Lord over death and life
April 16, 2017 Speaker: Pastor Greg Goostree
Scripture: John 20:1–20:31
1) Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb, sees the stone rolled away, and tells Peter and John the Lord has been taken from the tomb, 20:1-2.
Neither Mary nor the other disciples were expecting Jesus to rise from the dead. How does this answer skeptics who claim Jesus’ followers were gullible, or that they were inclined to superstition and just convinced themselves Jesus rose from the dead when he didn’t?
2) Peter and John run to the tomb, see it’s empty, John believes, but neither understands that the Scripture said he must rise from the dead, 20:3-10.
Is there a bit of competition between John and Peter? What did John believe? How do we understand v.8 in light of v.9? How might we go through similar patterns in our growth in faith in Christ?
3) When Jesus appears to Mary, she doesn’t recognize him at first, then she does and Jesus tells her to tell the disciples, 20:11-18.
Why doesn’t Mary recognize Jesus? What causes her to recognize him? What is significant in the ancient Jewish culture about Mary playing a central role as a witness to the resurrection? Why does Jesus tell Mary not to cling to him?
4) Jesus comes to the disciples, shows them his wounds, sends them, gives them the Holy Spirit, to forgive or withhold forgiveness of sins, 20:19-23.
Why does Jesus always say, “peace be with you” when he comes to them after he has risen? Why does Jesus get right to the fact that he is sending the disciples? In what ways does Jesus’ purpose in giving the Spirit to the disciples now differ from the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1:8)? How does Jesus intend for the apostles and the church to carry out forgiving and withholding forgiveness of sins?
5) Jesus exhorts Thomas to believe he had risen by touching and seeing his wounds, 20:24-29.
How does Jesus exhort Thomas to overcome his unbelief? How may we do this with the skeptics in our lives? What is significant about Thomas’ confession? What is important about Jesus’ words, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”?
6) John states that he writes so that people may have life in Jesus’ name by believing he is the Christ, God’s Son, 20:30-31.
How does John’s purpose in writing relate to Jesus’ words, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”? How can people distinguish between truly believing in Jesus from the heart and an outward attachment to Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23)?