John’s Retelling of the Resurrection
I. Different PEOPLE, different RESPONSES.
A. Mary Magdelene – ASSUMPTIONS and MOURNING. (v.1-2, 10-15)
B. Peter & John – Looked, LEFT and … BELIEVED? (v.3-9)
C. Thomas – NEEDED tangible PROOF. (v.24-25)
John differs from the other three gospels is so many ways. He has a unique approach to telling the good news of Jesus because He wants to communicate who Jesus is as the Son of God. As he retells the story of that resurrection moment, he shows us several different responses to what happens.
1. Kid’s Question: How would you have reacted if you had seen Jesus come back from the dead that first Resurrection morning? What would you say to Him?
2. Which of the characters in John 20 do you most identify with and why?
II. Jesus MEETS them WHERE they are.
A. Mary – Called by NAME and to MISSION. (v.15-18)
B. Disciples – “PEACE” turns FEAR to JOY. (v.19-23)
C. Thomas – Jesus “HELPS” him BELIEVE. (v.26-29)
Even though John gives us glimpses into each different reaction, He is doing it to show us that Jesus comes to all people where they are at. Each reaction mirrors the reactions we have to Jesus today as well, but He is not surprised by our varied responses. He comes to us…that’s the whole point.
3. When has Jesus met you where you were? What was that experience like?
4. Have you ever felt too far gone for Jesus to meet you where you were at?
5. What can you take to heart from the different ways that Jesus met each of these people?
III. Our RESPONSE to the RESURRECTION?
A. Let Jesus MEET you WHEREVER you are. (Mt. 9:36; Ps 103:10-14)
B. HOLD your assumptions LOOSELY. (Mk. 8:31-33; Jn 16:12-13)
C. REORIENT everything around RELATIONSHIP. (v.17; Jn 17:20-21)
D. Let belief (aka FAITH) fuel LIFE. (Jn 10:10; Col. 3:4; Rom 8:11; Eph 1:19-20)
The question that remains as we stand around today looking at this empty tomb is not how did people react…but how will we react? We can learn from them to be sure, but the heart of the matter is exactly that – what will I take to heart. How will I respond to the empty tomb and the Jesus calling be to mission, to relationship, to believe, and to live.
6. What does it look like to hold assumptions loosely? How can we know the difference between truth and assumptions about truth?
7. What parts of your life need to be reoriented around relationship and how might that happen best?
8. Does belief mean certainty? Understanding? When have you felt that you were actually living by faith?