John 20:24-31

John 20:24-31 … This passage concerns the disciple Thomas, who apparently was not in the room when the resurrected Christ appeared first to His disciples. We call him “doubting Thomas,” but as you read, it’s not just doubt that’s expressed; it’s raw mistrust of the account, more representative of what we’d call “unbelief.” Thomas is not just a doubter; he’s a denier. After a week had passed, Jesus came again to the disciples in a locked room (v.26). This time, Thomas was there, and his reaction, simply and very reverently stated, was “Oh my God!” or as my New International Version has it: “My Lord and my God!” Thomas, based on the tangible, real and visible evidence of Christ before him, acknowledged the truth of what he had denied for the full preceding week. Thomas’s actions bring to mind the hymnal words “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” 10 There is a better way to deal with lack of understanding than denial and doubt and that is to “Come near to God and he will come near to you!” (James 4:8).

The greatest blessing comes to those who were not there for the crucifixion and its aftermath of appearances of the resurrected Christ as Jesus draws his own conclusion from Thomas’s initial denial (20:29): “… blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Chapter 20 ends with a wonderful note and wonderful verses to memorize (John 20:30-31), because they form the purpose behind this great Gospel account. Here recorded is John’s method (selected signs from the life of Jesus), and purpose (written with a specific objective); and that objective is that you “may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Almighty God, speaking through John, earnestly desires for all of mankind that they might truly know Jesus as Lord and through that faith have eternal life with Him. It’s a wonderful and even exciting objective that is a personal message from God to all mankind!

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