When she was younger, my daughter loved to get the mail. In fact, she would become upset if I got it without her. One day I asked her why it meant so much to her to be the first one to the mailbox each day. She looked at me quizzically and said, “Mom, I want to get the mail every day because there might be an invitation for me in there.” I chuckled a little, but I understood what she meant. We all love to be invited to things. In today’s passage John extends to us an invitation. And it is an invitation that calls for an immediate response.
- When you extend an invitation to a party or a dinner or a casual get-together, what do you assume it means when an invited person never responds, either positively or negatively?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 20:19-31 (ESV)
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.” 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 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending 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 withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 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.”
26 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.” 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.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
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.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 30-31.)
- What did John write to indicate that he knew his writing did not supply exhaustive coverage of Jesus’ ministry on earth?
- Why might John have felt the need to include this concession?
- According to the first half of verse 31, why did John choose to include the things he did?
- What did John say will be the result of believing?
- What evidence is there in your everyday life that you truly believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?
RESPOND TO GOD
In these two short verses, John extended an invitation to life. He reiterated the fact that he had laid out ample evidence, carefully selected from the life of the Savior for one purpose: that we may believe. He wrote all that came before these two verses so that we could know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection grant us the opportunity to live a meaningful life here on earth and an eternal life one day in heaven. But we can’t just know about it. We have to believe it. These things were written so that we may first believe and then truly live.
- If you believe in your heart that Jesus is God’s son, take time to thank God that you have true and everlasting life in Jesus’ name.
- If you have never proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God, sent to take away your sins, stop now and pray that he would come into your heart and give you true life. Ask God to lead you to a mature believer to tell about your decision.