EQUITY: One of the hallmark's of John's gospel is that it clearly illustrates the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, but today's chapter adds a new twist: although Jesus has referred to His Father often, He has not referred to God as the father of anybody else. In fact, just the opposite. He replied to those who claimed their father was Abraham that their father was neither God nor Abraham, but rather was the devil (John 8:44). But now after the resurrection, everything has changed. Jesus makes a stunning announcement of the equity that we have with our older brother Jesus in v17:
I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.
EXPERIENCE THE PEACE OF JESUS CHRIST: John records Jesus greeting the disciples three times with the phrase "Peace be with you (v19, 21, 26)." On one hand, the Hebrew greeting of Shalom was a very common one, but yet it's not one John records Jesus saying at all before the resurrection, and now within a day of the resurrection He says it three times. That's because prior to Jesus' finished work on the cross, we didn't have peace with God, but now John wants to make exceedingly clear that we do have it.
FAITH IS NEVER BLIND: Often times people think that they must abandon reason and logic and replace it with faith. These people need to be introduced to Doubting Thomas. He hears the reports of the fantastic experience the other disciples told him about, but refuses to believe until he sees physical proof. The amazing thing is that Jesus doesn't scold Thomas for doubting. Jesus shows Thomas the proof. Granted, the hands and feet that Thomas found his proof in have ascended into heaven, but in their place we've been given the entire New Testament and 2,000 years of scholarship providing mountains of evidence that Jesus is who He said He is. God does not ask you to believe based only on warm, fuzzy feelings, but rather He expects you to believe because this belief is rational and true.
HERE'S SOME HANDS AND FEET TO TOUCH: Remember to always be looking out for 'so that' phrases in the Bible. These phrases often follow this pattern:
so that you can
Verse 31 follows this pattern. John provides the reason he wrote this account of Jesus' life, death and resurrection:
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and so that you may by believing have life in His name.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: Jesus' resurrection both fulfills the prophecy of Psalm 16:9-11 and extends the prophecy for those who are in Christ.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: After Jesus showed Himself to Thomas, what did Thomas call Him? (See verse 28.)
Immediately after the events of this chapter, if you talked with the disciple Thomas and asked him to define the word faith, how do you think he would have answered?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is our Father because we have been adopted in Christ (v17)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to continually erase the doubt in your life (v27)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: