Summary: This sermon calls into question whether the events of Jesus resurrection appearances were reality and how that relates to our lives.

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Once Upon A Time – John 20: 19-31

Intro: Once Upon A Time is usually used at the beginning of most children’s stories or fairy tales. – The stories may seem believable but we know by the “once upon a time” it probably isn’t true. What if the story of the life and ministry of Jesus began with “Once upon a time. . . ?”

I. Once upon a time the disciples were in a n upper room. . . Verse 19

A. Were they hiding? – afraid of the Jews – afraid of what might happen to them?

B. Afraid to venture out – no leader – guilt – was it all a fairy tale?

C. Verse 20 – proved to them that it was not a fairy tale. It was true.

II. Once upon a time Jesus appeared and spoke to his followers who had deserted him to save their own life.

A. Joy picked up the phone and heard a familiar voice. It was her friend, Jan. – “Where were you? I was counting on you to bring me home from the doctor’s office. I can’t believe you forgot me!”

B. Verse 21 – “Peace be with you!” – Shalom Alekem. – “May God give you everything good.”

C. Is this the kind of greeting you would expect had your friends deserted you?

III. Once upon a time a group of disciples were turned into apostles. Verse 22 – You’re it!!!!!

A. Children’s game of tag – one person is named “IT” that means they have to try to catch and tag someone else in order to not be “IT”

B. But, Lord, I don’t want to be IT! --- What happens when the person who is “IT” refuses to play and doesn’t even try to tag someone else?

C. Jesus didn’t ask them if they wanted to play, he just told them what they had to do.

Conclu: Once upon a time a man joined the army. He didn’t show up to we sworn in and didn’t appear for basic training. When the army caught up with him he said, “I know how to march, handle a gun, be a soldier – let me know when the war starts.” --- Once upon a time a group of believers formed a church . . . and the end of the story is?

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