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John Chapter 20


The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

John Chapter 20

(Words in red in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)

Verse 1.  "Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb."

"The first day of the week" was Sunday morning, and Mary Magdalene had brought spices to anoint the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1).  She gasped, for someone had rolled away the large stone in front of His tomb!

Verse 2.  "So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."

Mary Magdalene thought someone had taken the body of Jesus away, and she ran to tell Peter and John.  Jesus was raised from the dead, but she did not yet understand what had happened.

Verse 3.  "So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb."

Simon Peter, and John, the son of Zebedee, immediately went to the tomb of Jesus.  They were very upset because they thought someone had stolen the Lord's body.

Verse 4.  "The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;"

Peter and John were so upset they started to run.  “Who could DO this?” they wondered.  John was running faster than Peter and got to the tomb first.

Verse 5.  "and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in."

John the Apostle, who wrote the Book of John, was telling about the time he looked into the tomb of Jesus, and Jesus was gone!  He saw the linen which had been used to wrap the body of Jesus, but the cloth was empty!  There was nobody inside of it!

Verse 6.  "And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there,"

Peter was slower than John, but he managed to run to the tomb, also.  He went inside and looked at the linen wrappings.  They were shaped like a man, but they were empty!  Jesus was not inside of them!

Verse 7.  "and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself."

The cloth which had been used to cover the face of Jesus was not with the rest of the linen wrappings.  It was as though someone had stepped THROUGH the wrappings and then put the face cloth down, at some other place in the tomb.

Verse 8.  "So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed."

John had looked into the tomb but had not gone inside.  Now that Peter was inside, John (the “other disciple”) went in, too.  He saw the empty grave clothes and BELIEVED that Jesus was not there anymore.

Verse 9.  "For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead."

Jesus had told His disciples, over and over, that He was going to die and then be raised from the dead.  He had now died, just as He said, and they still did not understand.  There are people everywhere who do not understand, even though Jesus was raised from the dead.

Verse 10.  "So the disciples went away again to their own homes."

The body of Jesus was missing, and they did not know where He was or what to do.  Peter and John did not know what was happening, so they just went.  Maybe one of the other disciples would know what they should do.

Verse 11.  "But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb;"

Mary Magdalene was standing outside of the tomb of Jesus, and she was crying.  She was sobbing her heart out, for Jesus was dead, and now, someone, she thought, had stolen His body.  But now, she bent down to look through the door into the tomb.

Verse 12.  "and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying."

Through her tears, Mary was shocked to see two angels sitting in the tomb; one at the head and the other at the foot, of the place where Jesus' body had been.  She did not know they were angels or anything else about them.  She would understand later.

Verse 13.  "And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.'"

The angels knew why she was crying, but asked her so that WE would know the answer.  She thought somebody had stolen the body of Jesus!  She was terribly upset.

Verse 14.  "When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus."

Do you sometimes KNOW someone is there, but you have not yet seen them?  Mary KNEW someone was there!  She turned and it was Jesus, but she did not yet know who He was.

Verse 15.  "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?' Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, 'Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.'"

Mary thought the Man was the gardener, but it was Jesus, risen from the dead.  Much like the angels, He asked why she was crying and who she was looking for?  She thought the "gardener" might know something, and began asking Him questions.

Verse 16.  "Jesus said to her, 'Mary!' She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, 'Rabboni!' (which means, Teacher)."

Sometimes, a loved one has a special way of saying your name.  Jesus said, "Mary," to her and she instantly knew Him.  She gasped, "Rabboni," ("Teacher," in the Hebrew or Aramaic languages).  Jesus was ALIVE, and she grabbed Him, hugging Him with joy (see next verse).

Verse 17.  "Jesus said to her, '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 gently asked Mary to "Stop clinging to (Him)," for He was not dead anymore.  He was RISEN, and He longed to go back to God the Father.  He told Mary to tell His "brothers" His words.  If you love Jesus, you are His favorite little brother or sister.

Verse 18.  "Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord,' and that He had said these things to her."

Mary RAN to the disciples (students) of Jesus, shouting at them, "I've seen Jesus - He's Alive!"  And Just like Mary was told to do (verse 17), she told them the words He had said.

Verse 19.  "So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'"

The disciples (students) of Jesus were hiding in a house because they were afraid the Jewish leaders would hurt them.  The doors were closed and locked - no one could get in.  But Jesus came right through the walls and said to them, "Peace be with you."

Verse 20.  "And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord."

Jesus had been killed on a Roman cross, and they had made holes in His hands, feet and side; but now, He was ALIVE!  He was suddenly standing with His disciples, showing them His hands and feet.  It was HIM, the amazed disciples (students) were thinking!

Verse 21.  "So Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.'"

Jesus died a terrible death, and then His body disappeared.  The disciples thought they were going to die and were hiding in a locked house.  Then suddenly, Jesus was there and gave them "Peace".  And now He was sending them out to tell others that He is alive.  Those sent by Jesus are given His peace.

Verse 22.  "And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"

Something HAPPENS when you decide to give your heart and life to Jesus Christ.  You receive the Holy Spirit of God.  The Holy Spirit gives you: peace, love, faith, hope, gentleness and more.  You will have JOY, because He, the Holy Spirit, is in you.

Verse 23.  "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."

The Holy Spirit of God gives you power for life and for eternity.  You become someone who helps others to not be ashamed anymore.  You can help others find Jesus Christ and be forgiven (set free) from sin.

Verse 24.  "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came."

Thomas was one of Jesus' special twelve disciples (students).  Jesus was ALIVE and was speaking to the others but Thomas was not there.  "Didymus" means "twin".  Thomas probably had a twin brother or twin sister.

Verse 25.  "So the other disciples were saying to him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'"

Jesus had been killed, right before the eyes of His disciples (students). But Jesus had now shown Himself ALIVE to eleven of His disciples, but Thomas had not seen Him.  Thomas wanted to SEE Jesus and TOUCH the injuries He had received on the cross, before he would believe Jesus was now alive.  It’s hard to believe!

Verse 26.  "After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, 'Peace be with you.'"

The Lord waited eight more days, and FINALLY, it was time for Thomas to BELIEVE. Jesus walked through the walls of the place where they were staying, and was SEEN by all of them, including Thomas.  Jesus gives us peace with God - He IS our peace.

Verse 27.  "Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.'"

Jesus wants every one of us to KNOW He died for our sins and He is risen from the dead.  If you will LOOK with your heart, He will show you.  Read His Word, be willing to TRUST in Him, and you will "see" that He will save you.

Verse 28.  "Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'"

Thomas now SAW that Jesus was risen from the dead and He believed in Him.  Do you believe?  Jesus is Lord of all and He is God.  Do you believe in Him?  Just like Thomas, it's time for you to TRUST in Him now.

Verse 29.  "Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

A few hundred people saw Jesus, after He was risen from the dead.  They SAW Him and believed.  But, what a gift we have!  We can TRUST in Him without actually seeing Him!  We are blessed by God when we do.

Verse 30.  "Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;"

The Bible shows us wonderful things that Jesus did, while He was here on earth as a man.  He did a LOT more than what was written.  John and the others wrote enough so that we should BELIEVE in Jesus.  But He MORE; and He will do MORE for you, when you believe in Him.

Verse 31.  "but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."

This Book (the Bible), is given to us so we might believe that Jesus is the "Messiah" ("Christ" - "Anointed", the Special One of God).  When you believe in Him, you are given everlasting LIFE.  You are actually given His Name.  We are made Sons of God (given His Name) when we trust in Him.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

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