God’s Renewing Word of Hope
John 20:19-31: Late Sunday evening Jesus appears to the disciples who are locked behind closed doors. Jesus breathes on them, and they receive the Holy Spirit. He appears to them again and Thomas’s faith is tested.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
(Matthew 28.16-20; Mark 16.14-18; Luke 24.36-49)
19It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 20After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” 22Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus and Thomas
24One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”
28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”
The Purpose of This Book
30In his disciples’ presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. 31But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.
Today’s Key Verse: John 20:19b
Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.
Thomas is convinced that Jesus has been raised from the dead because he can see and touch the wounds Jesus received when he was crucified. But Jesus says that those who believe without seeing are the ones who are truly blessed. What does it mean to you to have faith without seeing? Does doubt play a role in faith? What do the concluding verses to this chapter (verses 30-31) reveal about the Gospel writer’s purpose?
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God; but sometimes I feel like Thomas, seeking proof of your love and grace. Reassure me in times of doubt, and increase my faith so that I may have confidence in you and live according to your will. Amen.
And now, join us in praying for the transforming power of God’s Word in Mozambique: Gracious God, during the pandemic last year, the gift of your precious Word brought hope and comfort to hurting children and adults in Mozambique. Despite the struggles of lockdowns, we rejoice that God’s Word entered the hearts of believers and helped to transform their lives. Amen.
John 21:1-14: Jesus appears to seven disciples.