A 39 – 2nd Sunday of Easter

Easter Evening – Easter Day (Resurrection of the Lord) – 3rd Sunday of Easter

April 23, 2017

My Lord and My God

“And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them,
Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

John 20:22

Readings

Common
Catholic
First Reading Acts 2:14a, 22-32 Acts 2:42-47
Psalm Psalm 16 Psalms 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Second Reading 1 Peter 1:3-9 First Peter 1:3-9
Gospel John 20:19-31 John 20:19-31

 

     John 20:19-31 — Receive Ye the Holy Ghost

Quotes

    • Seeing him is no guarantee of believing.  Even disciples had to come to faith when they saw him;  so those who have not seen him can still have the blessedness of faith through believing the testimony of the first witnesses.

– Reginald H. Fuller, Preaching the Lectionary, p. 427

    • No modern critic could possibly be more “scientific” than Thomas.

– Henry H. Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 554

    • For the confirmation of our faith, he has instituted an ordinance on purpose to keep his death in remembrance, though it was an ignominious, shameful death, and one would think should rather have been forgotten, and no more said of it;  yet, because it was such an evidence of his love as would be an encouragement to our faith, he appoints the memorial of it to be celebrated.  And in that ordinance wherein we show the Lord’s death we are called, as it were, to put our finger into the print of the nails.  Reach hither thy hand to him, who reacheth forth his helping, inviting, giving hand to thee.

– Matthew Henry, Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 1222

    • The vision becomes concrete in the experience and acceptance of grace and of empowerment for redemptive mission, and finally by incorporation through faith in his glorification through suffering.

– Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary: John, p. 727

    • Henceforth, a living faith must ever be a personal faith, standing in the power of a Spirit-given demonstration to the conscience and consciousness, and ever centered on Christ.

– Herbert Lockyer, All the Apostles of the Bible, p. 183

    • Any religious system or philosophy failing to bear those nail-prints is to be rejected.  Those Calvary marks are a sure sign of authenticiy.  Further, as the Lord’s “sent ones,” it is essential for us to bear those marks.  When the godless around “se the print of the nails” in our life and living, they cease to be “faithless” and become believers, and with uspass into a radiant confidence and joy.

– Herbert Lockyer, All the Apostles of the Bible, p. 183

    • The narrative leads up to this crowning confession, which witnesses to a faith that rises above the necessity of being shown tangible proofs of the passion. Jesus declares that sensuous evidence is an insufficient ground of faith.

– A.J. Macleod, New Bible Commentary, Revised:  John (1970), p. 896

    • This statement of Jesus is for those whose faith rests on the report of others.  Such faith is of a nobler order than Thomas’s.  It is the kind of faith which has sustained the Christian church to the present time.  Ultimately true faith must always be independent of sight.

– Donald Guthrie, New Bible Commentary, Revised:  Luke (1970), p. 967

    • Thomas wanted what everybody must have:  Thomas wanted personal contact.  Thomas wanted what we need, namely personal touch… Sometimes we have personal ontact with God without that contact assuming what may be called a theological form.

– Joseph Parker, People’s Bible, Vol. 22, p.446ff

    • The word seen here implies the evidence not only of sight but of either or all the senses…. The hearts and souls that rightly will to accept it, must do it by a faith that is above sight and above sense… God will judge whether the not-able is an honest inability to believe when there is the spirit of faith, or whether it be a not-willing, deceiving the obstinate unbeliever into the false opinion that he is not able to believe.

– D.D. Whedon, Commentary on the Gospels, Vol. Luke-John, p. 414

    • Those who have never seen the Christ can believe in him, for they can touch his very body from which his blood outpoured.  It is not fanciful to see here a reference to the Eucharist, and also to the very material love of Christian believers one for another and for the whole world, for all men who bear the marks of suffering for whom Christ suffered.

– Massey H. Shepherd, Jr.,  Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary, p.727

    • The word seen here implies the evidence not only of sight but of either or all the senses…. The hearts and souls that rightly will to accept it, must do it by a faith that is above sight and above sense… God will judge whether the not-able is an honest inability to believe when there is the spirit of faith, or whether it be a not-willing, deceiving the obstinate unbeliever into the false opinion that he is not able to believe. – D.D. Whedon, Commentary, p.414
    • The second appearance, resolving the doubt of Thomas, is peculiar to John and represents a manifest concern of the subapostolic age — how is it possible to believe in the risen Lord if one has not seen him?  The answer is that even to see him is no guarantee of faith (consider Thomas).  Even the disciples had to make the leap of faith when they saw him.  It is therefore possible for those who have not seen him to make that same leap.  This does not mean that seeing the Lord was not necessary for the original witnesses.  They had to see him precisely in order that they might become witnesses, and through their witness enable those who had not seen him to believe.

– Reginald H. Fuller, Preaching the Lectionary, p.258

    • This statement of Jesus is for those whose faith rests on the report of others.  Such faith is of a nobler order than Thomas’s.  It is the kind of faith which has sustained the Christian church to the present time.  Ultimately true faith must always be independent of sight.

Donald Guthrie, New Bible Commentary: Revised, p. 967

    • The narrative leads up to this crowning confession, which witnesses to a faith that rises above the necessity of being shown tangible proofs of the passion. Jesus declares that sensuous evidence is an insufficient ground of faith.

– A.J. Macleod, New Bible Commentary, p. 896

    • It is a greater instance of the power of divine grace.  The less sensible the evidence is the more does the work of faith appear to be the Lord’s doing.  Peter is blessed in his faith, because flesh and blood have not revealed it to him (Matthew 16:17). 

– Matthew Henry, Commentary, p.1223

    • Henceforth, a living faith must ever be a personal faith, standing in the power of a Spirit-given demonstration to the conscience and consciousness, and ever centered on Christ.

– Herbert Lockyer, All the Apostles of the Bible, p.183

    • Any religious system or philosophy failing to bear those nail-prints is to be rejected.  Those Calvary marks are a sure sign of authenticiy.  Further, as the Lord’s “sent ones,” it is essential for us to bear those marks.  When the godless around “se the print of the nails” in our life and living, they cease to be “faithless” and become believers, and with uspass into a radiant confidence and joy.

– Herbert Lockyer, All the Apostles of the Bible, p.183

    • “When this scared, frightened band of the apostles which was just about to throw away everything in order to flee in despair to Galilee; when these peasants, shepherds, and fishermen, who betrayed and denied their master and then failed him miserably, suddenly could be changed overnight into a confident mission society, convinced of salvation and able to work with much more success after Easter than before Easter, then no vision or hallucination is sufficient to explain such a revolutionary transformation.”

[“The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective,” Page 125, as quoted by Brian Stoffregen in Gospel Notes for Next Sunday, Number 3756.]

    • Thou hast believed (pepisteukas). Perfect active indicative. Probably interrogative, but “it was sight, not touch that convinced Thomas” (Bernard). And yet (kai). Clear use of kai in the adversative sense. Thomas made a noble confession, but he missed the highest form of faith without the evidence of the senses. Peter (1Pe 1:8) uses language that seems like a reminiscence of the words of Jesus to Thomas which Peter heard.

– Robertson’s Word Pictures, John 20:29

    • True faith depends upon the mouth of God, and not upon the eyes of the flesh.

– Geneva Study Bible of 1599, John 20:29

    • From this we learn that to believe in Jesus, on the testimony of his apostles, will put a man into the possession of the very same blessedness which they themselves enjoyed.

– Clarke, Adam, Adam Clarke’s Commentary, John 20:29

    •  Those who should be convinced by the testimony of the apostles, and by the influences of the Spirit. They would evince stronger faith. All faith is of things not seen; and God blesses those most who most implicitly rely on his word.

– Barnes, Albert, New Testament Commentary, John 20:29

    • The richest blessing falls to the share of those simple minds who believe the word of God, even when surrounded with difficulty and unsupported by signs and evidences.  The more childlike the faith the happier the heart.

– Spurgeon, C.H., Spurgeon’s Devotional Commentary, John 20:29

    • By how much our faith stands in less need of the external evidence of sense, the stronger our faith is, and the more acceptable it is, provided what we believe be revealed in the word of God.

– Burkitt, William, Notes on the New Testament, John 20:29

 

 

Word Study   John 20:29

Believe

    • Hypertext Webster 
    • Roget’s Thesaurus
    • Pisteuo – KJV Greek Lexicon  (Crosswalk)
    • PISTEUO,
      • to believe, to be persuaded of,
      • and hence to place confidence in, to trust
      • signifies reliance upon, not mere credence
      • See also, commit, intrust, trust

– W.E. Vine., Expository Dictionary, p. 109

Hymns

  • This is the Day the Lord Hath Made   A version of Psalm 118 by Isaac Wats.
  • When in the Night I Meditate   The 19212 Psalter version of Pslam 16. The tune is widely used and should be familiar (1562).
  • Rejoice, the Lord is King!   
  • All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name   
  • O Sons and Daughters, Let us Sing!   The Presybyterian Hymnal (No. 117) has an alternative set of stanzas to this Easter hymn explicitly for the Sunday after Easter
  • Because You Live, O Christ   Words by Shirley Erena Murray to 17th Century Dutch tune.
  • Christ is Alive   Words by Brian Wren. Familiar tune, “Truro.”
  • Crown Him With Many Crowns
  •  I’ve Found a Friend
  • Pass Me Not
  • Breathe On Me
  • Only Believe (Daniel Paul Rader)
  • Only Trust Him   (John Hart Stockton)
  • Are You Washed   (Elisha Albright Hoffman)
  • Rock of Ages  (Augustus Montague Toplady)
  • Amazing Grace  (John Newton)

 

Sermons, Outlines, & Commentaries

Lanora Wright, Lectionary Topic Librarian
See also:
Weekly Lectionary Resources; 220.7 – Bible Commentaries; 251 – Homiletics252 – Sermon Texts;
See B39 and C39

Doubt Less

“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”  – John 20:29b


Our  first belief that Jesus is alive is based largely on the testimony of other people, whose witness we trust.

1.  Doubts about the resurrection are not wholly unreasonable.
2.  We are blessed because our faith has come without material proof through the loving testimony of people we trust.
3.  Prevenient grace:  God supplies what is necessary to enable faith.

Having trusted the testimony of someone else who knows Jesus, we enter into our own saving relationship with God, and become witnesses to other people of our own experiences in Christ.

 

 

 

Commentary Texts Gospel Reading

Calvin | Clarke | Darby | Geneva | Gill | Henry | Jamieson | Johnson | McGarvey | Robertson | Wesley
Collins | Cramer | Daniel | Guzik | Marsh | Roberts | Smith | Spurgeon
Blue LetterWorld WideNotesGodRulesCrosswalk220.7 – Bible Commentaries
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