The Gospel of John: John 20.1-31
Read and meditate on John 20.19-21.
We need to keep in mind that whatever Jesus commanded His disciples, or taught them, He commands and teaches us as well (Matt. 28.18-20). Which makes us all apostles, just like Mary and the eleven.
19That evening, when the doors
where shut, and they were all together (for
they feared the Jews), then Jesus stood before
them suddenly, and said to them, “Peace be
with you.” 21When He said this, He let them see
His nail-scarred hands and spear-pierced side. Then they
were glad to see Him. 21He began to say,
“Peace be with you. As God the Father sent
Me, I am sending you.”
- John 20.19-21
1. Jesus came through locked and closed doors, and was recognizable as Himself. What does this suggest about His body after the resurrection, and our bodies when we are raised and are like Him? How does the prospect of that strike you? Complete the following prayer: Lord, I know that we will all be changed, and as I think about what the change entails, I…
2. What was Jesus’ word to the disciples (reiterated twice), as they huddled together in fear of what the Jews might do to them? What was He saying to them by this? How could they possibly know peace when the threat to them was still real? Should we fear what might happen to us in our physical circumstances? Why not? How can living without fear affect the way we live each day? Thank You, Lord Jesus, that because of You, I do not need to be afraid. Instead I…
3. The disciples’ fear turned to gladness when they fully recognized Jesus. Why did Jesus show them His hands and side? The marks of His suffering continued in His resurrection body. Why? Why did seeing these make the disciples glad? How can we see these marks? Should we try to see them? Explain. Open the eye of my heart, Lord Jesus, that I may see You in glory, and seeing You…
4. Reflect on our study to this point of John’s gospel. Why did Jesus come to earth? That is, why did the Father send Him? Be as complete in your answer as possible. Jesus, thank You for coming to earth so that…
5. Just as Jesus was sent, He has sent us – you. What are the implications of this for your daily life? How should your being an apostle (a sent one) affect your relationships, roles, and responsibilities? Bring together your prayers from questions 1-4 into one prayer.
“Christ says that he sent the apostles even as the Father had sent him, that they might fully comprehend their mission: to call sinners to repentance and to minister to those who were caught up in evil, whether of body or soul. In all their dealings on this earth, they were not in any way to follow their own will but the will of him who sent them. They were also called to save the world by their teaching, so far as was possible. And in truth we shall find that holy disciples were eager to show the utmost enthusiasm in performing all these things. It is not difficult for people to see this, if they give their attention to the Acts of the Apostles and the words of the holy Paul.” Cyril of Alexandria (375-444 AD)
We are apostles of Jesus Christ, people sent with a mission which continues and extends the mission Jesus was sent to inaugurate during His incarnation. Why do you suppose so many Christians are not consciously and continuously involved in this mission? How can believers help one another be more faithful in it?
Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way.
All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth,
To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
Psalm 25.4-10 (Festal Song: Revive Thy Work, O Lord)
Make me to know Your ways, teach me Your paths, O Lord!
My Savior, all day long I wait and seek You in Your Word.
Remember mercy, Lord, and steadfast love to me!
And all my sins before You let them not remembered be!
My sins have been of old, Your love is new each day;
According to Your goodness, Lord, regard my sinful way.
Upright and good are You, You lead us in Your way;
The humble You instruct in truth and guide him day by day.
The paths of God are all of love and faithfulness;
All they who keep His covenant the Lord will surely bless.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.