Five Minute Devotions: John 20
There is much that we could say about this chapter in John, from the hilarious to the serious. For instance, John never mentions himself by name in the Gospel, referring to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved” or “the other disciple.” In the opening verses of John 20, John includes that he ran faster than Peter to get to the tomb.
The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. – John 20:4
We could also talk about the role that evidence plays in the empty tomb and its important to the Resurrection narrative. It would have been easy, if the disciples were making up a story, to declare that it was a “spiritual resurrection.” They don’t. They proclaim a real, bodily resurrection. And the Jewish leaders cannot account for it. Peter and John’s belief in the resurrection comes when they “went in, saw, and believed” (John 20:8). Mary believes when she sees (John 20:11-19). Later, Thomas believes when he sees the resurrected Jesus and puts his finger on the scars of Jesus’s arms (John 20:24-29). The Christian faith is evidence-based.
The Superabundance of Christ
But after all the typical things that get repeated throughout four gospels, John concludes with something that caught my eye:
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:30-31
After everything John has written, he gets almost to the end of it all and says, with his best Billy Mays impression: BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. The life of Jesus extends outside of the Gospels. Despite four biographies about him, John reminds us that he and the Gospel writers have only scratched the surface. They’ve given a comprehensive look at the ministry of Jesus. They’ve not even attempted to go into its depth.
For every healing mentioned, there were ten others. For every tense interaction with the Pharisees, there were five more. Every day was like this and it spanned over three years of public ministry. Over one thousand days of Jesus preaching and teaching. One thousand days of him leading the disciples, teaching in the synagogues, healing in the streets.
John’s gospel was meant to give you enough of a grasp on who Jesus is so that you would go seek him out for yourself. His selection of stories is intentional. He wants you to go on and know Jesus in the depth that he has known him. What becomes clear as one transitions from the end of John and the gospels into Acts is that Jesus lives on through the indwelt Holy Spirit in the lives of his disciples. That’s why Jesus says in John 14:
Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12
John writes is order that the mantle might be shifted from Christ with us, Immanuel, to Christ in us, The Hope of Glory.
Father, help us to know you and your Son through your Spirit and through the Word that you have given us. Lead us into all knowledge and truth about you and lead us to live out the life of Jesus in our own bodies.
What role does evidence play in the Resurrection story?
What are some details in the narrative that lend credence to it?
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