Wednesday, November 30, 2016



If you grew up in church, you are probably familiar with the basics of the story of Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah. Let us refresh your memory. Abram lived in Ur of the Chaldeans but believed in the one true God. The first mention of Sarai is found in Genesis chapter 11.

Genesis 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. 

30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child. 

31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

Right off the bat, we are told that Sarai was barren which is a crucial factor in their lives. In their culture, a barren woman was thought to be cursed by God, but God had made Sarai barren in order to show His power and glory later on in their story.
God told Abram to leave his country and travel to a place He would show him. Abram obeyed even though God gave him no map and no information other than the fact that He would make a great nation of Abram. Abram’s wife, Sarai, was beautiful, and more than once he had her pretend to be his sister so people would not kill him to get her. (See Genesis 12 & Genesis 20). Abraham waivered in his faith in God’s ability to protect him and Sarai, but God was still faithful. God always rescued Sarai from becoming a part of some harem!

God led them on a long journey to the land of Canaan, later known as the Promised Land, then Israel, the Holy Land. God had promised to make Abram the father of a great nation and changed his name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude). At first Abraham thought he might have to designate a servant as his heir because Sarah was barren. Then Sarah suggested that Abraham have a child with her handmaiden, Hagar, as was the custom in that day. As we study Sarah it will become quite clear that God called Sarah specifically to be the mother of the great nation promised to Abraham.

Question: If God spoke to you, even in an audible voice, and told you to pack up your entire household and go on a road trip until He said to stop, would you obey Him, not knowing where you would land? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


EVE – Blame Game, Curses, and Promise

Genesis 3:12-14 (KJV) And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

God showed up for their evening walk but found Adam and Eve hiding from Him. God, knowing what had happened, asked Adam three questions: How do you know you are naked? Who told you? And Did you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Thus, ensued the first “blame game.” Adam blamed the woman and ultimately God by pointing out that God had given him this “helper.” Then God turned to Eve and asked her what she did. She blamed the serpent (really Satan, the enemy of God and all humankind,) saying he deceived her. She did not take responsibility for her part in the disobedience. After hearing His family’s case, God turned to the serpent and said, “For this you are cursed, crawl on the ground and eat dust all the days of your life.” God continued with the curse of the serpent; but in so doing, He was giving Eve the first prophecy concerning the Savior, the Messiah, to come.

Genesis 3:15 (KJV) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

We felt the Amplified made this verse a little clearer:

Genesis 3:15 (AMP) “And I will put enmity (open hostility) between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall [fatally] bruise your head, And you shall [only] bruise His heel.”

Yes, snakes (serpents) bite the heel and we stomp their heads; but there is more to this prophecy. Satan would be jealous – he was thrown out of Heaven for desiring to “be like God”; but Eve, who was made in the image of God and did not treasure that position, but disobeyed Him, was shown grace. Therefore, Satan is the enemy of man, constantly trying to prevent people from having a right relationship with their Creator. Crucifixion is one of the few forms of execution that “bruises the heel” as the spike is driven through the feet and the heels pushed hard against the cross. But as Jesus’ heels were bruised, He was delivering the deathblow to Satan’s head. Satan is truly a “dead devil walking.” Eve and Adam were the first humans to hear this promise that Satan would ultimately be destroyed by Eve’s Seed (singular) which would be Jesus. Usually “seed” denotes sperm, but it was by the woman’s seed that deliverance would come. Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit without normally necessary benefit of a human man’s sperm, so Jesus was Mary’s Seed and ultimately that of Eve.

Romans 16:20 (KJV) And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Genesis 3:16-19 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

God then forecasted what would happen as a result of the fall: the pain of the woman would be increased in childbirth, and Adam would have to work hard to bring food out of the ground. The earth was cursed as well, as it would now yield thorns, thistles, and other unpleasant plants. It would be prone to drought, floods, earthquakes as well as many kinds of pestilence – locusts, mosquitoes, etc. Paul tells us that the earth longs for Christ’s return as we do.

Romans 8:22-23 (KJV) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

We like the way the Amplified Version translates Genesis 3:20:

The man named his wife Eve (life spring, life giver), because she was the mother of all the living.

Since Eve, as the first woman, was the first mother, all other people are descended from her. This makes her crucial to the Christmas story in two ways:

1.   Without Eve, there would be no other people because Adam could not procreate alone.
2.   Without Eve’s being deceived and Adam’s following her advice in disobedience to God and in contradiction to what God had directly spoken to him, man would not need a Savior; and there would have been no need of the incarnation.

One of Eve’s first children, Cain, committed the first murder when he killed his brother Abel. However, we see that Eve did not cease to believe in God after being expelled from the Garden of Eden because when her third son was born, she credited God with replacing Abel.

Genesis 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

Seth means “anointed; compensation”. She believed God had compensated for her loss by allowing her to conceive another son. It was through this son, Seth, that Jesus, the Messiah came. You will find his name listed in the lineage of Jesus in Luke 3:38.

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

God then made the first animal sacrifice in order to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. Ultimately, Jesus would become the final blood sacrifice, the Perfect Lamb of God, to cover us with His righteousness. One more way in which the account of Eve foreshadows the coming of the Son of God, God incarnate, the Baby Jesus of Christmas.

How does this apply to me?

You are probably seeing clearly that Christmas is not just about a cute little baby, lying in a manger on a bed of hay, in a barn. It’s not just about shepherds, wise men, and angelic messengers. It is about the all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present God of the universe descending down to earth in the form of that helpless baby in order to grow into the God-Man who would become our perfect sacrifice. Christmas leads to the death and resurrection of Jesus. If you have not already surrendered your life to Him, please do so today. If you are not sure how, contact us on our website at or talk with a Bible teaching pastor. Christmas is about each of us having the opportunity to be in right relationship with our Creator. 

Monday, November 28, 2016


EVE – Deception, Sin, and Shame

Genesis 3:1-5 (KJV) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

The seed of doubt planted by Satan resulted in the miscarriage of God’s plan. Both Adam and Eve were participants in the distortion of God’s plan. Because of their failure to exercise their dominion over all the creatures (specifically the serpent) and their adherence to other voices instead of God’s voice, the opportunity for the seed of doubt was planted by Satan. Being the father of lies, Satan told half-truths to the woman. He said she would not die, her eyes would be opened, and she would know good and evil. We will see later that this was a twisted partial truth.

Genesis 3:6-7 (KJV) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Adam and Eve forfeited their trustworthy relationship with God, thinking that the attribute of pseudo-wisdom would be a greater source and provider than the Source for all wisdom and all good things, who is God. Eve did not make the decision to taste the fruit while by herself as much artwork depicts the event. Adam was right there beside Eve when she ate the forbidden fruit, offered it to him, and he, also, ate. Therefore, Adam is held primarily responsible according to New Testament teaching.

Romans 5:12 (KJV) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

1 Corinthians 15:22 (KJV) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

The command God had given to not eat of this tree was truly to protect His children from the burden of becoming aware of evil. They did become “wise,” as Satan through the serpent had told them, wise to the fact that they were now naked. They became aware of guilt and shame. They had been “covered” by their relationship with God, but now that trust had been violated by both of them. So they made what sounds like loin cloths out of leaves. They did not immediately keel over and die, but from that moment their bodies began the process of dying, slowly decaying. Also, their union with the Lord died, man became dead in sin, separated from the life and light of God; and the need for atonement sacrifices arose. Jesus would ultimately be the final perfect sacrifice to reconcile believers to God, to restore that relationship that was torn by sin. As we will see in this study of the Women of Christmas, Jesus was truly born to die.

How does this apply to me?

Susan knows what decaying looks and feels like. She suffered for seven years with necrotic ulcers on both legs from just below the knees to the soles of her feet. When I first started working with her, her feet appeared to be melting, literally rotting. She had been hospitalized and treated more than once for this condition to no avail. Finally, she was told her legs were literally “two ticking time bombs” that could become septic and kill her at any moment. So, she made the difficult but wise decision to have them amputated. All that to say, that from the day we are born, we begin dying literally in the physical sense but are also dead spiritually housing the rottenness of our sin nature. As soon as Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they became dead spiritually as well as in the process of dying physically. There is only one cure for our spiritual decay, we must allow God to cut it out – to circumcise our hearts – by trusting Jesus by faith and surrendering our lives to God’s scalpel.

Romans 2:28-29 (NIV) “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly,
nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.
No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly;
and circumcision is circumcision of the heart,
by the Spirit, not by the written code.

Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.”

Sunday, November 27, 2016

THE WOMEN OF CHRISTMAS - Eve - Man from dust, Woman from rib

EVE – Man from Dust and Woman from Rib

Genesis 2:7 (KJV) And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

God spoke the animals into being, but He carefully molded Adam out of clay and breathed His very life into him. I wonder if the person who developed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation got the idea from this verse? God created the animals at arm’s length but had to get up close and personal in order to breathe life into the man. He put vitality into the man with His own breath. This reminds me of the giving of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts chapter 2 when the Spirit came upon them like a rushing wind.

Acts 2:2 (KJV) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

In Acts, God breathed spiritual life into the disciples.

Genesis 2:20-25 (KJV) And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

Man did not find his equal among the animals. Man needed a “helper.” The Hebrew word is ezer-kanegdo which means a helper suitable and and complementary to him in every way. The word ezer also referred to God as the Helper of Israel. The term implies a role of equality and not subordination. The man needed someone like himself, created in the image of God. The fullness of the image of God is found in the man and woman together. In fact, El Shaddai literally means “many breasted” because God completely provides for His own, He is the fullness of all that we need, an endless supply. He is like a mother nursing her infant. A friend of ours described the need for both men and women as the couple standing back to back. Each using their peripheral vision can see 180°, but if they stand back to back, together they can see the entire 360° picture. As separate and unique expressions of the image of God, man and woman were products of the plurality of God and reflections of His unity and His nature. Together, a man and a woman have the potential to be a picture of the relationship between Jesus and His bride, the church, the oneness of a believer and his/her Savior.

Genesis 2:21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Woman was created from a piece of man, his rib, so it takes both men and women to fully express who God is. The way Eve was created shows that we need both aspects to fully express the Godhead, the relationship. Jesus was the fullness of God but completely human. He even expressed the mothering nature in this verse:

Matthew 23:37 (KJV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

WOMAN, noun plural women. [a compound of womb and man.]

1. The female of the human race, grown to adult years.

The man and the woman were to be sewn together in their hearts and minds. They were to have that relationship of equality and unity as exhibited by the Father, Son, and Spirit. The man and woman had no clothing and were not embarrassed at all. Their relationship with God and each other was such that they could be completely naked and feel no vulnerability. But then – enter the serpent.

How does this apply to me?

God breathed life into the first man. However, sin sucked the life right out of us. We are dead, incapable of relationship with God, until by His grace we believe and trust in what Jesus accomplished by being born as a man in order to become the perfect sacrifice for all people who believe.

Colossians 2:13-15 (KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:13-14 (MSG)When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


EVE – Creation of humans

Why are we starting a Christmas study with creation? When our sovereign God created the world and placed people in it, He knew they would sin. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all present as man was formed from dust and woman from man’s rib. And before the creation of the world, the God-head had the plan for mankind’s redemption – the baby Boy who would be born to die as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).

Genesis 1:26-28 - Version (KJV) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

God said, “Let US...”. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all present when man was created. It was a collaborative process. The God-head, the Trinity, fashioned man in their own image. What exactly does that mean?
People were given the ability to reason, to communicate through speech, to make choices, and to be creative. People are also relational beings. God is a relationship within Himself -the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Humans need meaningful relationships among themselves and with God. Before they sinned, the man and the woman were in perfect unity with one another and with the Father. They were what we, as Christians, shall be on the New Earth when Christ returns.  However, as we will see, our relationship with God and each other was tarnished by the sin of the very first man. Animals are instinctual and often act on impulses related to their physical needs, their appetites. People were given dominion, rule, over all other earthly beings (animals, fish, birds, reptiles, bugs, etc.) because of our ability to reason, because we are created in the image of God. And because we are created in the image of God, humans have a relationship of equality and willing submission to one another.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God did not just create a brotherhood to satisfy the need for relationships. Nor did He create only a sisterhood. He created both male and female or they would not have been able to obey the command in the next verse!

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Once God had created both the man and the woman, then He blessed them and told them to have a family. He encouraged them to enjoy their marriage relationship and all that implies. Man was supposed to protect and direct the earth in an orderly manner to bring glory to the Creator. The animals were created for the benefit of mankind, and people were to rule over them. In the Garden of Eden God gave man and woman equal authority over all of creation. God did not intend them to exercise this authority over one another. We are to rule over the animals, but we are to submit to one another as unto Christ.

How does this apply to me?

People were created in the image of God. We have attributes and qualities the animals cannot possess. We were intended to be a reflection of our Maker, but sin has tarnished our ability to reflect. The only cleaning agent that can wash away the grime of sin is the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross to pay the debt of our sin. We cannot be “good enough” to purchase the cleanser. The only way to appropriate that which will make us clean and restore our ability to reflect our Creator is by trusting Jesus, believing He was God incarnate (Son of God), died to pay our sin debt, and was raised to life and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. As Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6 KJV)

Friday, November 25, 2016


The Women of Christmas

EVE – Genesis 1-3
SARAH – Genesis 17-23
TAMAR – Genesis 38
RAHAB – Joshua 2 & 6
RUTH – The book of Ruth
BATHSHEBA – 2 Samuel 11 & 12, I Kings 1
ESTHER – Book of Esther
ANNA – Luke 2

INTRODUCTION: Some of the names in our list of “The Women of Christmas” ring with familiarity because they are included in sermons on the birth of Jesus regularly – Mary (Mother of Baby Jesus), Elizabeth (Mary’s relative who conceived late in life), and Anna (Adored the Baby Jesus in the temple).  Others are brought out by some preachers and teachers because they are in the lineage of Christ found in Matthew (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba). You may be surprised at our inclusion of Eve, Sarah, and Esther; but stick with us to find out why we found these three to be crucial to the Christmas story as well. We will present these women chronologically as they fit in to history (aka HIS story) but they will appear again as they overlap with the other women in the list. Since these women are a part of His Story, they are a part of our story as believers as well since we have been adopted into the family of God by His grace. We hope you will follow us each day or at least play catch-up every few days during this busy time of year. Our sincere desire is that you will be blessed and challenged through the studying of the Bible together. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016


John Chapter 21 – Lesson 1
Disciples Go Fishing

John 21:1 (ESV) After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way.

Sometime after Jesus had appeared to the disciples and Thomas, He presented Himself again. We are not told how much time elapsed between the two events, but it had to have occurred within the 40 days before Christ ascended to the Father. Tiberias is another name for the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had instructed His disciples to wait for Him there. (Matthew 28:10 and Mark 16:7) In Mark’s account of the resurrection the angel specifically told the women to tell the disciples and Peter to wait in Galilee. Perhaps Jesus wanted to make sure that Peter would understand he was still invited to the party.

John 21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.

Seven of the eleven remaining apostles were together. It makes you wonder, “Where were the other four?” But we’ll just have to wonder because the Bible does not tell us. Simon Peter and the sons of Zebedee, James and John, had all been fishermen when Jesus called them. Thomas and Nathanael may have been fishermen, also. The other two with them that day are not named.

John 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Peter may have thought himself unworthy to serve the Lord as one of His messengers since he had denied the Lord three times on the night of His arrest. So he proposed that some of the other disciples join him in going fishing which was his previous livelihood. Even though several of the seven who got in the boat were skilled fishermen, they caught nothing!

John 21:4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

The poor guys fished all night to no avail. At dawn, there was a figure on the shore. Bleary-eyed from being up all night and certainly not expecting to see their Master on the shore, the disciples did not recognize Jesus. This could be another one of those times that Jesus kept them from recognizing Him right away.

John 21:5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.”

Even though Jesus addressed the men in the boat with the term of endearment “children,” they did not recognize Him. When He asked if they had any fish, they answered simply, “No.”

Q – The disciples were in Galilee in obedience to what the angel told them do. At this point, they may have been feeling a bit like they were in limbo – not yet having a clear direction about their continued service to the Lord on earth. So they waited and occupied themselves with what they already knew how to do – fishing. Are you waiting on a specific assignment from the Lord? Are you unsure of your marching orders at present? Occupy the place Jesus has you right now, being obedient to what you know to do. At the right moment, He will clarify your next move. Stay in His word, seek Him in prayer, and continue in obedience.

John Chapter 21 – Lesson 2
Swim, Peter, Swim
John 21:6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.

Jesus told them to go against their fishermen’s instincts and cast the net on the other side of the boat. They may have been annoyed and thought, “So now fish swim on only one side of the boat?” But for some reason they tried what this as yet unknown stranger told them to do. They may have begun to doubt their own expertise because when they cast the net, they did not have the strength to haul it in. It was so full of fish that SEVEN grown men could not draw the net back into the boat!

John 21:7a That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

Because of the miraculous catch, John realized the man on the shore was Jesus and proclaimed to Peter that it was the Lord. John always seemed more attuned to Jesus, realizing the truth of His resurrection at the empty tomb and now recognizing Him before the others.

John 21:7b When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.

Impulsively, Peter dressed and jumped into the water. This time he was not walking on the waves but swimming rapidly to shore. He could not even wait until they all arrived by boat! Peter was not the kind of guy to be patient. He was probably the kind of child who wanted everything RIGHT NOW.

John 21:8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

Peter had left the boat, but the others took up his slack and finished the task of bringing the catch to shore.

John 21:9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.

Jesus did not need their fish to cook, for He had already prepared their breakfast of fish and bread. If it seems odd that He had fish without going fishing and bread without baking, think back to the feeding of the 5000 plus.

Q – Do you feel like your nets are coming up empty? Keep on in obedience and trust the Lord for the catch. Many times we witness and go years without seeing one person come to know the Lord. However, we do not know how the word we share will be added to by others and grow in their hearts. Keep on sharing. Keep on being obedient fishers of men!

John Chapter 21 – Lesson 3
Jesus Shares Breakfast with the Disciples

John 21:10 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”

Jesus wanted to add some of the fresh fish to their breakfast. The disciples were going to get to eat some of the fruit of their labor. According to the fishermen in my family, there is nothing quite like fresh fish cooked on an open fire. I wouldn’t know because I don’t like to eat fish at all. If Jesus had been cooking chicken fried steak with cream gravy (the preferred drink of the South), I would have been right there!

John 21:11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.

No one ever accused Peter of being wimpy, for even 153 small fish would be a heavy load. The net miraculously held under the weight of such a tremendous catch.

John 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.

Jesus invited the men who were hungry from fishing all night to share breakfast with Him. The fact that He ate is evidence that He had resurrected in bodily form and was not merely an apparition or spirit. Jesus had said they would see Him again, and there He was eating fish and bread with them. They finally were completely convinced this was Jesus in the flesh.

John 21:13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.

Jesus served as the host of this seemingly impromptu meal. What do you think is important about that? The Father or Master of the house was the host. It is also reminiscent of the times He fed the multitudes and the breaking of the bread at the Last Supper before His arrest. Jesus had come to serve – He had washed their feet at the Last Supper, and now He was serving as the cook for their breakfast. I wonder if any of the disciples were ever tempted to say, “Yes, indeedy, one morning Jesus, the Son of God, cooked my breakfast!”

John 21:14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

At this point, Jesus had appeared to the apostles three times. They would later testify that they had seen Jesus many times after He had been raised from the dead. He continued to appear to various groups of disciples over the next forty days. Paul reports on these appearances in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7.

Q – Do you ever question whether the resurrection of Jesus was real? He made sure His apostles would not doubt His bodily resurrection by allowing them to touch His wounds and even shared a meal with them. Paul records that He once appeared to over 500 people at one time. These people faithfully spread the good news of His triumph over the grave, and now we believe because of their testimony passed down through the ages as well as written in the word of God. If Jesus has revealed the truth of His reality to you, it is your mission to pass that gospel on to others. Have you shared the good news with someone today? This week? This year?

John Chapter 21 – Lesson 4
Peter Restored by Jesus

There are two different Greek words for love in this conversation between Jesus and Peter. It is important to note this. We will point out which word is being used in each instance as we go through these verses. Following are the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible definitions with their Strong’s numbers.

25 – agapaŏ – to love (in a social or moral sense) (be-) love (-ed) related to 26 – agape – affection or benevolence – a love-feast – charity, dear, love.
5368 – philĕō – to be a friend to (fond of), have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling: while 25 is wider embracing espec. The judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety; the two thus stand related; the former (25) being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head; spec. to kiss (as a mark of tenderness) – kiss, love.

John 21:15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love25 me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love5368 you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

Why did Jesus single out Peter? Peter was the one in need of restoration. Jesus had already forgiven Peter, but Peter had not forgiven himself and needed reassurance that Jesus had forgiven him. Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him more than the others. He used the term for moral, willing, choice to love regardless of feelings. How did Peter answer Him? Peter answered that he felt brotherly love and affection for the Lord as Jesus already knew. I believe this kind of love was all Peter or anyone else was able to have without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What did Jesus mean when He told Peter to feed His lambs? Did He own a flock of sheep? Jesus was letting Peter know that he did have the authority to carry the Gospel message as a witness, and He was counting on him to do so by the power of God by the Holy Spirit working in and through him to do His will thus feeding the “sheep” the followers of Jesus.  

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV[KH1] ) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Specifically, what would feeding Jesus’ lambs, those who already trusted Him, consist of? Jesus was telling Peter to make disciples, teaching them everything Jesus had commanded. He gave these same instructions to all the disciples as well:

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We feed the lambs when we teach them God’s word and teach them to internalize it in order to live it out (obey it) as a testimony to other people.

John 21:16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love25 me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love5368 you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

I believe that Jesus knew that Peter would eventually be able to truly say he had the self-sacrificing, deliberate choice type of love for Jesus. He posed the same question again. Peter again answered honestly that he had brotherly love for Jesus. This time Jesus commanded Peter to “tend” his sheep. Is there a difference between feeding and tending the sheep? Anyone can carry dinner to the sheep. Tending has more of a connotation to nurture and preserve. Tending the sheep involves inspecting for injuries, watching out for infestations, protecting from dangerous predators, caring for every aspect of the lamb. The shepherd puts his life in harm’s way on behalf of the sheep. David fought off lions and bears who preyed on his father’s sheep. Brothers have the capacity to feed, but only shepherds have the capacity to lead.  So Jesus was telling Peter to shepherd the believers, the early church. He did so in his teaching at Pentecost, his leadership of the early church, and later in his letters warning of false teachers (predators) and admonishing the church to stay true to the things Jesus taught even amid persecution.

John 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love5368 me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love5368 me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love5368 you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

Why did Jesus ask Peter if he loved Him three times? Jesus knew that Peter was still beating himself up every day because he had denied knowing the Lord three times to complete strangers on the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested. At the time Jesus needed his friends the most, Peter denied ever knowing Him. Is it significant that Jesus changed from agapaŏ to philĕō when He asked the third time whether Peter loved Him? Perhaps Jesus was acknowledging that Peter was not yet fully capable of god-like love and was being respectful of Peter’s honest response that he had brotherly affection. He knew that after the Holy Spirit filled Peter at Pentecost, he would be infused with agapaŏ. Why was Peter grieved that Jesus asked him if he loved (philĕō) Him the third time? I think maybe Peter was grieved because he knew that he could not love Jesus with agapaŏ love yet, and he wanted to. Peter acknowledged that Jesus knew everything and already knew he loved him as a brother. Jesus again instructed Peter to feed the sheep. Is there a significance to the fact that He did this three times? Peter had denied Jesus three times, humiliating himself; and, therefore, Jesus entrusted His followers to Peter three times to show him that he was completely restored to his position of leadership within the band of apostles.

John 21:18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Jesus then foretold that Peter would be crucified – the stretching out of his hands and being led where he would not want to go. History reports that Peter was indeed crucified for following Jesus, and tradition says he chose to be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to die exactly as Jesus had. After the hardest words that Jesus had spoken about Peter to Peter, Jesus hits him with, “Follow me.” This was the seal of the restoration process of Peter. Peter must choose to follow Jesus even after he had been told how he would leave this world in an excruciating death. Jesus had said if anyone wanted to be His disciple, he would need to take up his cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). He now called Peter to literally do just that.

Q – Peter had done exactly as Jesus had predicted and denied Him three times before the rooster crowed. However, Jesus restored Peter to a place of leadership three times as well. Have you fallen so badly you think the Lord can no longer use you? I know I (Susie) felt that way after my husband left and I became a divorced person. The Lord used the stories of David still being used mightily after his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband murdered and the fact that Peter was restored after his denials even becoming a significant influence in the early church to encourage me that I could still serve in His kingdom. It was a process, but I eventually taught in a Christian school, taught adult Sunday School, and am now serving with Precious Jewels Ministries. Whatever wrong path you have traveled Jesus is able to restore you and enable you to walk in His light. Pray for His forgiveness and turn your life over to His complete control afresh. Then hang on to your hat as He places you exactly where He wants you to serve!

John Chapter 21 – Lesson 5
 What About John?

John 21:20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”

Apparently, Peter and Jesus had been walking while having the conversation about taking care of His sheep because in this verse John was following close behind them. Perhaps after breakfast they were all walking back to where they were staying. In John 13:24-25 Peter urged John to ask Jesus who was going to betray Him. Perhaps Peter was afraid to ask Jesus himself in case this offended the Lord. He did not want to be embarrassed in case Jesus did not want to be asked. So he asked his friend, John, to inquire of the Lord; and John leaned back against Jesus and asked Him.

John 21:21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”

Jesus had told Peter that he would be crucified, so now Peter wants to know, “What about this other guy?” Perhaps he wanted to know if he was going to be the only one martyred but asked specifically about John because he was nearby.

John 21:22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

Jesus may have been a tad bit upset with Peter for asking about John. He pretty much told Peter that John’s fate was none of his business. Jesus told Peter to keep his eyes on his own assignment, to keep his eyes on Jesus. Jesus had taken Peter from servant, to friend, to brother, and was preparing him to be an under-shepherd of His flock. Like all of us, Peter had enough on his plate to just take care of his own business. He did not need to be concerned about what John was called to do other than to encourage him as one of the lambs. Jesus reveals His specific will to the one who is affected by it, not necessarily to others who know them.

John 21:23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

The disciples started gossiping about this one on One conversation between Peter and the Lord which was none of their concern. The rumor went around that John would never die, but that is not what Jesus had said. Jesus just said what He did about John to emphasize that it was none of Peter’s business how, when, or IF John would die. However, it would be according to His will. The Teacher is in charge of the lesson plan, not the student. The Shepherd determines where the sheep are to graze, not the sheep.

John 21:24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

John identified himself as the one Peter had inquired about which means he was an eye witness to the events he had just recorded.

John 21:25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

John indicated that what he had written was just a portion of the events, miracles, and teachings of Jesus’ life. If everything that Jesus said and did were written down, there was not enough land mass created to hold all the books. This is why the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the New Testament to share only certain things rather than to chase every rabbit trail. The Bible is truly the CliffsNotes Version of what Jesus accomplished and spoke for the benefit of humanity. In Heaven we will understand clearly as the Lord Himself will fill in the gaps, but for now we have everything we need in order to follow His commands.

2 Peter 1:3 (NIV) His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Q – Do you ever wonder why God is leading you a certain direction? Especially if your Christian friend seems to have an easier path than yours? God places us each strategically where He wants us to serve. We just need to keep our focus on Jesus and keep obeying Him. Or as the Apostle Paul would say, “Press on!”

Philippians 3:13-15 (NIV) Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.



John Chapter 20 – Lesson 1
The Empty Tomb

John 20:1 (ESV) Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

Jesus was crucified on Friday, and it was now Sunday morning. According to how the Jews reckoned time, this would still be three days as any portion of a day counted as a day. How did Mary Magdalene think she was going to move the heavy stone in front of the entrance to the tomb? Perhaps she thought the soldiers posted there to make sure the body was not stolen by Jesus’ followers would assist her. How startled must she have been to see the stone already moved?!

John 20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

Mary was perplexed. Where was the body? Who moved it? Why did they move it? Where was it moved? So she took off running to find Peter and report this strange turn of events. She found him in the company of John, the beloved disciple. She delivered the astonishing news that the tomb was empty and that she and the other women (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-3, Luke 23:55-24:1) thought the body appeared to have been moved.

John 20:3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

Peter and John raced to the tomb as fast as their feet would carry them. John, being the faster runner, arrived first.

John 20:5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.

John peaked in the door but did not enter the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there but waited at the entrance. We do not know why John did not enter the tomb, but here are some ideas. Perhaps he was awe-stricken and feeling the place was holy. Perhaps he was timid, although I can’t picture one of the “Sons of Thunder” being afraid. Perhaps he was waiting for Peter who may have been his elder and was an acknowledged leader of the disciples.

Q – The tomb was empty! Although Jesus had told them in no uncertain terms many times that He would be killed and would rise on the third day, they could not comprehend that it had actually happened. Would you have believed? We like to think we would, but would we? Do we believe modern day miracles when they occur or do we search for a scientific explanation?

John Chapter 20 – Lesson 2
Folded Linens Minus His Body

John 20:6 (ESV) Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.

Simon Peter caught up with John at the tomb and barged in with no hesitation. He saw the linen that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body just neatly lying there. The face cloth was strategically placed by itself, folded differently from the rest. The fact that the linen cloths were still there and nicely arranged would indicate the body had not been stolen since robbers would not have taken such care. Also, it would have been much easier to move the body while still wrapped up. It is awesome to picture Jesus just rising right out of His grave clothes.

John 20:8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

As soon as he saw the linen cloths arranged in the tomb, John believed that Jesus had resurrected as He said He would. Prior to that, the disciples had not clearly understood what Jesus meant when He had predicted that He would rise from the dead. When John realized that Jesus had risen from the dead, pieces of the Messiah puzzle began to finally fit together in his mind.  

John 20:10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

I don’t get it. Did they go home because it was too much for their human brains to comprehend? The greatest moment in their lives, in history had just been proven before their eyes, and they just go home? But Mary Magdalene must have lingered…oops, next lesson!

Q – John records that he believed after seeing the empty tomb and linens; but according to the other gospels, Peter was not yet convinced. Have you ever had an experience with a friend and the two of you come away with widely different takes on what you saw? Our personalities and definitely our heart conditions influence how we view things. Do you come to Scripture expecting to be filled or do you come at it as a daily “task” to check off your list? If you read the word of God expectantly, your hunger will be filled, and your thirst will be quenched. 

John Chapter 20 – Lesson 3
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

John 20:11 (ESV) But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.

            Mary Magdalene had stayed behind when John and Peter went home. Mary Magdalene was a woman who had once been possessed by SEVEN demons. Jesus cast those demons out and gloriously brought her into His forever family. However, at this moment, she was confused and frightened because she did not yet realize He was alive, raised from the dead. She thought His body had been moved or stolen away. Mary was having an “ugly cry” outside the tomb. She bent down and looked into the tomb the disciples had just vacated.

John 20:12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.

John and Peter had not seen angels, but when Mary peeked into the tomb, there were two of them. They sat where Jesus’ head and feet had so recently lain. Mary must have been breathless with wonderment at the sight of two men in what she thought was an empty tomb! How had they entered without her knowledge? She had been standing right there!

John 20:13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”

The angels showed concern for her distress and asked her why she was crying. She must not have realized they were angels because she did not express any fear or awe of them. She once again explained that she thought someone had moved or stolen the body of Jesus, her Lord and Teacher.

John 20:14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

She turned around and was startled once again to see a man before her. She did not recognize Jesus perhaps because of shock or because His appearance had changed or He purposely did not allow her to comprehend who He was. Perhaps Mary was in shock due to the tomb being empty causing her to not recognize her Lord, Master, and closest Friend.

Q – Women (see also Matthew 28:1-10) were the first people to see the resurrected Jesus face to face. According to the Jewish Law, only men could be witnesses in court, and women’s testimony was not seen as trustworthy. Yet Jesus entrusted this most important news that He was alive to women before appearing to the eleven male apostles. Some people try to tell us that Jesus would make women less than they are. The truth is that Jesus elevated women to a higher position in society than they had ever held. Do you harbor prejudices due to gender, race, or ability? Jesus broke down those barriers over 2000 years ago. 

John Chapter 20 – Lesson 4
Go and Tell My Brothers

John 20:15 (ESV) Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

At first, Jesus did not give Himself away but just addressed her politely as “woman.” Mary Magdalene still did not recognize the Lord, so she addressed Him respectfully as “Sir.” He asked her why she was crying and whom she was looking for. For some reason she thought He might be the gardener and would know what had happened to Jesus’ body. Then she said she would take Him away. How does she, a woman, think she’s going to take the body anywhere? And where on earth did she think she was going to take Him? In her distraught state, I guess she just wanted to make sure the body was properly cared for and re-entombed.

John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

When Jesus finally spoke her name, Mary, she recognized the cadence of her teacher’s voice. Her eyes were opened to the fact that Jesus was standing there before her. She addressed Him as “My Teacher” acknowledging the fact that she now knew who He was.

John 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

According to Matthew 28:9, Mary Magdalene bowed in worship and took hold of Jesus’ feet. So He urged her not to cling to Him. Jesus did not want her to cling to the relationship they had here on earth. He would be ascending to the Father and sending His Spirit bringing their relationship to whole different level. Jesus gave her a message for the disciples whom He now called His brothers. Jesus had to be the firstborn of the resurrection before other brothers and sisters could join Him in His forever family. He entrusted Mary, a woman whom He had delivered from seven demons, with the message that He would soon ascend to the Father. Jesus smashed down the wall of thinking women were not credible witnesses by having Mary Magdalene be the first to see Him and declare He was alive. This also proves that once one has trusted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, they are considered clean in God’s eyes. He did not view this formerly demon possessed woman as unworthy but saw her as His chosen, redeemed child capable of taking an important message to His disciples.

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Mary immediately obeyed. She sought out the disciples to tell them she had seen the Lord and to give them His message. Luke 24:11 records that the disciples had a hard time believing the women who had seen Jesus thinking it to be “an idle tale” (ESV), “nonsense” (CJB), “fiction” (VOICE). Apparently the disciples did not get the memo that their Lord deemed women to be credible witnesses!

Q – I remember a student listening to the Carman song “Lazarus, Come Forth” in my classroom before school began. It was a public school. Suddenly he said, “Bad to the bone, man. He’s talking about dead people coming to life!” He had never heard the story of Lazarus, let alone the resurrection of Jesus. However, Jesus’ own disciples had a hard time believing He had actually fulfilled His promise to rise from the dead on third day. Nothing is impossible for God. The next time you think your situation is hopeless, impossible, no way out, remember the resurrection of Jesus. He is able to deliver you!

John Chapter 20 – Lesson 5
Jesus Walks Through Locked Doors

John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

The disciples were locked inside the room where they were staying because they were afraid the Jews would have them arrested for following Jesus. They were trying to stay inconspicuous, under the radar of the religious elite by not going out among them and being holed up behind locked doors. Suddenly, Jesus was standing in front of them. He did not knock or wait for someone to ask Him the password. He just entered through the locked doors without even opening them! Jesus, the Prince of Peace, greeted them with, “Peace be with you.” He was the only One who could restore peace to their trembling hearts.

John 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

Jesus verified that it was He by bodily proof, voluntarily showing the disciples the nail prints in His hands and the hole in His side where the spear pierced Him. The disciples were glad when they realized it was truly Jesus, and He really had risen from the dead as He had told them beforehand. The impossible was made possible by the power of the Lord.
            We look forward to having perfected bodies when we are with the Lord someday. However, notice that the Lord chose to retain the scars of crucifixion to prove His identity and His love to His disciples. Michael Card has an excellent song called “Known by the Scars.” You can listen to it here:

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

Jesus reiterated His message of peace and said He was sending them out. The Father had sent Jesus to share the kingdom of God on this earth, and now He was sending the disciples out as ambassadors to spread the Gospel, the message that the Kingdom of God was at hand and available to those who would believe.

John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

After the traumatic experience of watching their beloved Lord die on the cross and then seeing Him appear before them even though a heavy door was securely locked, the disciples needed a booster shot of strength and peace. When Jesus breathed on the disciples, he confirmed the fact that they had believed and trusted Him and had eternal life. Jesus enabled the disciples to be sustained until the Holy Spirit came in power to indwell believers about 40 days later at Pentecost. The disciples were not empowered to forgive or not forgive sins, nor did they ever do that in the accounts we find in Acts. They were to herald the fact that Jesus became our sacrifice, the substitute for our sin, in order that those who believe would be forgiven. When we proclaim the gospel message, we are leading people to the only One who can forgive and cleanse away their sins, Jesus. When we fail in that mission, people do not hear the message and do not have the opportunity to repent and be forgiven unless someone else shares. Jesus commissioned the disciples and us today to be witnesses of His amazing grace. This is what we are “sent out” to do. The purpose of our being “born again,” “saved,” granted eternal life is to glorify God and proclaim Him to the world. As Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, so aptly put it, “To know Him and to make Him known.”

John 20:24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.

We are not given the reason that Thomas was absent. But He missed the excitement!

John 20:25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Thomas gets a bad rap for not believing, but Thomas was not satisfied to be a crowd follower. Perhaps he was from “The Show Me State” LOL. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t trust the testimony of the other disciples. Not sure why we pick on Thomas when the others did not believe the women when they said they had seen Jesus. Yes, we focus on Thomas as “the Doubter,” but history records that He became a great missionary and was martyred for His faith.

Q – As Christians, we have the responsibility to share the truth of the Gospel with a lost, hungry, and dying world. Are you actively telling others that Jesus can forgive their sins? Do you know how to share your faith? Find a believer who obeys this commission and ask to tag along. It is really as simple as telling others what Jesus has done for you.

John Chapter 20 – Lesson 6
Thomas Gets What He Asked For

John 20:26 (ESV) Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

I think Jesus enjoyed entering through locked doors. These dramatic, miraculous entries were a part of confirming that He was indeed the Son of God, risen from the dead. This time all of the eleven were present and accounted for, including Thomas. Jesus did not want Thomas to be the only one missing out on the fact that He was risen from the grave, in the flesh, but able to appear in the room with the doors locked tight.

John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

Jesus gave Thomas the opportunity to test Him. I believe that Thomas was not the only that had doubts. He was the only one brave enough to articulate them. The others had doubted as well before Jesus had shown them proof of the crucifixion scars on His body.  Note that Jesus did not wait for Thomas to ask to see His hands and side – He offered that proof immediately. Jesus admonished Thomas not to reject this proof but to believe.

John 20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus had shown Thomas the proof he needed, and Thomas worshipped Him as both Master and God.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus chided Thomas a bit for not believing until he had seen for himself. Then He pronounced a blessing on those who would believe even though they had never seen Him with their physical eyes. “Those” are those of every generation after the original disciples who had walked with Him on earth. Including us!!! We have not seen and touched Jesus’ physical, human body; but the Holy Spirit graciously has enabled us to believe with spiritual eyes and recognize His word in the Bible as truth. We are truly blessed!

John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John had walked over three years with Jesus, so there was much more he could have written. The Holy Spirit enabled John to discern what key events to record that would lead people to believe the things Jesus had done and said during His sojourn on planet earth. This gospel account was written so that people would believe and trust in Jesus and gain eternal life. There is power in the name of Jesus. Peter later preached concerning the name of Jesus:

Acts 4:12 (NASB) And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

Q – Thomas may have doubted, but that did not cause Jesus to reject Him. Jesus proved Himself to Thomas and through the Holy Spirit caused him to become a bold witness of the truth. John wrote so that people would believe. Do you ever recommend that a person who is seeking God read the Bible? Point them to the gospel of John as it is a clear account of Jesus life, death, and resurrection that can lead them to eternal life. I (Susie) have even seen just that one book of the Bible printed as something to give to people, called “Living Water.” I once had the Spanish Version. They are available at for ministries who might want to give them out to visitors, seekers, or new believers.