Ministry Resources

NT Fire Starters – Day 158: John 20:19-31

READ: John 20:19-31

THINK: I’ll believe it when I see it! Have you ever had that attitude? Perhaps you’ve often said those very words. Healthy skepticism and reasonable caution have their place. And under the circumstances described in this passage, it’s understandable that many of us may have had doubts until coming face to face with Jesus. But the Lord expects a higher level of faith from His followers–particularly now that we have the full account of events in His Word. We’re able to recount the miracles He performed and the prophecies He fulfilled. And we have every reason to take Him at His Word today, just as He expected His followers to do back then.

RESPOND: Jesus’ followers were still fearful (v. 19) and probably confused. How do you think you would have felt under these circumstances, following the execution of your leader and friend, and then having received a report that He was alive? How would you have reacted seeing Jesus alive? What was significant about Jesus breathing on them and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”? (See article on The Spiritual Rebirth of the Disciples, p. 10.) What actually happened in their lives at that point? If you were in Thomas’s position, do you think you would have believed the other disciples’ without seeing Jesus for yourself? Why or why not? What was significant about Thomas’ declaration to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”? What evidence can you find in the Bible that Jesus, God’s Son, is also fully God? (See 20:28 note. See article on The Attributes of God, p. 786.) How does God enable us to believe in Jesus even though we’ve never seen Him (v. 29)? For what ultimate purpose are Jesus’ works recorded in Scripture (v. 31)?

PRAY: Express gratitude to Jesus for giving you the faith to believe in Him. Ask Him to continually strengthen that faith as you take Him at His Word and as you trust Him–even when you don’t see immediate effects of that faith.

ACT: Perhaps fear or lack of faith has kept you from making a certain decision or taking a specific action you feel that God wants you to take. If so, it’s time to break away and let God help you overcome these fears and doubts. Take action today to begin fulfilling what you feel are God’s intentions in this situation.

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