Second Sunday of Easter (Apr 8th)

Pastor's Summary of John  20:19-31

Later that same day, Jesus joins the disciples, gathered behind locked doors. He shows them that he is the one who was crucified (v. 20). Jesus confers on "the disciples" (not including Thomas, but perhaps a group larger than the ten) "peace" (vv. 19, 21) and "the Holy Spirit" (v. 22). As God "breathed" life into Adam, the proto-human, so Jesus now breathes the new, spiritual, life of recreated humanity into his followers. Aided by the Spirit, they continue Jesus' judicial role in the world, forgiving the sins of the faithful and holding others blameworthy ("retain", v. 23) for their actions. Thomas is expected to believe without having seen, but he demands: show me the evidence! (v. 25) The next Sunday, the community gathers again (v. 26). Upon seeing, Thomas makes the most complete affirmation of faith of anyone in the gospel (v. 29) Henceforth the faith of all Christians in all ages will rest on the testimony of the first believers. Vv. 20-31 tell us John purpose in writing the book. His eyewitness account is intended to help us, who were not witnesses of Jesus' life, death, resurrection and ascension to "come to believe" and thus "have life in his name", eternal life.