Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nov 15: John 20

Today's reading in our daily plan is John 20. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In today’s chapter, we read about encounters people had with Jesus after he was resurrected. Here are a few thoughts:
    • Most scholars believe that when John writes about “the other disciple” (in verses 2-8), he is writing about himself. For some reason, John chose not to write in the first person.
    • Jesus says a peculiar thing to Mary Magdalene after she discovers he‘s not the gardener. He says, “do not hold on to me,” which sounds harsh considering he just rose from the dead and Mary miraculously had her savior back. It could be that she was latched on to Jesus to see if he was really there to make sure he didn’t leave her presence. It could also be that Jesus needed to focus Mary so she could go tell the disciples the news of his resurrection.
    • Jesus says another strange thing in verse 23: “if you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.“ This was immediately following Jesus’ sending of the disciples and breathing the Holy Spirit into them. Since the disciples will be continuing Jesus’ mission by telling everyone about salvation, it could be that Jesus refers to forgiveness as an acceptance of that message. A rephrase of Jesus’ words might look like, “those that receive your message will be forgiven, but those that don’t receive your message will not be forgiven.”
    • This chapter ends with John telling us his purpose for writing: Jesus’ resurrection is the only reason that this book could be preserved. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Thomas gets a bad wrap from this chapter, but the opposite of his reputation is also true: Thomas was the only disciple that confessed Jesus as Lord and God. Once he knew the truth he wasn’t bashful about it.
  • If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, those that were alive at the time would say so and this writing (as well as the others) wouldn’t be believed today. But it did happen, and because of that, we can have life in Jesus’ name. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Do you believe the things you’ve been reading? What is your next step in your faith journey?