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John 20 – The Skeptic

Easter Morning Bible Study

April 21, 2019


Our text takes us to the Sunday evening after Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus had already appeared to Mary Magdalene early that morning (John 20:11-18), and when she reported back to the apostles what happened, they didn’t believe her. (Mark 16:11)

(Mark 16:11 NKJV) And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

Later that morning Jesus appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).  They too rushed back to tell the apostles and still they didn’t believe. (Mark 16:13)

(Mark 16:13 NKJV) And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

John 20:19-29 The Skeptic

:19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

:19 the first day

Note:  From the time of the resurrection, the church has continued to meet on the first day of the week, Sunday.

:19 at eveningopsios – evening, from three to six o’clock p.m.

It’s still Easter Sunday, but now we’re at the “evening service”.

:19 the doors were shut

were shutkleio to shut, shut up

Perfect passive participle
They had been closed and they remained shut.

It’s very likely that the apostles were in that same “upper room” they had been meeting in back on Thursday night when they had celebrated the Passover with Jesus.

:19 assembledsunago – to gather together, to gather

This is the word that’s the basis for the word “synagogue”.

Church is a place where we “gather together”.

(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 approaching.

:19 for fear of the Jews

Don’t be too hard on the guys.

The leaders of the Jews wanted to stop all this “Jesus” stuff.  They were in real danger.

Matthew records (28:11-15) that when the Roman guards told the chief priests that the body of Jesus was gone, the chief priests told them to tell Pilate that the disciples had stolen the body.

(Matthew 28:11–15 NKJV) —11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
That means that they were in trouble!

:19 Jesus came and stood in the midst

One moment they were all safe behind locked doors, and the next moment Jesus is just “there”.

The historical record is pretty clear that Jesus was not a ghost.

Mary had been able to “cling” to Jesus (Jn. 20:17), and we have testimony that Jesus ate fish and honeycomb with the disciples (Lk. 24:39-43)
(John 20:17 NKJV) Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
(Luke 24:39–43 NKJV) —39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

A.T. Robertson, the Greek scholar, translates it, “stepped into the midst”. Right through the closed doors.  How did He do it?

Play “Star Trek Transporter” clip.

in - εἰς – to, into, in

The most common Greek preposition that is usually translated “in” is ἐν (“en”).
Our little word can certainly be translated “in”, but both Paul and John use it to convey at times the fact that the eternal holy Creator God and entered “into” human time and space for us.
(1 John 4:9 NKJV) In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

And now here is the resurrected Jesus, appearing “into” the midst of the disciples.

This same word is often used to describe our response to Jesus,
(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in (εἰς) Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

:19 Peace be with you

Jesus may be saying this because this was simply a very common greeting.

(Luke 10:5–6 NKJV) —5 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you.

:20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

:20 He showed them His hands and His side

showeddeiknuo – to show, expose to the eyes

Aorist active indicative

side – pleura –the side of the body

These were parts of His body that had been pierced by the nails and the spear.

Here’s a clip from the movie we saw on Thursday, “Risen”.
Clavius is a Roman Tribune who has been charged with making sure Jesus is dead.
Video:  Risen – Jesus’ Side Pierced
The eyewitness account said that blood and water came out when He was pierced, proving that He had already been dead.

When John has his “Revelation” of Jesus some sixty years later, John describes what he sees in heaven:

(Re 5:6 NKJV) And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…
There is something about Jesus that shows He had died.

When He comes back …

(Zec 12:10 NKJV) “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.


Proven Love

When we are in heaven, we will know what it took to get us there.  We too will see His wounds.
I believe that His wounds are forever.
It’s not meant to be something to hold over our heads as in, “Look what I had to go through for you bad people!”
It’s meant to be a reminder of the love that God has for us.

(Ro 5:8 NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died for us because we had a huge problem.

We are sinners.  Our sin is what separates us from God.

The only way to make things right is to pay the price for sin.

God doesn’t want you to pay the price, it’s too great a price.

So God sent His Son to die in your place, so you could find forgiveness and a new life.

Through eternity we will be reminded of the love of God, because we will see the precious wounds that paid our debt.

There will be no doubt that God loves us.

Some of us have been through things that make us question the love of God.
Perhaps it’s been an abusive home that we grew up in.
Perhaps it’s been a spouse that’s betrayed us.
Perhaps it’s been a tragedy in our lives that seems unfair.

It is not an unfeeling thing for me to tell you – God really loves you.

Look at the wounds.  See what God has done for you.

You may not understand the difficulties that you’ve experienced so far in your life, but there is ONE THING that you can be sure of.

God loves you.

were gladchairo – to rejoice, be glad

Aorist active indicative

:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

againpalin anew, again; again, i.e. further, moreover

:21 Peace to you!

Why does He repeat Himself?

He’s just shown them His wounds – the very things that have paid for their sins.
Perhaps He repeats Himself because He’s letting them know that the things required for peace with God have finally been paid for.

Isaiah wrote,

(Isaiah 53:5 NKJV) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Paul wrote,

(Romans 5:1 NKJV) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
When we choose to believe in God and in what Jesus has done on the cross, we will find ourselves at peace with Him.

They no longer need to be “afraid” (vs.19).

(John 14:27 NKJV) Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Maybe “peace” is important when God “sends” you.

(John 16:33 NKJV) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

:21 I also send you

has sentapostello (“apostles”) to order (one) to go to a place appointed

Perfect active indicative

sendpempo to send

Present active indicative

John records Jesus saying this to the disciples on that second Sunday, while still in Jerusalem.

They will eventually head up to Galilee for a few weeks where they will see Jesus a few more times, and then return to Jerusalem.

Matthew records Jesus restating this later when they meet in Galilee:

(Matthew 28:19–20 NKJV) —19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
In the Greek text, there is actually only one command here:  “Make disciples”, and everything else is connected to that.
It is while we are “going” that we are to make disciples.
We make disciples by baptizing people (which includes leading them to Christ), and by teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded, which includes making more disciples.
One of the reasons the church has continued in various forms over 2,000 years is because people have followed this command to make disciples.
Each generation raises up the next generation to move the gospel forward.
As we are going through the process of transition in our church and as the older leaders are handing off their ministries to the next generation, we get to see how well we’ve done.
But here’s something important – your relationship with Jesus shouldn’t end with you –

Jesus said to His disciples – “As the Father has sent me, I send you…”

I’m in no way equal to Jesus, but I still have the privilege to say to you – as I’ve discipled you, you disciple others.

In Jewish tradition prophets often appointed their successors. Judaism sometimes conceived of prophets as God’s agents; the sender authorized agents with his authority to the extent that they accurately represented him.[1]

:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

:22 He breathed on them

breathedἐμφυσάω emphusao to blow or breathe upon

Aorist active indicative
This is the only place in the NT that this word is used.
It is found seven times in the OT LXX, and more than a few of the occurrences give meaning to our passage.
It’s used to describe God’s creation of Adam and breathing “spirit” into the man:
(Genesis 2:7 NKJV) And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
It’s used to describe how Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath from the dead:
(1 Kings 17:21 NKJV) And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.”
It’s used to describe God giving life to that valley of dry bones in Ezekiel’s vision:
(Ezekiel 37:9 NKJV) Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ”


Born Again

The way I understand the work of the Holy Spirit, this is the moment when the disciples become “born again”.
Jesus said,

(John 3:3 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

When a person becomes born again, they experience a “new birth”, a spiritual birth.
This is when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell “in” a person. (John 14:16-17)

(John 14:16–17 NKJV) —16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Just as Elijah “breathed” into the dead boy and he came back to life, the Holy Spirit takes us from death to life.
(Ephesians 2:1 NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

If you have not given your life to Christ, you are spiritually “dead”.

We are “born again” when we believe that Jesus is the Savior.
(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
You may say to me, but didn’t the disciples already believe in Jesus?
Yes they did, but He had not yet died for their sins and had not yet risen from the grave.
(Romans 10:9 NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

They had not yet believed in the full work of Christ.

How does this differ from what happened 50 days later on the day of Pentecost?
A few weeks from Resurrection Sunday, Jesus will say to His disciples,

(Acts 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t just want to be in you, He wants to be “upon” you to empower you to do God’s work.

This would happen a little over a month from this time, when the disciples would be “filled” with the Holy Spirit (Acts. 2:4)

(Acts 2:4 NKJV) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

This is known as the “baptism” or “filling” of the Holy Spirit.

The purpose of this is to give us the power we need to live for God and be used by Him.

While all Christians have the Spirit “in” them, not all Christians have yielded to the full power of the Spirit.

It’s about yielding to God.

It may be accompanied by a supernatural manifestation like the gift of tongues, healings, or miracles.

It may be manifested in a quiet, calm, but powerful word from God for a person.

The evidence of the Spirit working in our life is not the miracles, but the fruit.

(Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV) —22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

:22 Receive the Holy Spirit

receivelambano – to take; to receive

Aorist active imperative

This is a command.  This is our part.

We simply need to “receive”.

:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

:23 they are forgiven them

Some folks think this means that Roman Catholic priests have been given a special ability to forgive people’s sins.

It would take me another ten minutes to explain the Greek here (I’ll put the details in my online notes)

:23 forgiveaphiemi – to send away; to let go, give up a debt, forgive

1st time:  Aorist subjunctive; 2nd time: Present Passive

:23 retainkrateo – to have power; to get possession of; to continue to hold

1st time:  Present subjunctive; 2nd time: Perfect indicative
There are two phrases in this verse – the first deals with “letting go” of sins (forgiveness), the second dealing with “holding on” (unforgiveness).  In each phrase there is an action on the disciples’ part and a corresponding result on God’s part.  If you examined the tenses of the Greek verbs, you find that God’s response takes place at a different time than when the disciples’ action takes place.
Greek scholar Dr. Kenneth Wuest translates the passage like this:
“If the sins of any certain individuals you forgive, they have been previously forgiven them, with the present result that they are in a state of forgiveness. If the sins of any certain individuals you retain in not forgiving them, they have been previously retained and thus have not been forgiven, with the present result that they are retained and in a state of not being forgiven.”
Dr. Julius R. Mantey, preeminent Greek scholar, translated the passage this way:
“Whosoever sins you forgive shall have already been forgiven them, and whosoever sins you do not forgive shall have already not been forgiven them.”
One day while Jesus was sitting in Peter’s house, four men dug a hole in the roof and used ropes to lower their paralyzed friend down to Jesus for healing.
(Mk 2:5–7 NKJV) —5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” 6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

We wouldn’t argue with the Jews about their position.  We also believe that only God can forgive sins. But Jesus is God.

Forgiveness with God only comes from God.

John Calvin writes: “When Christ enjoins the apostles to forgive sins, He does not convey to them what is peculiar to Himself. It belongs to Him to forgive sins. He only enjoins them in His name to proclaim the forgiveness of sins.”

Let me simplify it for you.

We don’t grant forgiveness of sins toward God, only God does that.
We do have authority to proclaim what God has already done.

Here’s how it works –

When you are talking with a friend and the subject of sin comes up, our goal should be to help them to confess their sins to God.
(1 John 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When they confess their sins to God, we have the authority to say to them, “God has forgiven you”.

:24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

:24 ThomasThomas – an Aramaic name meaning “a twin”

:24 twinDidumos – “two fold” (this is a Greek word)

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”.

Historically …
There is a book called “The Acts of Thomas”, recording an account of Thomas traveling to India preaching the gospel and performing many miracles.
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.

There is another book called “The Gospel of Thomas”, and it contains a bunch of sayings that were attributed to Jesus.  The early church rejected this book as being authentic.

:24 Thomas … was not with them


Don’t miss out

Thomas wasn’t with the others, and when Jesus showed up, he missed out.
I know that many of us have very busy and complicated lives, but sometimes I wonder if we all realize the importance of being in church.
It’s my opinion that Jesus shows up here pretty regularly, even with us being a small church.
Jesus said,

(Matthew 18:20 NKJV) For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

Go To Church
It was Sunday morning, the alarm clock went off and the wife got up to start getting ready for church.
It was just about time to leave for church when she noticed her husband hadn’t even budged in bed.
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!”
David wrote,
(Psalm 22:3 AV) But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

I like to think that this means that when God’s people praise Him, He shows up.

I get the feeling sometimes that some folks don’t understand the importance of giving God worship and praise – I can tell because they have a habit of not coming into the service until the fourth or fifth song.

I understand the importance of fellowship out on the patio, but the worship leader in me wishes that a few more of us would hear the music start and think, “Hey I got to get inside, I don’t want to miss Jesus showing up!”

There is an enemy we all face who would love of nothing more than to keep us from church and from being with Jesus.
(Hebrews 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 approaching.

: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 himlego – to say, to speak

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 we have seenhorao – to see with the eyes; to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience; gives prominence to the discerning mind

perfect tense – done in the past with results into the present.

:25 I seehorao – to see with the eyes; to see with the mind, to perceive, know; to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience

aorist subjunctive

:25 the printtupos – the mark of a stroke or blow, print

:25 the nailshelos – a nail

:25 putballo – to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to put into, insert

:25 sidepleura – the side of the body

:25 I will not believe

This is a very strong statement in the Greek.

(Wuest) I will positively not believe

You have just met “Doubting Thomas”, the skeptic.

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 well.

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 your questions sincere because you want to know God, or are they just your excuse because you have no intention of following God?

: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!”

It’s the next Sunday, and once again Jesus “steps into their midst”.

:26 after eight days

The commentators agree that this is an expression referring to the next Sunday night.

: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 reachphero – to carry; to bring, bring to, bring forward; apply

Present active imperative

:27 lookhorao – to see with the eyes; to see with the mind, to perceive, know; to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience

Aorist active imperative

:27 putballo – to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to put into, insert

Aorist active imperative

:27 Do not be unbelieving, but believing

beginomai γίνομαι– to become

Present middle imperative

Jesus doesn’t use the word “to be” (eimi) but uses the word “become” (ginomai).

Literally, “Stop becoming faithless and become a believer.”
This is a command, a choice Thomas needs to make.

Belief is a choice.

Thomas has a choice to make.  Will he stop disbelieving and start believing?

We caught a glimpse of this specific moment in the movie “Risen”.

The major plot of the movie was to follow Clavius as he is charged with finding the body of the man he had crucified.
Clavius finally finds the group of disciples on that second Sunday after the resurrection.
Video: Risen – Clavius and Thomas see risen Jesus

:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

:28 My Lord and my God!

This isn’t an exclamation like “Shoot, howdy!”

Thomas is declaring that Jesus is his Lord and his God.
Jesus doesn’t correct him.


Jesus is God

John says at the beginning of his gospel:
(John 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:
(John 8:58–59a NKJV) —58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Jesus used the Greek equivalent of God’s name Yahweh when He was saying “I Am”.

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him…

The Jews knew what He was saying. 

It was considered blasphemy to claim to be God.

 (1 John 5:20 NKJV) And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
(Romans 9:5 NKJV) of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
(John 10:30 NKJV) I and My Father are one.”
(John 10:33 NKJV) The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
Why is it such a big deal to believe that Jesus is God?
1.  Truth

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 said.

On the other hand, if that person claimed to be God as well as then did things like healing the blind, feeding thousands, walking on water, and raising the dead … I might be inclined to listen a little more closely.

C. S. Lewis, the great Christian writer and professor at Oxford and later Cambridge, wrote in his book Mere Christianity:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would either be a lunatic, on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg, or else he would be the Devil of Hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool; you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or, you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.”

2.  Salvation

Jesus said,

(John 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)

(Jn 1:29 NKJV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

If Jesus was just an ordinary man, the best He could do would be to make a single sacrifice, only enough to cover one person.

The 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 you have seenhorao to see with the eyes

Perfect active indicative

:29 you have believedpisteuo to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

Perfect active indicative

:29 who have not seenhorao to see with the eyes

Aorist active indicative

:29 yet have believedpisteuo to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

Aorist active participle

:29 Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed

It was good that Thomas had his questions answered and that he responded by believing in Jesus.

For us born long after this, our blessing doesn’t come from seeing, but from listening to the truth we’ve heard … and believing.

We humans have a problem when it comes to listening to the truth.

Video:  Geico Smartdogs


I must believe

I don’t have a Smart Dog trained to help you, but I do have the truth.
We don’t have a blind faith.
We have solid, historical facts behind our faith in Jesus.

The record is very clear that Jesus died on that cross.

The record is also very clear that He rose from the dead three days later, and was seen by the apostles.

Paul records that He was seen by over 500 people. (1Cor. 15:6)

(1 Corinthians 15:6 NKJV) After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

All the apostles except for John, these once “fearful” men, died martyr’s deaths, going to their grave declaring the truth that Jesus rose from the dead.

The witnesses to the resurrection have their testimony recorded in the Bible.
(Romans 10:17 NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The question now is this – will you believe in Jesus – that He died for your sins and rose again on the third day?


[1] Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Jn 20:21). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.