Friday Morning: 08 Mar 2019 – John 20:24-21:14 ~ the blessing of believing without seeing

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 20:24-21:14 (NLT)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Purpose of the Book

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

Epilogue: Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples

Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.

Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”

“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied.

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.

“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.

“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
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Morning Reflection:

Why have we been reading through John’s Gospel? What’s his purpose in writing? And what’s our purpose in reading?

These are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. – John 20:30-31

John’s purpose is that we may “continue to believe,”  and with that end in mind he recorded many of the miraculous signs wrought by Jesus. Let’s review a few of them:

+ Signs declaring his Divinity – e.g. “Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” (distinguishing himself from prophets and apostles). John 8:58

+ Signs of impressive majesty – e.g. “This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory.” (turning water into wine) John 2:11

+ Signs showing compassion– e.g. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” (the raising of Lazarus) John 11:34-36

+ Signs illustrating an important truth – e.g. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased [the merchants and money changers] out of the Temple. (his holiness, death and resurrection) – John 2:14-16; 2:21-22

+ Signs showing the necessity of faith – e.g. Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. (healing the government official’s son) John 4:46-54

+ Signs symbolizing something higher – e.g. Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” (his resurrection as proof of our resurrection) John 20:27

Questions for consideration:

  • What’s your purpose for reading John’s Gospel? For information, or transformation, or both? Please explain.
  • What have your learned from reading John’s Gospel? Please explain.
  • What has changed in your life from reading John’s Gospel? Please explain.

Then Jesus told Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” John 20:29

  • Has your life been blessed by believing in Jesus? If so, how? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father: Thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus Christ, that we might live full, satisfying lives now and forever. And thank you for sending us your Spirit to lead us into all truth. Strengthen us in faith, hope and love – whether or not we see miraculous signs in our lifetime. For we confess, with Thomas, that Jesus is our Lord and our God! All to the glory of your Name. Amen.
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“I Believe in You” – Nathaniel Bassey

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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