out of whom Jesus had cast seven devils (Mark 16:9) was the first to see Him after His resurrection. By the time she got back to the tomb, the others had all left, so she was alone. This was the first of at least ten appearances to His followers after His resurrection. Mary, her eyes blurred with tears in the dim light of dawn and having no thought that He might be alive, did not recognize Him until He spoke her name (John 20:16). She knew His voice (John 10:4,27).
20:17 Touch me not. Here “touch” could mean, “cling to.” His relation to His followers now is not merely as a human friend or teacher. He is now immortalized and glorified and “though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more” (II Corinthians 5:16).
20:17 ascended to my Father. He must yet take the inhabitants of the “Abraham’s bosom” compartment of Hades (Luke 16:22) with Him to “paradise” in heaven (Luke 23:43). He had gone in the Spirit to proclaim His victory to the wicked spirits in prison (I Peter 3:18-20) and “the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1). Already many of the resurrected Old Testament saints had appeared in Jerusalem (Matthew 27:52-53), but now He must take these with Him to the Father in heaven (note Ephesians 4:8-10).
20:17 your Father. Note He does not say “Our Father” or “Our God.” The relation of the born-again children of God to the heavenly Father will always be different from that of the only begotten Son of God to the Father.
20:20 his side. The wounds of the crucifixion will always remain in His body, even though it is now not subject to pain or death. Likewise, our own resurrection bodies will still be recognizable (note Philippians 3:21).
20:20 saw the Lord. Some others had already seen Him by now, in addition to Mary Magdalene. These included the women (Matthew 28:9), Peter (I Corinthians 15:5), and the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).
20:21 so send I you. This is the first outline of Christ’s great commission to evangelize the world. It was later amplified further, probably in the following order: Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-49; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 1:4-8.