Category Archives: Resurrection

Luke 20:27-47

The Lord who lives

Discussion Question

What would you do if convinced that there was no resurrection?


Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem and has been in conflict with the Jewish leaders. He hadn’t even reached the gates of the city before being approached by the religious leaders and questioned (Luke 19:39). And his first act on arriving, according to Luke, was to disrupt the corrupt behaviour in the Temple (Luke 19:45). In Chapter 20, the authority of Jesus was questioned but Jesus silenced the people wanting to trap him.

While the mouths of the teachers of Israel have been silenced (Luke 20:26), a sub-group within the Jewish leadership, known as the Sadducees, sought to prove themselves right before Jesus. Luke tells us in Verse 27 (see also Acts 23:8) that they do not believe in the resurrection from the dead – that is, that there is no afterlife. They also denied the existence of angels, and they adhered only to the Torah (meaning ‘the law’), being the first five books of the Bible (AKA the Pentateuch).

Read Luke 20:27-47

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’d 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

41 Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? 42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:

“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
43 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.” ’g

44 David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

What did you see?


  • The Sadducees raise a good question (27-33)
  • Jesus corrects the Sadducees (34-38)
  • Jesus teaches us to read (39-44)
  • Jesus warns us of the real issue here (45-47)

The Sadducees raise a good question (27-33)

“Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection…” See the Background above. Acts 23:6-10 gives us some insight into how firmly the Sadducees refuted the resurrection (of anybody) and how opposed the Pharisees were to this point of view. This story opens with an internal doctrinal dispute. We will see how this story shows Jesus interact with the dispute, not to take sides, but to show that both groups allow their passionate points of view to get in the way of just good reading of the Scriptures.

“…came to Jesus with a question.” We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Jesus was a person worth knowing. Even though he will be rejected by most of these leaders and crucified, he was not a nobody. Quite the contrary, he was a threat and person to investigate. The Pharisees and Sadducees had established credibility as “teachers of the law” etc. They were coming to Jesus with questions. If Jesus was just a weirdo, crazy want-to-be-messiah or prophet figure, then they could just ignore him and get on with the business of Jewish leadership. But Jesus had something to say and they knew it. It is apparent that they wanted either Jesus to support their point of view or say something that would discredit himself – either way they win – but Jesus shows himself to be impartial (Luke 20:21).

“Teacher”, they said…” See the last point on how they viewed Jesus! He was not obviously a crazy person or someone rambling some new cult. The people knew that he taught the things of God. He was a player.

“Moses wrote for us…” Remember that the Sadducees only regarded the writings of Moses as worth anything. Beautifully, Jesus will use the text of Moses to answer their question!

“…if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.” See Deut 25:5ff; Ruth 4:1-12. This was the duty of a brother-in-law in the Old Testament.  It can be hard in our Western culture of individuality to swallow a command like this. It might be hard in any culture. One narrative of the bible is the story of family, of first-borns, of inheritance and of duty to something greater than yourself. I don’t wish to justify the laws of Moses as if they each have a pragmatic reason lying behind them. The unmarried brother-in-law can carry on the name of his brother through that woman. This was the law, which had an out-clause which resulted in shame for the brother-in-law. But it was the law and the Sadducees see this as creating a great problem in the theology of the resurrection. This was their slam down argument for winning the dispute.

Application note: when division happens in the Christian church over doctrine, it is often because the greater picture of God’s grace is misunderstood or misapplied. The greatest unity in the church comes when we celebrate the absolute truths of the gospel and carry with us an epistemological humility (or remaining humble in our knowledge of things).

“…now there were seven brothers…finally the woman died too…at the resurrection whose wife will she be…?” The Sadducees lay out their argument. Sounds like 9 seasons of ‘Married without children!’ This lady either married into the wrong family or she should have her house checked for arsenic! Anyway, this is the scenario played out for Jesus to reflect on. Even though it is a very specific kind of scenario, it does play out as a legit question. We can find a similar type of question asked in relation to the gospel: “If you’re saying I can be forgiven for any sin then I’ll just keep sinning and Jesus will just forgive me! Brilliant! Makes no sense.” But Paul tackles that problem in Romans 6. And his answer is something similar to Jesus: you don’t really get the point if you’re asking that question.

Jesus corrects the Sadducees (34-38)

“Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.” Jesus decides to respond to their question rather than push back (see his response to a previous challenge in Luke 20:3). The phrase ‘this age’ can mean this generation or people this side of the cross or people of the world or people who are not part of the kingdom of God or simply people on this side of death! As always, it is context that gives us the meaning. Surely Jesus is referring to people who are still alive. We may wonder what he means by ‘those who are considered worthy’, but it will become clear that Jesus is referring to those who enter eternal life. The first point of Jesus is to say that marriage is a thing for this age. Just because marriage happens here does not mean that it has the same meaning in the next life.

But, marriage is for this age. God created men and women to leave their parents and to come together as one (Gen 1-2), the scriptures uphold marriage as a beautiful thing (Song of Songs) and as a great image or illustration for God’s uniting himself to his people. Marriage is about two ‘differents’ being united under a promise to be one with a mutual love and other-person centredness. Although that is the picture, it is very much not like that in reality. Sin (introduced after the marriage covenant of Genesis 1 and 2), means that men and women together in marriage will live in conflict (Gen 3:16). As we’ve seen in previous studies in 1 Corinthians 7, the curse of sin and the cure which is Christ makes the age that we live in unique. We live in the age of Christian mission when the message of the Spirit (which is the gospel) is to go to all nations. This is our mission. To make disciples of all nations. We are not commanded to settle down and make homes here but to have kingdom minds. However, we still live in the age where people of this world marry and are given in marriage.

“But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage.” In the age to come, at the resurrection, there will be no more marriage. That seems to be the clear teaching of our LORD here. Who is worthy of eternal life? That answer is clearly given elsewhere (Matt 19:29; Hebrews 9:15; James 2:5; Rev 21:7). That list of New Testament promises regarding eternal life give us the two sided coin of grace and perseverance. We are saved by no merit of our own but on Christ’s merit but we are saved because we cling to him as our only hope. We have heard the true gospel and responded from truly understanding the grace of God.

“…and they can no longer die…” Jesus has answered their question but he’s not done with them yet. To his audience who do not believe in the resurrection nor in angels, Jesus wants them to listen further and learn.

“…for they are like the angels.” I can imagine Jesus looking them in the eyes and simply stating that angels are real. The God who created all things, including the angels, has no issues setting the record straight. Angels, it appears, do not die because they are not suffering under the curse of mankind. Of course, the rebellious angels will receive their punishment in full at the end of time.

“They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.” Will that be your title one day: child of the resurrection? A description of the children of the resurrection can be read in Revelation 21:1-8 and also 7:13-17. Surely none of the Sadducees who deny the resurrection can take part in it? Entrance into the kingdom of God, as a norm, requires knowledge and belief whenever and wherever it is made available.

“…even Moses showed that the dead rise…” Jesus has moved from stating facts that only he would know to pointing now to the scriptures that even the Sadducees accept and showing from the text that the resurrection is taught even by Moses.

“…for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’” Exodus 3:6. In this part of the story, Jesus begins to use the Scriptures in a very technical way. What do the words say? What do they mean? Now, I’ll confess that I would have read that account in Exodus a thousand times before it would dawn on me that God is talking about being the God of the living. He doesn’t say that he was their God but that he is their God.

“…for to him all are alive.” The context would suggest that ‘all’ refers to all who have been worthy to take part in the age to come.

Jesus teaches us to read (39-44)

“Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” This lot are pleased that Jesus set the Sadducees straight. But look out for the way that Luke transitions now into a lesson from Jesus to the teachers of the law on how to read the scriptures too.

“Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David?” The teaching of the Messiah was well established by the arrival of Jesus. Some texts that were likely key to the Jew’s understanding included, 2 Samuel 7; Ps 89; Isa 9:5-7; 11:1-10; Jer 23:5-8; 33:14-26; Micah 5:2; Ezek 34:23-24. The theme that crosses most of these is that God will raise someone up who will be a righteous king of the line of David, Jesse’s boy from Bethlehem. We can, from Jesus’ words, conclude that the teachers taught that the Messiah would be a son of David (descendant) and this is fair theology given the texts above.

“David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:” Now, this may be a boring point for some but there are commentators who question whether the Psalms of David (as they say in the title of the Psalms) mean that David wrote them or that they are rather Psalms for David. The language can work like that but Jesus happily tributes the penwork to David.

“David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” Psalm 110 describes a figure who David regards as his Lord being given the right handed seat to the Lord. That is, God is allowing this Lord of David’s to sit at his right hand. It seems that Jesus is drawing people’s attention to the idea that Psalm 110 is actually a Messianic Psalm. Who could be more important than the David, great King of Israel? This is a prophecy of Jesus, the descendant of David who is not just an ancestor but who is before David and Lord of him also. He is seated at the right hand of God until all enemies are subdued. 1 Corinthians 15 names the last enemy as death itself. Jesus wants the teachers of the Law to see what the scriptures actually say and to process it. The Messiah is someone greater than David, and who precedes David.

Jesus warns us of the real issue here (45-47)

“While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law.”” Jesus has been directly challenged by the teachers of the law, then challenged secretly by spies and then challenged by another party within the Jewish leadership and all of them have failed to trap, outsmart or trip Jesus in his ability to teach and know the word of God and the nature of the kingdom of God. Jesus concludes this whole chapter with a warning to watch out for such teachers who think, presume and act like they have all the answers and yet they are far from the kingdom themselves.

“They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at the banquets.” Nobody likes that guy. Some people, even me and you, can get misplaced in our need to be needed and our want to be wanted. One’s identity can get trapped inside a need to be important – to be called when a crisis happens, to be at the table when decisions are being made, and to be thanked whenever a function has gone well. No teacher of God’s word should get trapped in this. If a brilliant and well educated man or woman never writes a popular book, will they still not be known by God?

“They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers.” Such a person is all show and no glow. In the right culture and setting they can dominate others like bullies. Big words baffle others and can make the simple believe that they are closer to God. They look and sound like the know the bible well. They speak confidently about their belief and can sound as though the rest of the world do not understand the bible like they do. They are needed in other people’s lives if they are to be right with God! They take money, time and power from others in the name of God.

“These men will be punished most severely.” Forgiveness is available to all but if someone maintains a boastful knowledge of God and yet has not grasped the grace of God then they will be punished for their sin and severely punished for destroying others in their ministry.

What did we learn?

Some people will stand firmly on doctrine that they believe is true because they have been raised to believe it and are just absolutley sure that their arguments from the scriptures are true. Divisions arise from such hard headedness. Jesus has confidence in the scriptures too which point to God’s Messiah preceding David and reigning at his right hand until death itself is killed and has called all who have saluted the Messiah to the resurrection. Eternal life is surer than death for those who turn to Christ.

Now what?

Topic A: What are you living for? This world is passing by. Jesus has taught us here that the resurrection is real, and that those who have inherited eternal life will be called children of the resurrection – never again to die. It is difficult to imagine what exactly it will all look like, feel like and be like. But there will come a day when the day will not end (so to speak). The burdens and troubles of this world will be no more. To quote a preacher I heard recently, “just 15 minutes ‘there’ and anything we are going through now will be forgotten.” Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Topic B: Do you stand for things you think are true or do you stand for truth? The art of reading the bible begins with surrendering our assumptions and being ready to listen to the words in the book. Noticing small things in the bible can open up great revelations. So, reading great chunks of the bible will give us the benefit of context and understanding the overarching story of the bible, while reading slowly and meditating on every word will help us to see the glorious details that the bible has to offer. It really has been written by a genius.

Topic C: Seeking good teachers to lead. Jesus does not condemn all teachers but those he described as proud, seeking glory here on earth and misleading others by their own lies. What we need are good leaders who watch their life and doctrine closely. Who teach people to read the bible well for themselves. Bible teachers who fixate on particular doctrines that subdue the glory of God displayed through the gospel make me nervous.  Teachers who spend more time pulling down other people’s theology rather than teaching what is true, that too makes me nervous. However, a church that is keen to raise up leaders for the gospel for the glory of God and without the leadership feeling threatened by upcoming leaders – that sounds like a healthy church obeying the great commission.

Act 9:32-43 – The Ministry of Miracles in the Gentile Land



Saul, with violence and hate in his heart toward those of “the Way”, is confronted by the risen Jesus. This results in his “sudden” conversion that occured over three days. He is embraced by the disciples as they see that he has embraced Jesus as Lord.

In Jerusalem, the church was experiencing peace and strengthening and growth.



32-35 – Aeneas healed and many believe

36-43 – Tabitha resurrected and many believe

32-35 – Aeneas healed and many believe

“Peter travelled” – while the early chapters of Acts described the events in Jerusalem, now we have the disciples traveling about. They have learned to spread the gospel further.

“Visit the Lord’s people” – on his travels, Peter’s main method was to visit existing believers. It is not only necessary to spread the gospel through mission, it is also important to strengthen the believers. Gospel growth happened around churches.

“there he found a man.” Peter didn’t only talk to believers. Aeneas is lead to Christ through this miracle. The point of the miracle seems clearly to do with convincing people that Jesus is Lord. That was the result. The miracle surprised people and responded in a way that shows they now think highly of Jesus.

36-43 – Tabitha resurrected and many believe

Tabitha was well known in Joppa for her charity to others. Peter was called to help her when she was already dead. This episode sounds so much like the miracles of Jesus and Matthew 10:8 comes to mind as Peter fulfills his calling from Jesus. Peter even followed Jesus’ example by excluding the mourners from the room.

The difference between Jesus and Peter is that Peter needs to pray. Even when Jesus prayed before the tomb of Lazarus, he did this for the benefit of those around him. Peter here turns to God in prayer for help. How Peter knew that the healing would take place, I don’t know. The point of this healing, just like the last, was for the result that “many people believed in the Lord.”

This is the only time in the New Testament that a female is called a disciple (v36).


The message of Jesus as Lord is going out to the Gentiles along with the same healing ministry that Jesus displayed in Jerusalem. The gospel of new life is being delivered to new territory in a similar way that Jesus delivered it to the Jews. Different people, but the same humanity that need to know Jesus.


  1. Jesus does bring ultimate healing to all who believe. The resurrection will see all tears and pain disappear. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. The search for miracles in this world must lead us to Jesus or else they will not be found at all.
  2. The strength of the gospel news travelled beyond Jerusalem. Gentiles were witnessing the power of Jesus in their own towns. The gospel is as much for China as it is for the English as it is for the middle east.
  3. The gospel has already reached the port of Joppa. Remember that Jonah left Joppa to go as far away as he could imagine. Here stands Simon Peter, in the home of Simon the tanner, at the gateway to the world. Matthew 28 is being fulfilled. The “go” in “go therefore” is important to our commission.

John 20 – This I Believe

Opening question

What does it take for you to believe in something? In other words, why do you believe the things that you believe?(eg, the earth is round, Cathy Freeman one the women’s 400m in 2000, your place of birth was…, what makes your car go, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who is risen from the dead).


It’s the end of the Gospel according to John. These last two chapters talk about what happens following the death of Jesus when the hour had come and gone and Jesus had finished the work that he came to earth to do. The entire Gospel of John has been outlining where Jesus came from, what he came to do and what the result will be for anyone who believes. John 20:31 gives us the purpose in John’s mind for writing everything that he wrote and why he chose to leave other things about Jesus out.

John 19:42, the final verse of the previous chapter, leaves us on the Friday of Jesus’ death and with the dead body of Jesus buried in a tomb.


The structure of this chapter is quite straight forward. It’s all narrative and so we only need to look for scene changes.

  • 1-10 – Disciples see an empty tomb
  • 11-18 – Mary Magdalene sees the risen Jesus
  • 19-23 – Jesus appears to the disciples
  • 24-29 – Thomas sees the risen Jesus
  • 30-31 – John  tells us why he writes

Each section reveals more and more the reality of the risen Jesus a bit like the rising of the sun reveals more and more of the details of the earth.

20:1-10 – The Disciples see an empty tomb and believe

“on the first day of the week” – This would be Sunday, the day after the Saturday Sabbath. At least 36 hours has passed since the death of Jesus. John 20 begins on the third day.

“…the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first…He saw and believed.” Well, this unnamed disciple who is probably John the writer, loves the fact that he can beat Simon in a race. But he is also listed as the first disciple to have believed as a result of seeing. What did he see? An empty tomb with discarded tomb clothes. Why would anyone steal the body of Jesus and leave the linen and cloth there? That makes no sense unless they wanted it to look like there was a resurrection! So, John saw signs of the resurrection and he believed. See John 2:22.

20:11-18 – Mary Magdalene sees the risen Jesus and believes

Mary is in grief and distress but she has not understood what John now understands. She is still picturing Jesus as dead. Jesus speaks to her three times before she recognizes his voice. It isn’t until he says her name, perhaps affectionately, that her eyes are open and she now knows that Jesus is risen. While John saw an empty tomb and put the pieces together, Mary needed a personal interaction with Jesus. I don’t want to take this too far, but there are different ways to come to faith and some people respond on the logic more than the relationship. Neither is more right but both are important. After all, Mary still responds to solid evidence rather than simple minded persuasion. She is responding to facts just as much, even more, as John. Both came to a point of conviction that Jesus was risen.

“I have not yet ascended to the Father.” I believe is referring to ascending to the Father in the bodily sense. After his death on the cross, Jesus dead body remained in the tomb until Sunday morning. His spirit was with God the Father in Paradise. Now, his resurrected body is to ascend to the Father. Why couldn’t Mary “hold on” to him? This is only to urge Mary not to hold him back from returning to the Father. He has not risen in order to remain on earth physically, but to be the first fruit of the resurrection.

Mary says, “I have seen the Lord.” This is her statement of faith and she now believes because she has seen Jesus. Not simply signs to a resurrected body, she has seen the living body of Jesus.

20:19-23 – Jesus appears the disciples and anoints them

This is the trickiest section of this chapter but it is all about the anointing of the disciples to continue the mission of Jesus throughout the world. It is John’s way of describing the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 (I am not saying they are the same event but that they serve a similar purpose).

Notice firstly, how Jesus immediately addresses the disciples. He says, “Peace be with you!” Remember that Jesus had spent 5 chapters before the cross preparing them for the cross and his departure. Now he returns with the great gospel truth that there is PEACE. God’s message to mankind is now: peace. But only because of Jesus. Think of all the times in the Old Testament and in the entire gospels where God’s word came through a prophet with a simple message of peace. I can’t think of any. Warnings, threats, preparation for danger, promises for a future day – but now the day has come. And the message we have is: peace from God.

Notice that he just appeared without going through any doors? I think it is good to note that a miracle took place and then move on. Does it say something about his risen body? Maybe, but Philip also moved instantly from one place to another by miracle and he had not yet died (Acts 8:39).

Notice thirdly, that “the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” Moving from fear to joy is a great thing – especially when Jesus predicted this would happen. See John 16:20, 22. Their time of grief is over. Time to rejoice because Jesus is risen!

Next, we have the anointing of the disciples to continue the mission on earth. Just as the Father sent Jesus into the world to seek and save the lost, Jesus is now sending the disciples for the same end. The breathing of Jesus on them reminds us of Genesis, and the creation of mankind. Just as John begain his gospel with a reminder of the beginning (John 1:1), he ends his gospel with a new beginning. New life (John 3) is brought into the world.

“Receive the Holy Spirit.” This event is not to contradict Acts 2 which tells us that the Holy Spirit had not come yet. The two events serve different gospel purposes. In John 20, Jesus is re-establishing his 11 disciples (although Didymus wasn’t there) after they had all deserted him. Jesus is also enlightening them through the Holy Spirit about the interpretation of Old Testament scripture.  See John 7:38-39 to hear John’s promise that the Spirit would come after Jesus was glorified. What occurs in Acts 2 is an outpouring of the Spirit into the world. This account in John is about illuminating the disciples for their task of taking the gospel into the world. It is paralleld in Luke 24:45 when it says that Jesus “opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.”

“If you forgive…” This is nothing to be scared about. Quite the contrary. When the gospel is preached and believed, the announcement that sins are forgiven can certainly follow. This is about assurance! Some have distorted these verses to think that priests can give specific absolution and announce forgivenenss for this or that sin. But Jesus is declaring that PEACE is offered to everybody now in the name of Jesus. This is the message that the disciples went out to preach, Acts 13:32, 38-39; 16:31; Romans 10:9. Jesus is not giving them special religious powers – rather, he is declaring peace where religion and the Jewish law previously was inadequate. Jesus words are about assurance.

20:24-29 – Thomas sees Jesus and believes

Just as Mary required some one-to-one attention from Jesus before she believed, Thomas demanded to see Jesus. The encouragement to us in these verses is that Jesus expects us to believe on the testimony of these first eye-witnesses and calls us blessed when we do.

Both Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) mean twin. He is famously remembered as Doubting Thomas – which is sad and unfortunate. He was also the Brave Thomas, prepared to go and die with Jesus back in chapter 11:16. He was also Clarrifying Thomas in 14:5 when he wanted Jesus to tell them where Jesus was going and how to get there. He calls on Jesus to declare: “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” He moves the disciples to go with Jesus to witness Lazarus’ resurrection. He is the clearest in all the scriptures to declare that Jesus is God. Poor Doubting Thomas for his sad reputation.

Notice that Jesus affirms Thomas’ conclusion about his deity. Never let anybody get away with saying that Jesus never claimed to be God. This is a very significant event. Rather than decades or centuries going by before people started to think of Jesus as more than a man, it was by the end of the day of the resurrection! A Jew who knows fundamentally that there is only one God (Ex 20:1-2; Deut 6:4, Mark 12:29). Something incredible happened that day that convinced 11 Jewish men plus the women with them to WORSHIP a man as God!

Blessed: joyful, favoured, happy and peace from God. Be happy and rejoice, everyone who believes that Jesus is LORD (Yahweh) because this is exactly what God wants from you – this is righteousness. Believe is more than imagine. I can believe that God is real and so are angels. But God is glorified in us when our hearts are turned to him and to Jesus Christ whom he sent. Thomas moved from wondering if Jesus might be risen to believing it and it changed his attitude toward Jesus and God. For a person to believe and be saved, it means to take the claims about Jesus seriously.

20:30-31 – the reason we believe

John wrote down all of the words of his gospel so that we might believe something. Many books and movies are written and produced so that we might think something, or experience something, or be moved and made aware of something. John’s hope and prayer is that everyone who reads his account would take him seriously and consider what has been written and then turn to Jesus to live. Why? 1) Because Jesus is the Christ. This is the greek word for the Hebrew word, Messiah, which means chosen one, anointed one, KING. He is the promised one that God had asked Israel to look out for. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises. 2) Because Jesus is the Son of God. His relationship with God is that he is the Son. The eternal Son. John want us to know that Jesus’ existence didn’t begin in the manger (John 1:1-18). He is not simply the Son of David as the Messiah was said to be, but the Son of God. Jesus is more than a prophet. He is better than Moses, and David and any of the angels. He is in very nature, God. 3) Because if we don’t believe, we do not have life. John 17:3, “This is eternal life: that [we] know God – the One True God – and Jesus Christ who was sent from God.” Eternal life is not about avoiding hell (although this is important) but about embracing life and living it to the full. Without Christ there is no life. Remember this corny line: Know Christ – Know Life…No Christ – No Life.

Anyone who wants to get the most out of life and is serious about knowing the truth needs to read the book written by John, study it, get to know Jesus, believe that he is who he says that he is and then live.


The empty tomb, the physical appearance of Jesus, his words of peace and the testimony of the disciples give us reason to believe and put our trust in the risen Lord Jesus. He is God, come into the world, to give life to everyone who believes.


  • Do you believe in the resurrection? Paul says that this is the most important part of our faith by far: 1 Corinthians 15. If you do not believe in the real resurrection of Jesus from the dead, then you are still lost in your sin and you have no hope. All four gospels end with this evidence. The sermons in the book of Acts all promote first and foremost, the risen Jesus. If you believe in the resurrection, then does your life show it? Ask yourself: is my life and lifestyle driven by my belief in the resurrection?
  • Do you believe in the confidence of life eternal? I’m talking about assurance. Jesus said: Peace be with you. He said, Go and tell people their sins are forgiven. He said, blessed by God are all who believe that Jesus is LORD. He finished his work on the cross so that we could be forgiven and be able to know our God in spirit and in truth. He has given us his Holy Spirit so that we will know the truth. Doubt and denial are enemies of our faith. Do you believe in the forgiveness of your sins and how has that affected your life?
  • Do you believe that life is all about Jesus?  If your life is not moving toward Christ-centredness then it is probably moving away from it.


Our Father in heaven, thank you for sending Jesus into this world to save us. We thank you for the resurrection and pray that we will be confident in the truth of the resurrection. We thank you for sending the disciples into the world and we pray that you will also send us. Fill our hearts with the joy of knowing peace through Jesus. Help us to live for the glory and honour of Jesus’ name. Amen.