John 20 / July 1st, 2018 / Dr. Todd Gray
All of us live by faith. We either have faith in Jesus Christ, His atoning death, His resurrection and His powerful ability to satisfy… or we have faith in ourselves and our ability to figure life out and our mind and our ability to achieve happiness. One will get you to where you want to go and one will leave you wanting.
- Don’t Be a Twin to Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-28)
- Be Blessed by Knowing that Believing is Seeing (v. 29-31)
If you have your bibles this morning, let’s open together to John, chapter 20. John, chapter 20, we’ll start in verse 24. And as you’re finding your way to John, 20, wasn’t it awesome to see all those children signing and the joy that God has shown us through them in this culmination to vacation bible school week? Let’s just give a round of applause for Lisa and her VBS gang. Now, Lisa’s not here and she would prefer that we do the clapping when she’s not here, but what you can do is find her and tell her how much you appreciate her. Find Alicia, find one of the dozens of volunteers that allowed for hundreds of children to interact with the presence of God and the here in the name of Jesus find satisfaction in their soul this week, thank one of those volunteers, thank one of those children minister, and then, thank God, that he allows us to reach so many children, and then pray that something that was started this week will carry on in the life of those children, for not just next week, but the rest of their lives.
Hopefully you found your way to John, 20 and verses 24 through 31. We’re going to learn from Thomas to say no to unbelief, to say no to doubt by saying yes to our faith and Jesus Christ. Now, this is not just a message for the unbeliever. If you’re here today and you’ve chosen to not say yes to faith in Christ and to salvation, obviously, this message is for you. But it also applies to the believer, like me who has a relationship with Jesus, who has access to hope and peace everyday, but wakes up on occasion, maybe more occasions than you would like to admit, and finds themself in a deep depression or a season of doubt and that they just can’t get out of. You’re not alone. I’ve been there, many people throughout biblical history have been there. Let’s find out how to get through that together.
As we start, I was reminded of an email as I was preparing this message, that I received just this week. The timing was perfect. It was from a man in his seventies, let’s just call him Jack, and he wrote me this email, telling me that he was born in Ennis, he was raised as a child in Ennis, and was actually baptized in Tabernacle Baptist Church when it was in the downtown location. Anybody remember being there? Okay, I got a couple. All right. That’s … A couple days ago, a few years back, he was there, but he says, “Even though I was into the waters, I didn’t understand the gospel truths completely of salvation and damnation.” Early on, he started to walk away from his faith. He said, “By the time I was 16 years old, I stopped going to church. By the time I was 21, I had left Ennis and moved on to a faraway state. I had abandoned my faith.” He says, “To describe my lifestyle is one that was without God,” he said, “would be a drastic understatement.”
He explained in this email that he was living a pagan lifestyle, that he determined in his own mind that man created God because of a weakness that we had and it wasn’t the other way around, that God created man. He was sad, he was angry, he was miserable. He says, “And over the next 52 years, I lived like that. In doubt and irrational fear and unbelief.” He didn’t describe his pagan lifestyle too much, he didn’t want to offend me, but he said, “I would do things like make musical offensive parodies to the hymns of our Christian faith, just to make fun of them,” as an illustration of how far he had fallen from the Lord. And he said he lived these 52 years in misery until April of this year when his neighbor died, who was a Christian, who was his friend.
He went to his neighbor and friend’s church for the celebration of life service, like we’ve had here many times. And he says, “God started to work on me.” He was in a wheelchair at this time and he was pushed into the service and he says, “From the moment I walked into the doors, the chink in my hard hearted self … the chink in my armor started to unravel as God’s love was shown through his people.” This neighbor and friend’s personal family grabbed his wheelchair and pushed him in. They walked him there and thanked him for his friendship with their loved one. The church family surrounded him from the time that he was here at the service until the luncheon. He says he just felt God’s love.
He went home and uttered words to his wife that she’d never heard him say. She said … he said, “Honey, I think I want to go to church tomorrow.” She was taken back by that, but not only did he go to church the next day, but Jack went to church for the next four Sundays. And he says, “Those hymns, those songs of Christian faith were the new or old that I used to treat as blasphemous before God. They started causing tears to roll down my face.” God worked on him through the preaching of the word, through the singing of the word, through the prayer of the word.
And after four weeks, he says, “I want to meet with the pastor.” And in the pastor’s office, after 52 years of doubting unbelief, he was reconciled back to God in a relationship with Jesus Christ. And he says, “Pastor, I want to write you this email just to share with you what God has done in me,” probably just to make some connection from where he started with our church family to where he is now, in a relationship with Christ again. Church, Jack has joy and it wasn’t a complicated process, though he waited 52 years to do it. His joy became … or came to him because he said no to the doubt, which released him of the pain of unbelief, by saying yes to faith in Jesus Christ. And yes, it was that simple for him. God led him to make that decision, and in his free will, he chose that.
Church, Jack would want me to tell you a very timely and a very timely message for this passage of scripture, that you don’t have to wait 52 years. He says though he had joy, he couldn’t forget about those 50 plus years that he feel like he had squandered by not living or letting Christ live through him. You don’t have to wait one more year, church family, you don’t have to wait one more moment. You can say no to doubt, say to unbelief by saying yes to your faith and Jesus Christ.
We find Thomas in John, chapter 20, starting in verse 24, who had his own season, though it was a short season, of doubt and I want us to look together how Christ turned that heart of doubt into a heart of trust, and I believe he wants to do the same thing for you today. John, 20, verse 24, says, “But Thomas, one of the 12 called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.” Now, if you weren’t here last week, here’s what’s going on. This is still Resurrection Sunday and on the evening after Jesus had appeared to some women and impacted Mary Magdalen, they’re kind of telling the disciples … trying to tell disciples that Jesus rose from the dead, they’re not buying it. So they’re meeting together, there’s probably 10 of them minus Judas, who’s now dead and abandoned Christ, and without Thomas.
They meet together and what does Jesus do? He materializes in their very presence, shows them the wounds in his wrist, shows them that they can see the wounds in his feet and the wound in his side and they went from doubting to believing. The text wants us to know that Thomas was not there for that event. Verse 25, so the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord.” Listen to what Thomas said to them. “Unless I see his hands, the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, or put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” That’s one way to approach it Thomas.
Verse 26. After eight days, his disciples were, again, inside and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, much like he did the first time. And he materialized. He stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you,” something that he already said to them twice the time before. Then he said to Thomas, I can almost see Jesus locking eyes with him, “Reach here with your finger and see my hands, and here with your hand, and put it into my side. And do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed, blessed are they who do not see me and yet believed.” Therefore, many of the signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book, John’s taken over as the narrator again, but these have been written so that you may believe that Christ … that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.
This is God’s word, church, and here’s what it’s telling us today, we spend too much time in doubt, we spend too much time in fear that comes from our doubt when we could be and should be living a life of hope and joy found by our faith and Jesus Christ. Let’s look at verse 24 through 28 tother and I want to encourage you this morning, don’t be a twin to doubting Thomas. Now, I’m kind of using that word twin as a play on words from the name Thomas, the word Thomas is the Aramaic name for this man, but his Greek name, it tells us here, is Didymus. Both of them mean the same thing, it means to be a twin.
Now, some commentators say, “Well, Thomas is a twin and the text is describing him as that because he was double-minded.” I think that’s going a little too … a little bit too far. Was Thomas, on occasion, a skeptic? Yeah. Did Thomas, on occasion, have doubts and express those doubts? Yeah. But let us not think that he was the worst of disciples or he lived a life of double-mindedness. Tom … Thomas was courageous, don’t forget that Thomas was the one that talked the disciples back to go into Jerusalem with Jesus, during the death of Lazarus, knowing that the Jews wanted to kill their savior. He’s the one who said, “Let us go that we may die with him.” He may have had a skeptical mind on occasion, but he was no coward and, much less, the worst of the disciples. I believe, more like Warren Wiersbe, that he wasn’t double-minded, but this idea of a twin is stated because sometimes he’s related to you and to me.
What I’m saying is that when I see Thomas in the scriptures, expressing his doubt, sometimes it’s like looking in the mirror. I don’t always get it the first time or the second time or the third time. I don’t always walk in confidence, sometimes I find myself in a season of doubt, and in that way, I am a twin to Thomas and maybe you today are a twin to Thomas. He doesn’t see Jesus the first time and it causes him to doubt. Though his disciples and his friends had seen the Lord, they explained to Thomas, “We have seen him.”
Now, this phrase is in the imperfect, which means it’s repetitive and it has the idea that the disciples were telling Thomas again and again and again. “I know he was dead, I know you saw him dead, I know we’ve had a funeral for him, but I’m telling you, Thomas, we have seen him.” We don’t know how many times that they told Thomas this but each time, he wasn’t buying it. I’m sure he was thinking to the other disciples, “I want to believe you. I want to believe that Jesus is alive,” but maybe because of his dark depression or because of his doubt, he couldn’t see the witness of his friends. But instead of saying, “Okay. I will believe you.” He says, “I don’t. And unless I see the scars with my eyes, unless I’m able to put my hands where the wounds were, I will not believe.”
Church, this is not the attitude that God wants from us, but it’s the attitude God will teach us through. Though, we should not encourage the doubt that Thomas experiences here and we shouldn’t emulate it, we can relate to it. After all, before we throw Thomas under the bus, is he really asking for anything more than the disciples had already received? No. They had already been in the room. They had already been full of doubt. Jesus, though Thomas wasn’t there, he appeared to them in bodily form. What did he do? He showed them the wounds in his hands, he showed them the wound in his side, and because they saw the wounds, it was evidence of the resurrection, they now believed. But Thomas didn’t get to see that. “Guys, I just want to see what you saw with my own eyes.”
Now, did he have the right to demand this? No. He didn’t. But in the mercy of Christ, Jesus gives him this as well, and though we don’t want to have the exact same doubt that Thomas had, I do want to encourage us today that we can learn from him. This is not the only time that God has taught us a lesson through Thomas. This is not the only time that Jesus has taught us a lesson through, what we call, doubting Thomas.
Go back to John, chapter 14. You remember John, 13, leading into John, 14, Jesus is telling the disciples that he has to go away to die, but it’s okay because he’s going to rise again. The disciples didn’t do well with that. Thomas was there, he struggled with it like the rest of them. Let’s look at John, 14, versus one through six together. Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not let your heart be troubled, believe in God. Believe also in me. In my father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would’ve told you for I go and prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, you may be also.” Then he makes a statement in verse four, “And you know the way where I’m going.” Enter Thomas. Classic Thomas here, not afraid to share his doubt or his concern, Thomas tells him in verse five, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, how do we know the way?”
This is why I’m thankful for Thomas. Though he didn’t always get it right, at least he wasn’t afraid to share his fear. The other disciples may have been thinking it but he was the one willing to stand up, saying, “I don’t get it. I don’t know the way.” And because Thomas was willing to admit his faults, we have John 14:6. The most used verse to defend the exclusivity of Jesus being our Lord and savior. Look at John 14:6. Because Thomas asked the question, Jesus gave the answer. “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me.” Though his doubt was misplaced, it gives us an opportunity to receive a wonderful lesson from Jesus.
Thomas expresses his doubts, he says, “Unless I see with my own eyes, I’m not going to believe it.” And then the bible tells us there was a week that went by. And in that week, I believe there’s a lesson that we can draw from this passage of scripture. Though I believe God’s providence is at work here so we can learn a lesson, I still believe that Thomas missed out on something because he wasn’t there for the first meeting. What this tells me, church, is that Christian community is important. Whatever the reason that he wasn’t there, Thomas had to cling to his doubt rather than cling to his faith in Jesus, whereas if he would’ve been there, he could’ve been with the other disciples and been clinging to the trust and faith that he had with them. They saw Jesus, he did not. They were comforted and he did not. Thomas did not show up for the fellowship with the believers and he missed out on something that God did.
This relates to everybody who finds themself in a season of being disconnected from the Christian community. I see it all the time. Believers will be in a season of passion and attendance and then they’ll kind of fall off through circumstances or habit, and when that happens, they miss out on seeing Jesus do great and mighty things in their church family. Those who are here get to see it and they get to receive the comfort from it. Those who are don’t … don’t get to see it and they don’t get the comfort. Many times they fall into a short sightedness and a selfishness. Let me not mince my words here, church, you need the church, and the church needs you.
I need your comfort and you need my comfort. God does something amazing through the community of faith, both as we gather together to hear his word preached, as we sing together, and as we meet in smaller groups throughout the week to encourage each other onto love and good deeds, you need us, we need you. But because so many people fall into the habit of living apart from their church family, they become selfish and say things like, “I’m the only one who’s going through this hard time.” And I’m not saying they don’t really feel like that. I’m just saying, the truth is if you would just come to your church family and you would interact with those in a smaller group, you would realize we’re just as messed up as you are. We struggle with the same things that you struggle with. You also miss the fact that God can use other people to help you walk through it, that you’re not alone and he’s never meant for you to walk through it alone.
Not only do I hear people say, “I’m going through a hard time that nobody else can relate to.” I also hear people who detach from their faith community say things like, “My church family doesn’t love me.” That’s not true. Your church family does love you, it’s just hard to love somebody that you don’t see. This proves true at your family reunions, doesn’t it? All of you probably have an Aunt Betsey or Uncle Tom, I hope that’s not their real names, and they never come to the family reunions, they never interact with the family, but all the time on Facebook and social media, they’re always saying, “Well, my family doesn’t love me or care about me.” Well, it’s just hard to do that when we don’t see you or interact with you. Now, there’s a difference if Aunt Betty or Uncle Tom can’t come to the family reunion. Well, the family takes responsibility, we must go to them and care for them. So in the same way, in the church family, if there’s someone who is unable to come, we know about that. We have a minister for that and we go to them. But if you’re able-bodied and you’re not here, it’s not that the church doesn’t love you, it’s just that we don’t know to interact with you ’cause we don’t see you.
Not only do we love you, though you’re not here, you’re actually showing the rest of your church family that you don’t care about them if you don’t go to them as well, it works both ways. It’s not to cast blame, it’s not to make you feel bad. Here’s the reality, I just want to say that we need each other. Thomas needed to be there when the other disciples were gathering together. I don’t know why he wasn’t there, it probably was for a very good reason. They were already scared of the Jews and the Jewish leadership, leading them unto crucifixion the same way they lead Jesus. Maybe he was walking down the street and here comes the [inaudible 00:20:21], he’s like … right? Hiding down a corner until they leave and by the time he gets there, he misses it. And God’s providence is working in it.
I’m simply telling you today, take the lesson away, just like the author of Hebrew tells us, that you need to consider, as it says in Hebrews 10:24, how we can stimulate one another on and to love in good deeds. You can only do that by being around each other. He’s not talking about just you and your immediate family. He’s talking about your church family. He goes on in Hebrews 10:25 to say, “Not forsaking the assembling together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another all the more as you see the day drawing near.” What’s the day? It’s Lord’s days, the end of time. And yes, church, if you haven’t realized it, that day is closer today than it was yesterday. And the closer we get to that day, it’s going to be harder. It’s already hard. We need each other. Your church family needs you and you need them. Not only that but the believer, like Thomas, who falls into doubt and unbelief is many times robbed of the blessings of God and the opportunities that is available to the believer. Thomas missed out on these for this week that he wasn’t believing.
After dealing with a week of suffering and the pain of unbelief, after a week of rejecting the testimony of his friends, Jesus shows up again. And he speaks to Thomas and he alleviates his doubt and his fear. He shows up and after he says, “Peace be with you,” he tells Thomas to put his hands in his wounds and to put his hands in his side. So, you’re back in the room with Thomas and the other disciples. The door’s locked again. Instead of 10, there’s 11. I’m sure it was shocking when Jesus materialized for the other disciples, but they had already seen it. This happened a week earlier and even though they wee probably like this, like, “Okay. We got to get used to Jesus doing this to us, so we’re going to be okay with it.” But what I wouldn’t pay to see the look on Thomas’s face. Shock and awe at the same time, he’s starting to wonder, “Why didn’t I believe them? They were right.” But what about the face of the disciples how knew they were right? “Mm-hmm (affirmative)- Now you believe us?”
Either way, when he gets there, the bible doesn’t tell us he talks to any of the other disciples. He says, “Peace be with you,” as probably a general greeting, which he also wanted them to live in the reality of peace, but after he delivers his greeting, he locks eyes with Thomas. He knew what Thomas was thinking. He knew what Thomas needed. Though he didn’t have to and Thomas didn’t have the right to demand it, he says, “Thomas, come here. Take your finger and put it in the wound in my wrist. Take your hand and put it into my side.” Have you ever wondered, did Thomas do it? The bible doesn’t tell us if he were like … I don’t know if it would have been gross or good or what. Here’s the point. I don’t think he had to, because see, Thomas didn’t need to see. Thomas needed to believe. What he needed was the reassurance of his savior and that’s what Jesus gave to him. And though Jesus may not appear to you physically today and you may not be able to touch his wounds, what you really need is not to see, what you need is to believe and the same reassurance he gave to Thomas in his doubt, church, that reassurance is available to you.
Thomas missed it for a week because he was lost in his doubt and unbelief. As much as we can relate to Thomas and as much as we are blessed by learning from him and blessed by the mercy that Jesus showed him, let us not treat casual the sin of unbelief. Doubt and unbelief will take you down a path that you do not want to travel. Charles Spurgeon, maybe the greatest preacher of the 19th century, said, “Just as the black cloud is the mother of many rain drops, so is unbelief the parent of many crimes.” Not just crimes in society, but crimes against the love of God. Unbelief is something you do not want to remain in, even as a believer, doubt is something you don’t want to live with. It’s always taken followers of the way down the wrong path.
Say, “How long have we struggled with doubt, Pastor?” Well, go back to the beginning. Adam and Eve in the garden. Did they struggle with doubt? Sure they did. They just couldn’t believe that God’s plan was best for them, so they fell into sin. You fast forward and see if you don’t look at every character in the bible and see in some way if they did not struggle with doubt and unbelief, and it caused them to stray from God. We can even fast forward to the story of David. We always think about how David was a man of faith and he was man after God’s own heart, but let me tell you, David too struggled with doubt and unbelief. David, the one who God had chosen out of a field, dirty and working where his other brothers, which were probably more fit for the job of being a king, they were inside and their father was trying to sell them to Samuel. God says, “No. I want David in the field.” David experienced that blessing. David, the same one who defeated a lion as a shepard. That’s before we had guns and stuff. The same guy who killed a giant with a sling and a stone. The same God who … the same guy who had a God allow his enemies to fall at his feet by the thousands.
And first Samuel, chapter 27, is quaking in his boots because of one man, named Saul, and he’s afraid of that one man’s spear. David too struggled with doubt and unbelief and it took him down a path, I want you to see, go study first Samuel, 27, this week. It took him down a path he never wanted to go. It caused him to forget God’s faithfulness. It caused him to forget God’s promises. It led David to have an irrational fear, when God said, “I already have a plan that’s going to work through you.” It caused David to work for a man named King Achish, if you don’t know him, that’s okay. He was a pagan king and an enemy of God, but David said, “If you’ll protect me from Saul …” Okay, really Goliath? Okay, whatever. “But if you’ll protect me from Saul, King Achish, I’ll serve you.” And it led David down a path of lying and deceit. It led David down a path of murdering innocent people and it almost led David down a path of killing his own people. Why? Because of his doubt that got into his heart and irrational fear came about and sin entered in.
It continued to David, we could go on down the line, and we arrive at it once again in Thomas. And Jesus saw that doubt in Thomas and he says, “I want to eradicate it immediately.” Church, I believe God wants to speak to your heart in the same way today. The one good thing that Thomas did, that I want to show you, is that he demanded Christ be the one to alleviate him from his doubt and his unbelief, which would lead to an irrational fear. Before he got to where David went, Jesus did this for him. Jesus shows up, he shows him his scars, he gives him reassurance, and look at the results. Thomas says, “My Lord and my God.” He demanded reassurance from Jesus, Jesus gave it, and the same change that Thomas had in his heart, I believe God wants to see in your heart. For you to say, “My Lord and my God.”
Now, what does that mean? It sounds very normal to you, say, “My Lord, my God.” But I want you realize, this is the first time somebody has said something like that in the whole Gospel of John. Not only did Thomas, in that moment, see Jesus as his guide, as his shepard, as his master, but he was … he realized, in that moment, that he saw God in the flesh. This is something that John has been wanting the readers to see for 20 plus chapters now. It’s what he started with. John 1:1, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.” And John 1:17 says, “And then the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Thomas sees that for the first time, “My Lord and my God.”
Church, would you be willing to demand that Christ alone be the one to alleviate from … alleviate you from your doubt, your unbelief, and your fear? Because if you would, he doesn’t have to appear to you in bodily form. He can give you the … same reassurance that he gave Thomas two thousand years ago. If you’re here today and you’ve fallen into unbelief, if you’re in a season of doubt, if you’ve doubted the reality of God or maybe even the effectiveness of the atonement of Christ, if you questioned the ability for Christ to forgive you, if you have ever questioned God’s ability to comfort you or to deal with your pain, yes, I want to say, you don’t have to deal with that anymore, but I also want to say this, just like with our friend Jack, it’s not too late. At any moment at any time, if you’ll just turn back to Christ, find rest in him, he can alleviate you from your fear today. Demand satisfaction, come through Christ alone. Seek him and his word and he will provide you what you need.
If you’re an unbeliever here today, this means that you turned to Christ, you repent of your sin, and you believe in him for the first time. If you’re a believer here today, maybe you struggled with the season of doubt or unbelief, it’s been plaguing you, it may mean that you turn over that heart of here … that heart of fear to a mind of understanding on a daily basis, but every time you do it, he will provide for it. What causes us to defeat the doubt in our heart? Look at verse 29 through 31. Our faith in Jesus Christ … and this is the whole reason John wrote this. We need to be blessed today by knowing that believing is seeing.
Look what it says in verse 29, “Because you have seen me, you have bedeviled.” It’s a question there. Not really. “Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe. Thomas may have said something like, “Seeing is believing.” But when Jesus appears to him, he tells him something that’s much deeper. No, it’s not just that seeing is believing, it’s that believing is seeing. I hope you get the difference today. This is the message that John is trying to be … trying to get across throughout the whole Gospel. It wasn’t the seeing of the wounds that caused Thomas to believe, it was the reassurance of his savior. And that’s why you’re blessed today, the bible says, not that just when you see Jesus or see the miracles that he did or see the wounds in his side or in his hands, but that you believe in him and then he will bring clarity to you.
We live in a society that says you must have evidence for everything, and I’m not saying rational faith is bad, it must be rational, but it’s not seeing alone. It’s believing that leads to seeing. This is what Thomas understood for the first time and is pray … I’m praying it’s what you see today, that salvation and even hope in your life come by believing and not by seeing.
Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord, whether they saw him in the flesh or whether they know of him from the scriptures, all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not yet believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not yet heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Church, I’ve been sent and I’m preaching today, just that it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news? Romans 10:17. Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.
You weren’t there two thousand years ago, neither was I. You don’t get to see the miracles that Jesus performed. You don’t get, like Thomas did, to see the wounds of Christ, but you have the word of Christ and you can believe it. And by hearing it, whether you listen to an audio book or by reading it, you too today can believe. This is why John wrote it. This is why John wrote it, this is why we’ve been studying it for over 20 chapters now, almost into 21 chapters. John says in verse 31 … verse 30, that not everything that Jesus did is even recorded, but verse 31 says, these things that are written were 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.
Now, what’s life talking about there? Yeah, it’s eternal life in Heaven, but it’s also a life worth living, not a life that’s described by doubt and anxiety and depression, but a life that’s worth living by faith and Christ. A daily life that is good and eternity. Let us take a trip back through the Gospel of John, just for a few minutes, and I want you to see the big picture that John is saying here in John 20:31, that’s why he wrote all of this down, ’cause you didn’t get to see it but yet, he still wants you to believe it.
What did John tell us about Jesus from the beginning? If we look at John, chapter one, we realize that he in describing Jesus as the agent of God in creation. That means in John, chapter one, we see Jesus as the creator of creation. Also, in chapter one, we see that he is the word of God that has become flesh on this Earth. We also see that he is the sin baring son of God. We see on into chapter four, that he is the messiah and throughout the book, the son of God. We also learn in chapter one, he is the king of Israel who will rule. He, through the Holy Spirit, in chapter two, is the temple that now lives inside of us. In chapter three, we see that he is the teacher sent by God to do what? To instruct all of us.
On into chapter three, we see that he is the new power of God, just like it was exhibited through Moses, it’s exhibited through Christ in a greater way. In chapter three, we see that he is the evidence of God’s love to us. In chapter four, we see and learn for the first time that he is the savior of the world. In chapter five, we see that he is the one who is equal with God. In chapter five, we also see that not only is he … is the authority of God’s judgment, but he is the agent of God’s judgment. In chapter five, we also see that he is the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament scripture. In chapter six, we see that not only is he the messiah, but is the expected prophet. And all through the Gospel of John, but especially in chapter six, we see that he is the great and the divine I am. In chapter seven, we see that he is the living water and the one who gives us the water that truly satisfies.
On through chapter nine, we see that he is the one who was sent from God as the son of man. In chapter ten, we see that he is the good shepard who guides us and who gives his life for us, his sheep. Chapter 10, we also see that he is the Holy One, the exalted one. Through chapter 12, we see that he is the glorified one. And into chapter 13, the preparer of his followers’ destiny. He is the one that will not abandon us, in chapter 14, why? Because he has adopted us into his salvation. In chapter 15, he is the one in whom we must abide to find joy. In chapter 15, he is also the sender of the periquet, the Holy Spirit, who will help us. In chapter 18, he is the bearer of all truth. Chapter 19, the crucified king. Chapter 20, he is our risen Lord. And now, in chapter 20, verse 26, he is our God.
Church, this is what John has gone out of his way, from chapter 1 all the way through chapter 20, so that we can see Jesus for who he is and we can believe. If you’re struggling with doubt today, plead with Jesus that he would help your unbelief. He is the one, the only one, who can remove your doubt that may lead to an irrational fear. I realized something this week, church, that all of us live by faith. We either live by faith in Jesus Christ who came to live as an example, die as an atonement, to rise from the dead, and to be the power that gives us satisfaction. We can have faith in him or we will live by faith in ourselves. Try to achieve our own happiness and our own joy. One faith in him will lead to removal of doubt and hope in this world and comfort in this world. And the other, like our friend Jack lived for 52 years, it will not give you what you need. It’ll only leave you wanting for more.
Let us all turn to Christ today.