Jesus Appears to the Disciples

John 20:19-31

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.” 

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), 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.” 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 that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Jesus Appears to the Disciples 

Jesus’ encounter with the fearful, guilt-ridden disciples is a model of what should happen every time we gather together in Jesus’ name to worship God. Jesus comes into our midst and speaks to us by his Word, and then applies the gospel of peace to our souls and breathes his Spirit upon us, commissioning us to go forth as servants of the gospel.

The authority Jesus gave the apostles to pronounce the forgiveness of sins is extended through the church by the preaching of the gospel. Where can we go, with certainty, for the assurance of pardon? Not to the works of our hands, nor to the idols of our hearts. Only by believing the gospel of God’s grace can we expect to hear Jesus say to us, “Peace be with you.”

John wrote his Gospel, choosing from a large body of material from the life of Jesus. This editorial note should remind us that the Bible is not an exhaustive account of all things, but a sufficient account of necessary things—the things that reveal Jesus to be the Son of God, the Savior of all who trust him.

*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.