Morning Bible Study
Today after 2nd
service – Hotdog lunch to support the next Mexico Mission Trip. Here’s a taste of what happened back in
March. Play “Mexico Outreach” clip.
Israel. I have found that we have two
more months left for you to decide to join us in Israel. But you will need your passport – so start
We have made it
past the death of
Early on Sunday
morning, Mary, Peter, and John all found the tomb empty.
Jesus appeared first
to Mary. Mary returns and tells the disciples that Jesus had appeared to her:
Luke tells us
that later on in the day Jesus appeared to two other disciples…
Last week we
saw that Jesus appeared to the rest of the disciples at the end of the day.
:24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when
– Thomas – an Aramaic name meaning “a
– Didumos – “two fold” (this is a
Who is Thomas?
He was a twin
(played for Minnesota???)
That’s what his name means. We don’t
know who his twin was.
He was brave
When Jesus had already been threatened by the Jewish leaders, and yet He
still spoke of going up towards Jerusalem to minister to Lazarus’ family (and
eventually raise Lazarus from the dead) …
(Jn 11:16 NKJV) Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
He was outspoken
At the Last Supper when Jesus talked about going away to prepare a place
for them, it was Thomas who spoke up and asked the question the rest of the
disciples were wondering …
(Jn 14:5 NKJV) Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and
how can we know the way?”
It was in response to Thomas’ question that …
(Jn 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through Me”.
Tradition tells us that Thomas preached in India, and put to death with a spear
by a powerful official after the official’s wife became a believer.
:24 was not with
The other disciples had been meeting on the Sunday evening of the
resurrection. Jesus had “stepped into”
the room, even though the doors had been locked and shut.
But Thomas wasn’t in church that evening.
Don’t miss out
I really don’t want to lay a guilt trip on you about missing church.
You are all adults and you have things to do and places to be.
But sometimes the place to be is at church.
Jesus shows up here pretty regularly.
Sometimes Jesus touches people’s hearts.
Sometimes God has something to say.
Look at some of what Thomas missed the previous week:
“Last Sunday Evening” clip
I hope you
don’t think that I’m being boastful, but we have a pretty good thing going on
here in our little church.
Go To Church
A husband and his wife arose one Sunday morning and the wife dressed for
church. It was just
about time for the service when she noticed her husband hadn’t moved a finger
toward getting dressed. Perplexed, she asked, “Why aren’t you getting dressed for church?” He
said, “Cause I don’t want to go.” She asked, “Do you have any reason?” He said,
“Yes, I have three good reasons. First, the people there are cold. Second, no
one likes me. And third, I just don’t want to go.” The wife replied, wisely, “Well,
honey, I have three reasons why you should go. First, the people are actually
quite warm. Second, there are a few people there who like you. And third, you’re
the pastor! Get dressed!”
We all face those moments don’t we?
We have an enemy that would love to distract us and keep us from church.
(Heb 10:24–25 NKJV) —24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and
good works, 25 not
forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of
some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day
:25 The other
disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them,
“Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the
print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
:25 said to him
The verb is an “imperfect” tense, which means that they had been
continually saying these things to him.
It wasn’t just a one-time casual remark made by Peter, “Oh, by the way
Thomas, I saw Jesus”.
They kept saying this to Thomas over and over. Perhaps for the next week.
:25 I will not
believe – two negatives are used here, a very strong statement.
(Wuest) I will positively not believe
We’ve seen through the Gospel of John that there were quite a lot of people
who saw Jesus and the miracles up close, but still refused to believe He was
the coming Messiah.
This is why His enemies went down the road of having Him be put to death.
But Jesus’ enemies weren’t the only ones who struggled with belief.
We call him “Doubting Thomas”
The skeptic is the person who wants proof before they commit.
I’m not sure this is always a bad place to be.
In fact, it might even be a good thing that Thomas was not just a guy who
went along with the crowd.
Thomas has been
told that the other disciples saw the wounds in Jesus’ hands and side. He decides that this is what he wants as
Jesus will give Thomas the proof that he is asking for.
The challenge to the skeptic is to be sure that you are being honest with yourself.
Are you using your questions as an excuse because you simply have no
intention of following God and whatever that might mean?
A recent poll
taken by Gallup after the
White House released President Obama’s birth certificate indicates that there
are still 1/3 of Americans who are skeptical or unsure that he was actually
born in the United States.
There is now a
controversy over whether or not the President should release any of the photos
of Osama bin Laden’s death.
Some people are claiming that the United States is lying
and that bin Laden isn’t dead.
This week the President authorized a few members of
congress to view the pictures. Some gave
us descriptions of what they saw.
I imagine that even if the President releases a photo or
two, this will not end some people’s doubts.
The problem is
that some people have gone past honest skepticism with God.
They don’t believe because they won’t believe.
We have learned, like Thomas, that there are very solid reasons to believe.
This summer we will be exploring the issue of “worldview”. Just what do you believe? Do you believe that what you believe is
“Truth Project” teaser trailer – coming on summer Thursdays
:26 And after
eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came,
the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”
:26 the doors being
The language describes the situation exactly like the previous Sunday
The doors are locked and Jesus once again “steps into their midst”.
:27 Then He said
to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand
here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
:27 look … hands …
put … side
Jesus uses the same words that Thomas used.
He wants to satisfy Thomas’ questions.
:27 Do not be
unbelieving, but believing
Jesus doesn’t use the word “to be” (eimi)
but uses the word “become” (ginomai).
becoming faithless and become a believer.”
There is concern on Jesus’ part about where Thomas’ doubt is leading him.
Belief is a choice
You’re not just going to wake up one morning being a believer.
You have to choose to believe in the Lord.
I find that often a person doesn’t believe in the Lord, not because they
don’t have enough evidence, but because they simply don’t want to believe.
I will challenge you in a few minutes to make a choice.
:28 And Thomas
answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
:28 My Lord and my
This isn’t an exclamation like “Shoot, howdy!”, “Lordy!”, or “OMG!”
Thomas is declaring who Jesus is.
Jesus is God
We have seen all through this gospel the clear truth that Jesus is indeed
God in human flesh.
John told us this at the beginning of the book:
(Jn 1:1 NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
When the Jews questioned Jesus about who He was:
NKJV) —58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before
Abraham was, I AM.”
59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out
of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
He was claiming to own the name of God, the “I AM”, the
name of Yahweh.
We’ve picked up this theme several times through the
Gospel of John. It’s not so evident in
our English translations as it is in the original Greek text.
They picked up stones because they thought He was claiming
to be God.
Why is it such a big deal to believe that Jesus is God?
1. If He claimed to be God and wasn’t,
we’ve got problems.
He’s either a lunatic, or a horrible deceiver.
How would you treat a person who walks up to you on the
street and claims to be God?
I’d walk away slowly.
I certainly wouldn’t pay attention to anything else they
the other hand, if that person claimed to be God, then did things like
heal the blind, feed thousands, walk on water, and raise the dead … I might be
inclined to listen a little more closely.
2. His deity is tied to our salvation.
(Jn 8:24 NKJV) Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if
you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
If you don’t believe He is Yahweh, you will die in your sins.
It works this way – Jesus came for the expressed purpose
of dying as a sacrifice to pay for our sins. (Jn. 1:29)
Jesus was just an ordinary man, he would only be making a single
sacrifice, only enough to cover one person.
fact that He was God in flesh meant that He would lay down an infinite
life, making an infinite sacrifice.
:29 Jesus said
to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those
who have not seen and yet have believed.”
:29 because you
have seen Me
The implication is that Thomas never actually put his finger into Jesus’ wounds.
All Thomas actually needed was to see, and then he believed.
We might think we have certain conditions that need to be met in order to
believe, but they may not all be necessary.
:29 Blessed are
This is a
blessing that’s aimed at us. We have not
seen, but we believe.
It’s not that we are blind followers.
We have a different kind of proof. Our proof is the testimony of the witnesses.
These witnesses died proclaiming that they had seen the risen Lord.
recorded their testimony in the Bible.
We have heard, read and studied, and we have believed. Paul wrote,
(Ro 10:17 NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
20:30-31 The Purpose
:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples,
which are not written in this book;
– semeion – a sign, mark, token
The Gospel of John is written around the “signs”, the “miracles” that Jesus
These “signs” are the framework on which the book has been written.
:30 which not
written in this book
John does not record every miracle that Jesus ever performed.
In total, the
four Gospels record Jesus performing 35 miracles.
John has only
recorded 7 of Jesus’ miracles.
Scholars have concluded that the gospels only record about 50 days of Jesus’
ministry in all the combined gospels. Yet
Jesus’ total ministry of 3 ½ years comes to about 1080 days.
That means that we only have record of 4.6% percent of Jesus’ ministry.
Imagine the teaching, conversations, and ministry we’ve never heard about.
John will record later …
(Jn 21:25 NKJV) And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if
they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not
contain the books that would be written.
:31 but these
are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
that believing you may have life in His name.
:31 these are
John has carefully selected out some of Jesus’ miracles to give you a
better picture of who Jesus was.
:31 Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God
John isn’t concerned that you just believe that Jesus was a real
person. He’s concerned about what you
believe about Jesus.
He is God’s promised Savior. He is
the Son of God.
:31 you may have
comes through the vehicle of “faith”, or “believing”.
God paid for our salvation by what Jesus did in dying on the cross.
We get this payment credited to our account through an act of our “faith”,
our choice of faith.
Make your choice
God used John to write to you and I an important part of His great Love
Letter. God’s desire is that you would
come to know who He is and put your life in His hands.
How will you respond to God’s invitation?
Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because
they disapproved of the marriage. The daughter, however, wrote almost every
week, telling them that she loved them and longed for reconciliation. After 10 years she received a huge box in the mail that
contained all the notes she had sent.
Not one had been opened! Although
these “love letters” have become an invaluable part of classical English
literature, it’s really pathetic to think that they were never read by Elizabeth
Barrett’s parents. Had they looked at
just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.
God has written
a love letter to you.
What we’ve been studying that love letter.
How will you respond to God’s love?
It’s your choice.