Sometimes the Bible makes me laugh.
Just the other day I was reading about Mary Magdalene, the woman with so much scandal surrounding her life, and yet I find nothing scandalous about her in the Bible. I was reading the account of when she went to Jesus’ tomb early in the morning to prepare his body for a proper burial. How awesome that Mary and the other women would wake up before dawn to tend to Jesus. But I wonder, how did they think they were going to move the massive stone sealing the tomb? Had they thought about this detail before heading out? I imagine they had since that is what women do, they think of details and what ifs and how-tos. Well, they didn’t have to worry about rolling the big old rock out of the way when they arrived because it was already done for them. Upon this discovery of the empty tomb, Mary ran to Peter and John to tell them of the empty tomb and Jesus’ missing body.
And then I read this:
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. John 20:3-4
Really, John, the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, felt it was necessary to include in his account of the empty tomb that he outran Peter? To point out he was the first to arrive at the tomb. It makes me chuckle thinking of all the reasons why this detail was included. Was John proud of his speed? Were he and Peter the competitive types? Had they raced each other before? Or was it just a matter of fact, since John was probably younger than Peter, he would be quicker.
Then I laugh again. Because after reading that Peter went into the tomb to find the cloths that once wrapped around Jesus body folded neatly, I see this:
Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. John 20: 8
He mentioned it again! He was the first to reach the tomb. As if this fact should be added to his title, John, the one who Jesus loved, the one who beat Peter to the empty tomb.
In 2 Timothy 3:16 we learn, every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way (The Message). So these two verses are included in the book of John because God wanted them there for us to read thousands of years later. Why? I have no idea. But they do make me smile. These details also help me to see Peter and John as real people, like you and me, not just characters in a book. Real people who when retelling an old story will nudge each other in the side with an elbow and John would say remember the time I beat you to the tomb. Then Peter would nudge right back and say you may have beaten me, but who entered first. And both would laugh full of joy because their Savior, who loves them and unites them, lives.
May you find as you read God’s word a reason to smile and maybe even laugh.