Summary: A study of the Gospel of John 20: 19 - 31
John 20: 19 - 31
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
In our last study we went over the various appearances of our Lord Jesus after His Resurrection. One or actually two occurrences are revealed in today’s scripture. We are going to look at our Lord’s appearance with His disciples less Thomas and then when He appears again with good ole doubting Thomas present.
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
All of the eleven disciples apart from Thomas would appear to have been present at this time. They were gathered in a locked room no doubt discussing the strange things that they had been hearing about, and it is clear that there were others with them when they were joined by the two from Emmaus as Luke informs us in chapter 24 verse 33 in his Gospel.
You had to be there to really understand the panic the followers of The Lord Jesus must have been experiencing. They had seen their Master brutally beaten and then understand the extreme torture He went through on the cross. They were scared to death as the verse indicates - ‘For fear of the religious leaders.’ This was a wise precaution not due to a lack of faith. At this stage they did not know whether they would be hunted down
Picture yourself being in this locked room. I would think that no one was talking in fear that maybe someone outside the door might know that they were in the room. As they are just sitting there in silence they look and there was The Lord Jesus standing in their midst. What do you think would be your reaction? There must have been some doubt because we see that out Lord Jesus showed them His hands and His side to confirm through the nail prints and the wound in the side that it was He the crucified One Who was now risen.
The nature of His resurrection body must ever remain a mystery to us. He could somehow enter rooms that were locked and appear and disappear at will. Yet His essential marks and characteristics were there and He could be touched and felt.
We read about the reaction of the disciples -‘Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.’ I would venture to say that this response is an understatement because no statement could be enough. ‘Ecstatic’ may be a better word but is insufficient. They were filled with overflowing and indescribable joy.