Summary: Year C. Second Sunday of Easter April 22, 2001 John 20: 19-31
I believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Because I believe in Jesus I will live, even though I die, because whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never die. Amen.
Title: “Do not doubt but believe.”
The Risen Jesus appears twice; once to the disciples where he constitutes them as apostles of his Church in verses nineteen to twenty-three, and again, to them and Thomas who confesses faith in him rather than in his resurrected body verses twenty-four to twenty-nine.
John agrees with Luke that Jesus appeared to his disciples on Easter night in Jerusalem. Matthew and Mark 16:1-8 (quickview)  indicate appearances in Galilee. While it is not easy, on the basis of the scant evidence we have, to reconcile the data, neither is it difficult to imagine moments of awareness of the resurrection both in Jerusalem and Galilee at various times. After reporting about the empty tomb chapter twenty verses one and two and the experience of Peter and the Beloved Disciple, who alone comes to belief in the Risen Lord on the basis of signs, John has Magdalene return to the tomb. First she encounters two angels and then Jesus himself, whom she mistakes at first for the gardener. When Jesus calls her by name, Mary like the sheep in 10: 3-4 who hear and know the shepherd’s voice, recognizes Jesus and is sent by him to proclaim the good news to the disciples.
Now in verses nineteen to twenty three, Jesus appears inside a locked room on two occasions. On the first occasion the disciples, absent Thomas, are given the commission to continue Jesus’ mission by exercising power over sin. On the second occasion Thomas, who embodied disbelief, utters the strongest belief in Jesus as “My Lord and my God,” thus ending the gospel as it began with the statement “The Word was God (1:1). Verses thirty and thirty-one, state the purpose in writing this work; to believe in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, and through believing you may have life in his name.
Verses nineteen to twenty-three Jesus’ appearance to the Disciples.
In verse nineteen, “peace,” this is a statement of fact rather than a mere wish. These first words of Jesus after the resurrection summarize its meaning of restoration of full communion with God and fellowship with one another. The Hebrew shalom, “peace” means much more than the absence of conflict. It means “fullness,” “togetherness,” “well-being,” “salvation” or “wholeness.”
“Doors were locked…Jesus came and stood,” this does not mean that Jesus’ body was like that of a ghost, able to pass through locked doors. Rather it means that Jesus, no longer subject to earthly laws, could make himself present at any time or place.
In verse twenty, “he showed them his hands and his side,” Jesus’ body was quite solid. The stress on the wounds indicates it was the same body as at the crucifixion.
In verse twenty-one, “as the Father has sent me, so…” This mission statement is modeled on “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.” The Father’s sending of the Son is both the model and the basis for the Son sending the disciples. They are to continue to do Jesus’ work.