Watch this before you read the Gospel of John! – John 20
You really should watch this video before you read the Gospel of John. Let me show you why from chapter 20.
I greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I love God's word. I love reading it. I love seeing Jesus Christ in it. This morning, We are going to read from the Bible. We are going to make some observations from the text. We are going to apply the text into our lives. And then, we're going to close in a brief word of prey the passage.
We're looking at is John 20. Hear the word of God John chapter 20, beginning at first 1.
John 20 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
20 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she went running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!” 3 At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then, following him, Simon Peter also came. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 The wrapping that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself. 8 The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then also went in, saw, and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying. 11 But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’s body had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “Because they’ve taken away my Lord,” she told them, “and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus. 15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?” Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve put him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” Turning around, she said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”—which means “Teacher.” 17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus told her, “since I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what he had said to her. 19 When it was evening on that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” 22 After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 But Thomas (called “Twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were telling him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though 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 look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.” 28 Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Just so far in the reading of God's word.
Let's make some observations from the text.
1. A Witness: A Woman
I always battled to read John chapter 20, I break out into tears frequently in solidarity with Thomas and a great statement at the end of the chapter, “my Lord and my God.” As my heart jumps into my throat and tears begin to spill out of my eyes, in solidarity with him. In this chapter, particularly from verse 1 to verse 18, we've got John paying attention to the first witness; a woman very common in his gospel. You remember the woman at the well? That Samaritan woman at the well? You remember Martha preparing Jesus Christ for burial? And now this the first witness being a woman.
2. The Disciples’ Growing Faith
The second thing that we see in this chapter is the growing belief of the disciples. Two disciples arrived at the tomb, racing there Peter and probably John, and as they arrive the one goes in and then the other goes and sees and believes and yet they don't understand. And then Jesus Christ appears to the 10 and they rejoice and worship. Then he appears to Thomas and we have the pinnacle of the narrator, “my Lord and my God”, Thomas declares as he puts his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
4. The Purpose of the Book
Lastly, we've got the purpose of the book and this is why it's useful to read John 20:32-31 before you read the rest of the book. Because here we find the purpose of the whole book stated and made clear. “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
That's why the book is written. That's why there are signs. That's why there are “I am” statements. The signs and the “I am” statements point to who Jesus is; the Son of God. The author's intent is that you may believe. How do we go about applying this great chapter of God's word?
Firstly if you are an unbeliever, hear those words over and over again. These things are written that you may believe. What is belief? Belief is putting your faith and your trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, that he, our Lord and our Saviour, is able to save you from your sins. Your greatest need is to be spared from the wrath which is to come. The wrath of God against sin and against sinners, a wrath that will end in eternal judgment. For this brief moment of human history, you are called upon to repent to turn away from your sins and to put your faith in your trust in Jesus Christ and live.
Are you a seeker? These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah; the Son of God. That word Messiah, Christ; anointed one, the righteous one sent by God and the promised, begotten not made. He is God of one being with the Father. Seeker, if you want to truly know God, if you are seeking after God, find him in the person of Jesus Christ. Put your faith and trust in him and you will be saved.
Are you a new convert? The text before us says that “you might believe and that by believing you might have life in his name.” That's eternal life. Life without end, perpetual life, and its abundant life. It’s life which is filled with the Spirit of God right now, a life which is lived to the full, to gods praise and to God's glory.
Are you a believer? Hear in the words of Thomas, a great declaration: “My Lord and my God.” Fall in love with Jesus Christ once again. See him for who he is; the Son of God, and grow in your knowledge of his deity. My friend, grow in your practice of his Lordship in your life. Obey Jesus Christ for this is how we demonstrate our love toward him, to a watching world, that he might be glorified in our lives now, even as he will be glorified in the life to come.
Let's closed in a word of Prayer.
Father God in heaven, oh Lord, would you teach us who you are, that we might worship you more fully. Lord God would you teach us who you are that your Lordship might be over us and we might submit ourselves to you in increasing obedience, to your praise and to your glory. Father God in heaven, we do ask that we would understand what it means that Jesus is the Son of God and that we would give him appropriate reverence and praise and worship. Oh Lord God, would you open the Eyes of those who are blind that they might see Jesus Christ and believe. This we ask in the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen.
May the Lord richly bless you.