Seeing is believing? [John 20-21]
- John 20-21 describe three appearances of the risen Jesus-- at least, that
is what we are told in 21:14. The first appearances took place in
Jerusalem. The first was to Mary Magdalene in the garden.
The final appearance of Jesus occurs in the epilogue. This event
happens by the "Sea of Tiberias" -- that is, in Galilee. The writer of
epilogue (who may or may not have been the same writer) tells us:
"This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after
was raised from the dead" (21:14). By some counts, this is actually the
fourth appearance, unless the appearance to Mary didn't "count".
In each of these accounts words are important -- although neither "logos"
nor "rhema" are used. The first appearance ends with Mary announcing
["aggello" -- only occurrence in NT] to the disciples, "I *have seen* the
Lord" and then telling them what Jesus had told to her (20:18).
The second appearance results in the disciples telling Thomas, "We have
*seen* the Lord" (20:25) -- (the same words that Mary had used). The same
word is used by Jesus to Thomas in v. 29: "Have you believed because you
*have seen* me?" This suggests that believing involves more than just
the risen Lord. Each of these verbs is in the perfect tense, which
past action with continuing effect in the present. They saw something in
past and that seeing continues to affect their lives.
(I am indebted to Brian Stoffregen for these observations.)
My question: is this word usage ("have seen" in the perfect tense)
If so, is there anything special that is the writer attempting to convey
by this usage?
What does it tell us about the author's views about the resurrected
Does this usage occur elsewhere in the Gospels, and if so, in what