John 20: 1-31 约翰福音 第二十章 第一至第三十一节

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS

John 20:1-31


I.    The Resurrection (20:1-18)


A.    The Empty Tomb (vv. 1-10)

  1. The Resurrection accounts differ in each of the Gospels, with each presenting its unique emphasis of the event.  In this chapter, John records three post-Resurrection appearances by Jesus, each of which has a dramatic effect on those whom He encountered.
  2. Mary Magdalene was the first person to arrive at the tomb of Jesus.  Upon seeing the stone removed from the tomb, she ran to Peter and John, exclaiming that someone had taken Jesus’ body from the tomb.  
  3. Peter and John ran to the tomb, finding only the strips of Jesus’ burial clothes.  Peter and John, as did Mary, failed to understand that the Resurrection had occurred (v. 9).

B.    A Risen Lord! (vv. 10-18)

  1. After all the others left the empty tomb, Mary stood alone weeping.  Two angels appeared to her and asked her why she was expressing such grief.  She said that someone had taken her Lord and she was trying to find Him. At that point Mary turned and saw Jesus.
  2. The tenderness of the moment when He said, “Mary” and her recognition of Him and cry of “Rabbi!” (meaning “Teacher”) is one of the emotional highlights of the entire Gospel of John.  Jesus warned May not to “cling to” to Him, for He had “not yet ascended to the Father” (v. 17).

II.    The Forgiveness of Sins (20:19-23)


A.    The Second Post-Resurrection Appearance

  1. John’s second recorded post-Resurrection appearances by Jesus was to His disciples.  He appeared to them behind locked doors, and He gave them what they needed most – Himself.
  2. Jesus showed the disciples His hands and His side in order to dispel any doubt that they were seeing anything but their crucified Lord.  As with the Great Commission recorded in Matthew 28, Jesus decisively gave His followers the command to go into all the world and continue His ministry.
  3. Jesus breathed on them (v. 22) and commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit – who would be poured out upon them in fullness fifty days later, during the festival of Pentecost.
  4. The disciples rejoiced at seeing Jesus and received peace and the spiritual power from Him to complete their commission.

B.    Two-way Forgiveness

  1. Jesus stated that if the disciples forgave anyone, they were forgiven, and if they did not forgive others their sins, they would not be forgiven.  At first glance this is a remarkable statement that seems out of step with the role and authority of the disciples.  It was not the disciples who could forgive sins but Jesus.  
  2. The literal rendering from the Greek text is clearer, stating, “Those whose sins you forgive have already been forgiven; those whose sins you do not forgive have not been forgiven.”
  3. What Jesus commits to the disciples and to us is the power and privilege of giving assurance of the forgiveness of sins by God and correctly announcing the terms of forgiveness.  There is no proof that He actually transferred to the apostles or their successors the power in and of themselves to forgive sin.
  4. God’s forgiveness does not depend on human forgiveness, but rather forgiveness is extended by God as a result of individual response to the proclamation of the gospel by fellow human beings.

III.    Jesus Appears Again in the Closed Room (20:24-31)


A.    Thomas Believes (vv. 24-30)

  1. Thomas was not present the first time Jesus appeared to the disciples in the closed room.  Thomas was not easily convinced of something that seemed impossible.  Jesus directly addressed Thomas and instructed Him to place his fingers in the nailprints in His hands and the spear wound in His side.  Then Jesus declared, “do not be unbelieving, but believing” (v. 27).
  2. Whether Thomas actually placed his fingers in the nailprints and side wound, we do not know for sure, but it appears that all demands for proof were forgotten, as he responded, “My Lord and my God!”
  3. Unless Thomas could see, taste, touch, and hear what was being presented as reality, he would not accept it as truth.  That he demanded proof – and then believed – reinforces even more the credibility of the accounts of the Resurrection.
  4. Thomas’ doubt was the same as that of many in the modern world.  As Jesus noted, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

B.    John’s Purpose for Writing His Gospel (20:31)

  1. John’s purpose statement is included here, following the Resurrection, in order that the reader might know the reason for this carefully detailed account of the life and teaching of Jesus.  He desired that his readers:
    1. Might come to believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.
    2.      That through believing they might have eternal life.
  2. The purpose of the Gospel of John was to present Jesus as God in human form and that through faith in Jesus individuals would embrace salvation to eternal life.
  3. The force of the verb “believe” here is present tense.  The idea John is trying to convey here is that those who believe may keep on believing.  John’s Gospel has had precisely that effect of continuous and successive confirmation of faith in Jesus Christ through the ages.



Review Questions


  1. What caused Mary to recognize Jesus?  What spiritual implications and lessons might we draw from this account of Mary’s encounter with the Lord?
  2. What were the results of Jesus’ encounter with the disciples?  Are there implications from the results of that encounter that apply to believers today?
  3. How was Thomas typical of many nonbelievers today?  What was the value of John’s including the account about Thomas?
  4. What was John’s state purpose for his Gospel?
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