John 20:13-28; 21:1-17
Have you ever wondered, what did Jesus do after easter? Easter was just the beginning of many wonderful things that Jesus can do. After He resurrected to life, He continued to visit His friends and overcome some of their challenges in faith. This sermon might help you discover what Jesus is doing in your life.
1. Jesus taught how faith influences emotions.
“13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni! (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” John 20:13-17
· She was crying, her tears have blurred her vision.
· Her recollection of the suffering Jesus on the cross, was still etched in her mind, and the risen Lord’s appearance was different.
· Jesus had supernaturally prevented her from recognizing him until the right time.
· Mary Magdalene held on to Jesus, not wanting to lose Him again.
· Read John 20:17. Jesus loosened her hold and in effect he was saying, He’s not staying for long as He must ascend to the Father, so she must tell others about Him.
· Mary Magdalene sadness turned to joy and excitement as she tells the other disciples that she has seen the risen Lord.
Lesson: Don’t let your emotions overcome you, rather, let the Word of God sink deep and take root in your heart. God’s Word will change how you feel.
2. Jesus strengthened Thomas’ faith.
“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!” John 20:25-28
· Jesus predicted His death and resurrection numerous times, but it was more than Thomas could believe at that time.
· Like Mary Magdalene and the rest of the disciples, the crucifixion was still heavily etched in Thomas’ mind.
· There was no better evidence of Jesus rising from the dead than showing His body wearing the marks of His crucifixion, alive and well.
· If not for Jesus’ coming to Thomas, the latter would not have faith to believe in His resurrection.
3. Jesus turned mistakes into masterpieces.
“15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17
· Jesus came to Peter at the time of his weakness. See Luke 24:34.
· Jesus did not cancel Peter’s identity in Him but restored him to fellowship and ministry.
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” Acts 2:38-40
“10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
I read from somewhere that John Newton, born in the 1700’s was said to be a master of mistakes. His Christian mother taught him the Scriptures when he was young, but she died when he was 7 years old. As John grew up, he committed one mistake after another. He slowly drifted away from God. He took up employment from a cruel West African slave trader. Soon, he was begging for food. John decided to take a ship bound for home. But the ship was struck by a violent storm and fear gripped his heart. He remembered a passage from the Book of Proverbs that says, “4 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you.” Proverbs 1:24-26.
It was right there at the middle of the storm that he said, “I cannot consider myself to have been a believer, in the full sense of the word." So, he converted to faith. Moreover, God shaped him into a man who would help stop the slave trade. Disgusted by the continued proliferation of slave trade he quit his job as captain and became a minister of the Word. He was also able to write the song Amazing Grace, which we all love to sing.
And then again, sometime later, God used him as an eyewitness in the Parliament to help end the slave trade. Therefore, out of his terrible mistakes in life, God used him, and even his song to touch millions of lives. God turned John’s mistakes into His own masterpieces.
This might be also true to you dear friends. Don’t lose heart. The mistakes that you did in the past can be turned into something useful for the Lord. Surrender everything to Jesus and follow His ways. And you will see Him, making your life His own masterpiece.