John 20:24-29 (030427e)
A word on verse 23 before we look at Thomas.
Commentary writer, Warren Wiersbe said the following:
The “remitting” power given in v. 23 does not apply to Christians today, except in the sense that we retain or remit sins as we give sinners the Gospel.
There is no instance in the New Testament of any apostle forgiving sins. Peter (Acts 10:43) and Paul (Acts 13:38) both spoke on the authority of Christ.
Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
There is no question that the disciples had special privileges, but these rights are not ours today.
I. Thomas was Absent (v.24)
A. Those with the least faith are usually the least attentive to church attendance. (“Thomas…was not with them”)
1. They wonder why their spiritual life is dull.
2. They wonder why they cannot testify to others (witness).
3. How many things we miss by being absent from the local assembly. (Something good usually happens when we’re gone.)
B. Lack of faith gives birth to lack of interest.
1. Other “things” and “events” become more pressing.
2. Trust will be directed “to” self and the world and “away” from Christ.
C. Lack of attendance means lack of Jesus’ presence in our life.
1. “when Jesus came,” Thomas was nowhere around.
2. He knew as much about Jesus as anyone but he missed His presence.
3. Many refuse to gather and yet claim the same experience. (Wrong!)
II. Thomas was Argumentative (v.25)
A. The word of others wasn’t good enough.
1. These were his comrades. (Christian brothers)
2. He had the testimony of several witnesses.
B. His own spiritual life wasn’t strong enough.
1. Crisis situations require courageous faith.
2. Thomas only believed what he could experience himself.
3. Thomas looked at things from a negative viewpoint, not a positive.
(We cannot have strong faith with a negative outlook)
4. Everything must be “proved” to a doubter.
III. Thomas was Amazed (v.26)
A. One week later he was at the right place (assembled together).
B. Jesus appeared again (through locked doors).
C. He could appear, disappear, pass through material, and defy the law of gravity (as He did at the Ascension) in His Resurrection body.
IV. Thomas was Accosted (waylaid) (v.27-28)
A. Jesus confronted Thomas:
1. “Behold” - see for yourself
2. “Reach out” – make an effort to prove me
3. “Be not faithless” – give up the negative attitude
4. “Believe” – seek the things not visible
B. Thomas answered Jesus:
1. “My Lord…” (Lord of every part of my life)
2. “…and my God.” (God of my very being)
Jesus said, (v.29)
“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Blessed are they that not only believe that there is a risen Christ, but they believe that He will:
-provide for them,
-see them through trials,
-sustain them through bad health,
-and finally and victoriously turn physical death into eternal glorification.