Sermon Notes + 4.14.2024

I Will Never Believe
John 20:24-31
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead PastorOverview: John has written this gospel with the hope of persuading his readers that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing they may have life in His name. Although many believed in Jesus during His ministry, the final holdout in John’s gospel is Thomas, one of the original twelve disciples. Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared to His disciples on the day He rose from the dead. The other disciples testify to having seen the Lord, yet Thomas refuses to believe unless he sees Jesus with his own eyes and touches Him with his own hands. When Jesus appears to the disciples again eight days later, He gives Thomas the opportunity to see Him, touch Him, and to believe in Him. Such convincing proofs lead Thomas to confess Jesus as Lord and God; but such proofs are not to be expected moving forward because Jesus places a premium on faith, not sight. Rather than diminishing the probability of future believers, John concludes this section by noting that what he has written is sufficient to generate faith.

01. There are no questions or concerns that Christianity is unable to address in a reasonable fashion. It is fair to ask questions if we are willing to give full consideration to the answers.

02. There are no objections or demands that override what Christ has done for us and what God commands for all. It is incumbent on us to respond to the Bible’s call for repentance and faith.


1. Why do you suppose Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them? What else do we know about Thomas from John’s gospel? (see John 11:6 and 14:5). Is it accurate or fair to refer to him as “doubting Thomas”?

2. What stipulations did Thomas give to the disciples before he would believe (verse 25)? Were these demands reasonable at the time? Why did Thomas have such a high standard before he would believe? What questions, concerns, or demands do people have today about believing in Christ?

3. How long did it take before Jesus appeared to Thomas (verse 26)? Even though the time is relatively short, what does the delay between not believing and then believing suggest about the power of the gospel to eventually reach through to someone? Have you been discouraged because people you share the gospel with have yet to respond? Pray that God will give you patience and hope as you continue to share.

4. What is the significance of Jesus’ words to the disciples in verse 26? How does Jesus’ entry into the room speak again about the nature of His resurrected body? (see verse 19 also). In what way was Jesus’ resurrected body recognizable and consistent with His pre-resurrection body? Why do you suppose the scars on Jesus’ hands and side and feet remain after the resurrection?

5. Consider John’s comments in verses 30-31. Why doesn’t he mention other signs that Jesus did? Do we need more information about Jesus in order to believe? What does this statement suggest about the sufficiency of Scripture when evangelizing others?

For Further Reading: Sam Chan, Evangelism in a Skeptical World (Zondervan, 2018); and Hugh Kerr and John Mulder, Famous Conversions (Eerdmans, 1983)

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