19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with 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. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of This Book
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Capture the big idea. God’s Word communicates big ideas. Periodically ask: What’s the big idea in this sentence, paragraph, or chapter?
Jesus’ encounter with the fearful, guilt-ridden disciples is a model of what should happen every time we gather together in Jesus’ name to worship God. Jesus comes into our midst and speaks to us by his Word, and then applies the gospel of peace to our souls and breathes his Spirit upon us, commissioning us to go forth as servants of the gospel.
The authority Jesus gave the apostles to pronounce the forgiveness of sins is extended through the church by the preaching of the gospel. Where can we go, with certainty, for the assurance of pardon? Not to the works of our hands, nor to the idols of our hearts. Only by believing the gospel of God’s grace can we expect to hear Jesus say to us, “Peace be with you.”
John wrote his Gospel, choosing from a large body of material from the life of Jesus. This editorial note should remind us that the Bible is not an exhaustive account of all things, but a sufficient account of necessary things—the things that reveal Jesus to be the Son of God, the Savior of all who trust him. (1)
- What stood out?
- How did Jesus react to Thomas’ disbelief?
- How does Jesus’ response to Thomas encourage your heart?
31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
End in Prayer