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John 20

August 30, 2008

Here’s how the study works: Read the chapter mentioned in the heading several times during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for a chapter creates the opportunity to reread it several times and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people’s insights.

by Susan Barnes
30

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

30 thoughts on “John 20”

  1. jON

    a couple of good asides in this chapter. v.4 “…and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first…” and v.30&31

    v.17 “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'”,

    jesus tells mary to stop clinging to him. not what one would expect jesus to say.

    and i find it interesting that in the midst of this chapter with the famous quote by thomas, used to prove jesus’ divinity by many, that there is this verse in which jesus seems to put himself on the human side of things with the disciples, grouping himself together with them. “my god and your god.”

    don’t get me wrong, i’m not trying to shake anyone’s faith or anything like that. i just find it interesting that over and over again, jesus points people on towards the father and not himself. even the very first followers here. telling them the god who sent him and that he worships is the same god they worship.

    i’m not saying jesus is not worthy of honor and praise and eternal gratitude and thanks. i just wonder why, after all this time, there is so much emphasis placed on worshipping jesus and having a relationship with jesus when it seems clear to me that jesus wanted us to worship and have a relationship with the father.

    when i have my honest moments i wonder if jesus, seated at the right hand of the father, ever comes under the eye of the “jealous god” and says, “hey, i told them. don’t blame me. that’s on them. but please forgive them because they don’t really know what they’re doing. they’re trying to honor you and they think honoring me is the same thing.”

    sorry if that makes anyone uncomfortable. it’s just what the chapter sparked in me.

  2. jON

    a couple of good asides in this chapter. v.4 “…and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first…” and v.30&31

    v.17 “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'”,

    jesus tells mary to stop clinging to him. not what one would expect jesus to say.

    and i find it interesting that in the midst of this chapter with the famous quote by thomas, used to prove jesus’ divinity by many, that there is this verse in which jesus seems to put himself on the human side of things with the disciples, grouping himself together with them. “my god and your god.”

    don’t get me wrong, i’m not trying to shake anyone’s faith or anything like that. i just find it interesting that over and over again, jesus points people on towards the father and not himself. even the very first followers here. telling them the god who sent him and that he worships is the same god they worship.

    i’m not saying jesus is not worthy of honor and praise and eternal gratitude and thanks. i just wonder why, after all this time, there is so much emphasis placed on worshipping jesus and having a relationship with jesus when it seems clear to me that jesus wanted us to worship and have a relationship with the father.

    when i have my honest moments i wonder if jesus, seated at the right hand of the father, ever comes under the eye of the “jealous god” and says, “hey, i told them. don’t blame me. that’s on them. but please forgive them because they don’t really know what they’re doing. they’re trying to honor you and they think honoring me is the same thing.”

    sorry if that makes anyone uncomfortable. it’s just what the chapter sparked in me.

  3. You have a point, Jon. Perhaps Jesus’ incarnation/identification with us wasn’t complete at this time. Philippians 2:9 tells us that it wasn’t until after Jesus’ death (and ascension?) that God exalted him to the highest place.

    Interesting that Jesus tells Mary not to hold onto him but tells Thomas to touch him. Ok to touch but not hold onto his physical presence.

    I find it very amusing that John wants us to know he is a faster runner than Peter. lol

  4. You have a point, Jon. Perhaps Jesus’ incarnation/identification with us wasn’t complete at this time. Philippians 2:9 tells us that it wasn’t until after Jesus’ death (and ascension?) that God exalted him to the highest place.

    Interesting that Jesus tells Mary not to hold onto him but tells Thomas to touch him. Ok to touch but not hold onto his physical presence.

    I find it very amusing that John wants us to know he is a faster runner than Peter. lol

  5. v.22 he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.

    This verse leds to the interesting question of when exactly did the disciples become Christians? When they were called, when Jesus breathed on them or at Pentecost? Remembering that the disciples were preaching, healing the sick and casting out demons in Luke 10, which makes you think.

    I don’t think there is a “right” answer. Our journey to faith travels past many milestones where God shows up often in surprising ways. We need to be open to what he might do and not have our ideas set in concrete, thinking now we are Christians, God hasn’t anything further for us.

    I wonder if he breathed on Thomas at a later date? Or did he just miss out?

  6. v.22 he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.

    This verse leds to the interesting question of when exactly did the disciples become Christians? When they were called, when Jesus breathed on them or at Pentecost? Remembering that the disciples were preaching, healing the sick and casting out demons in Luke 10, which makes you think.

    I don’t think there is a “right” answer. Our journey to faith travels past many milestones where God shows up often in surprising ways. We need to be open to what he might do and not have our ideas set in concrete, thinking now we are Christians, God hasn’t anything further for us.

    I wonder if he breathed on Thomas at a later date? Or did he just miss out?

  7. I think v 9 does point to Jesus death and resurrection.

    I think v 8 means that the first disciple believed and remembered that Jesus had told them that He would rise from the dead.

    v 9 is just telling us that they had not, before this time, understood the scripture relating to this rising from the dead?

    What do you think Susan …

  8. I think v 9 does point to Jesus death and resurrection.

    I think v 8 means that the first disciple believed and remembered that Jesus had told them that He would rise from the dead.

    v 9 is just telling us that they had not, before this time, understood the scripture relating to this rising from the dead?

    What do you think Susan …

  9. You are right Jon.
    We Do emphasize Christ more than the Father which Jesus did not do. But then again, Jesus was the one who brought the message and walked among us and we are more prone to clinging on to the presence that we can see and feel and hear with our physical senses.
    Unlike the apostles we did not walk with Him daily. We are believers of a different kind. We only have each other and the history of events of the Son of Man walking the earth.
    But we have something just as special the Holy Spirit.

    Yes Christ pointed always to the Father and He said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. It is like two people who think the same way and represent each other. You just know the one represents the other. Only Jesus and the Father would be more true I would think.

    But you are right, we are taught to pray ‘Our Father who art in heaven’.

    I was thinking about this yesterday as my son and I were out and about. How, as wonderful as Christ is, and the amazing thing He has done for us is, it was all directed by the Father and the Father is the one who becomes bigger and bigger to me as trials continue here.

    The Father sent Christ to cover our sins and mediate for us… but it is not as important to the Father for that to be the main focus for those who come to Him.

    It is done and finished, but there is no pride that would stop Him from accepting a soul raised in another religion who sincerely cried out for the one and only true God. He will fix that up later and introduce him to the Saviour later. 😉

    So telling a Muslim or a Bhuddist that they are going to Hell because they have not accepted Jesus is a crock and a finger pointing judgment we need to free ourselves of.

    Preaching Jesus to all who will hear is good and the Lord will bring those who are searching. We are simply to be the light. But there are those who are not near the light and the Father will take care of them.

    So the fear mongering that goes on about millions going to Hell is not cool.
    That is saying that the Lord doesn’t know what He is doing and will let His sheep be separated from Him.

    Not so.

  10. You are right Jon.
    We Do emphasize Christ more than the Father which Jesus did not do. But then again, Jesus was the one who brought the message and walked among us and we are more prone to clinging on to the presence that we can see and feel and hear with our physical senses.
    Unlike the apostles we did not walk with Him daily. We are believers of a different kind. We only have each other and the history of events of the Son of Man walking the earth.
    But we have something just as special the Holy Spirit.

    Yes Christ pointed always to the Father and He said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. It is like two people who think the same way and represent each other. You just know the one represents the other. Only Jesus and the Father would be more true I would think.

    But you are right, we are taught to pray ‘Our Father who art in heaven’.

    I was thinking about this yesterday as my son and I were out and about. How, as wonderful as Christ is, and the amazing thing He has done for us is, it was all directed by the Father and the Father is the one who becomes bigger and bigger to me as trials continue here.

    The Father sent Christ to cover our sins and mediate for us… but it is not as important to the Father for that to be the main focus for those who come to Him.

    It is done and finished, but there is no pride that would stop Him from accepting a soul raised in another religion who sincerely cried out for the one and only true God. He will fix that up later and introduce him to the Saviour later. 😉

    So telling a Muslim or a Bhuddist that they are going to Hell because they have not accepted Jesus is a crock and a finger pointing judgment we need to free ourselves of.

    Preaching Jesus to all who will hear is good and the Lord will bring those who are searching. We are simply to be the light. But there are those who are not near the light and the Father will take care of them.

    So the fear mongering that goes on about millions going to Hell is not cool.
    That is saying that the Lord doesn’t know what He is doing and will let His sheep be separated from Him.

    Not so.

  11. “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
    If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

    interesting that from the pulpit it is usually taught that the Holy Spirit was received in Acts. Maybe that is where Thomas got it Susan 🙂

    Acts 1:8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

    But this thing of retaining and forgiving the sins of people … doesn’t that just sort of sit crooked with you?

    Jesus teachings are forgive 70 times 7 and judge not that you not be judged and to forgive or we won’t be forgiven …

    What do you think of this?

  12. “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
    If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

    interesting that from the pulpit it is usually taught that the Holy Spirit was received in Acts. Maybe that is where Thomas got it Susan 🙂

    Acts 1:8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

    But this thing of retaining and forgiving the sins of people … doesn’t that just sort of sit crooked with you?

    Jesus teachings are forgive 70 times 7 and judge not that you not be judged and to forgive or we won’t be forgiven …

    What do you think of this?

  13. Thanks for your comments Valorosa, here are my thoughts:

    Other accounts of the resurrection tell us that Peter and John didn’t believe the women when they told them they had seen Jesus alive. So it is possible they remembered something of what Jesus said though they “still did not understand that Jesus had to rise from the dead”.

    I agree, fear mongering is unnecessary – it is not our responsibility to convict people that’s God’s job.

    This receiving of the Holy Spirit as breath seems a little different to the receiving at Pentecost where it was tongues of fire. It is interesting that Jesus immediately connects it with forgiveness. My thought is, if we do not forgive we are holding onto someone’s sins which will hinder the Holy Spirit’s working in our own life.

  14. Thanks for your comments Valorosa, here are my thoughts:

    Other accounts of the resurrection tell us that Peter and John didn’t believe the women when they told them they had seen Jesus alive. So it is possible they remembered something of what Jesus said though they “still did not understand that Jesus had to rise from the dead”.

    I agree, fear mongering is unnecessary – it is not our responsibility to convict people that’s God’s job.

    This receiving of the Holy Spirit as breath seems a little different to the receiving at Pentecost where it was tongues of fire. It is interesting that Jesus immediately connects it with forgiveness. My thought is, if we do not forgive we are holding onto someone’s sins which will hinder the Holy Spirit’s working in our own life.

  15. v.6-7 He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.

    Grave robbers were common at this time, however the fact that the cloth had been folded says that it was not robbers who took Jesus’ body.

  16. v.6-7 He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.

    Grave robbers were common at this time, however the fact that the cloth had been folded says that it was not robbers who took Jesus’ body.

  17. v.8-9 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

    What did he believe? Presumably that Jesus was alive but he probably did not expect to see Jesus alive. He did not understand what Scripture had predicted and taught about Christ’s resurrection.

  18. v.8-9 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

    What did he believe? Presumably that Jesus was alive but he probably did not expect to see Jesus alive. He did not understand what Scripture had predicted and taught about Christ’s resurrection.

  19. v.17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

    There are several schools of thought about why Jesus tells Mary not to hold onto him yet later tells Thomas to touch him. These two make the most sense to me:

    1. Mary was holding onto him out of fear of losing him again, whereas Thomas was told to touch in order to have faith. From his first resurrection appearance Jesus made it clear to Mary that she would not have his physical presence for long.

    2. Between Jesus seeing Mary (Sunday morning) and Jesus seeing Thomas (a week later) Jesus did return to the Father. There is no direct Scripture reference to this happening. However Hebrews 9:12 tells us: “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.” We are also not told exactly when Jesus did entered the heavenly Holy Place with his blood perhaps it was after he saw Mary but before he saw Thomas.

  20. v.17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

    There are several schools of thought about why Jesus tells Mary not to hold onto him yet later tells Thomas to touch him. These two make the most sense to me:

    1. Mary was holding onto him out of fear of losing him again, whereas Thomas was told to touch in order to have faith. From his first resurrection appearance Jesus made it clear to Mary that she would not have his physical presence for long.

    2. Between Jesus seeing Mary (Sunday morning) and Jesus seeing Thomas (a week later) Jesus did return to the Father. There is no direct Scripture reference to this happening. However Hebrews 9:12 tells us: “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.” We are also not told exactly when Jesus did entered the heavenly Holy Place with his blood perhaps it was after he saw Mary but before he saw Thomas.

  21. v.19-21 “Peace be with you!”… Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!

    The word translated peace is: Shalom – a Hebrew greeting meaning not just lack of conflict but the fullness of God’s blessing. On the cross Jesus had made true “shalom” possible.

  22. v.19-21 “Peace be with you!”… Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!

    The word translated peace is: Shalom – a Hebrew greeting meaning not just lack of conflict but the fullness of God’s blessing. On the cross Jesus had made true “shalom” possible.

  23. v.21 As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.

    As per the other gospel accounts, Jesus sends us out to tell the world his story.

  24. v.21 As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.

    As per the other gospel accounts, Jesus sends us out to tell the world his story.

  25. v.28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

    From being a doubter Thomas makes a profound confession of faith, recognising Jesus’ deity.

  26. v.28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

    From being a doubter Thomas makes a profound confession of faith, recognising Jesus’ deity.

  27. v.22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

    (From Constable’s Commentary) "may have been only a temporary empowerment with the Spirit along the lines of Old Testament empowerments."

  28. v.22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

    (From Constable’s Commentary) "may have been only a temporary empowerment with the Spirit along the lines of Old Testament empowerments."

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