The Perception of Thomas
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and LaVerne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
April 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
John 20:19-31
The Perception of Thomas

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

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

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


  1. John 20:24 Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin.
  2. John 20:31 Or may continue to believe


Pastor's Summary of John 20:19-31

Early on Easter Day, Mary Magdalene has discovered that Jesus' body is missing from the tomb; the stone door is open, so it looks as though someone has stolen it (v. 1).  She has seen a man standing near the tomb.  When he speaks to her, she recognizes him as Jesus.  She has told the disciples: "I have seen the Lord" (v. 18). 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 huma ity into his followers.  Aided by the Spirit, they continue Jesus' judicial role in the world, forgiving the sins of the faithful and holding others blemeworthy ("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 b elievers.  Vv. 30-31 tell us John's 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.