The Gospel of John
(James J. Barker)

Lesson 54


(John 20:24-31)


1.     The key word in the Gospel of John is “believe.” The word “believe” or “believing” is found 99 times in the Gospel of John and we find it six times in our text tonight.

2.     The key verses in the Gospel of John are John 20:30, 31.







1.     All the apostles were gathered together for this Sunday evening service, except for Thomas (20:19, 24).   And now for the last 2,000 years he has been called “Doubting Thomas.”  See what happens when you skip the Sunday night service?

2.     When we miss a church service we are missing an opportunity to meet with the Lord (cf. Matt. 18:20).

3.     Little is said in the Bible about Thomas (cf. John 14:1-6).

4.     But now in chapter 20, Thomas told the other disciples, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (20:25).

5.     The world says, “Seeing is believing,” but Thomas was not a worldly man; he was a disciple of Christ.

6.     The world says, “Seeing is believing,” but the Christian says, “Believing is seeing.”

7.     By God’s grace, Thomas had the privilege of seeing the resurrected Saviour a week later (20:26, 27).

8.     Bible teachers say the “eight days” (20:26) are inclusive, meaning it was the next Sunday evening.

9.     Our Lord said something to Thomas that we ought never to forget, “and be not faithless, but believing” (20:27b).

10. I am presently engaged in a correspondence with a RC.  He simply cannot (or will not) believe the Bible because he has been brainwashed by the RCC.

11. I emailed him John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47 and many other Scriptures but he will not believe them because they contradict the teachings of Romanism (works salvation).

12. According to my RC relative, man must “cooperate” with God in order to be saved, and even if he cooperates he can never know for sure if he is saved.  In fact, according to Rome it is wrong to say that you know you are saved (cf. II Tim. 1:9; I John 5:13).

13. My RC relative thinks you “must work to earn your salvation, in anxious fear.”  I do not know which Bible he is using (Knox translation?) but that is not the proper translation of Phil. 2:12!



1.     Our Lord’s mild rebuke to Thomas was a call for decision.  I mentioned my RC relative.  He needs to make an important decision – to reject Romanism and to believe the Bible.  To accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour apart from Romanism’s system of works and sacraments.

2.     Perhaps someone here tonight must make an important decision.  Faith is not only trusting Christ to save us – it is trusting Him in everything.

3.     The Bible does not say if Thomas inspected our Lord’s wounds.  But it does record his famous words of faith – “My Lord and my God” (20:28).

4.     Personally I do not think Thomas stuck his fingers into our Lord’s pierced hands and side.  I agree with F.B. Meyer, who wrote, “Such an act of cold scrutiny would hardly have been compatible with his joyous shout, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (Gospel of John).

5.     A few weeks ago I preached on the Da Vinci Code book and movie.   There are many problems with this book and movie and one of them is this: they are attempting to take away a precious blessing promised by our Lord – “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (20:29).

6.     This is a great “beatitude” just as wonderful as the ones recorded in Matthew 5 (the Sermon on the Mount).



1.     As I said earlier, John 20:30 and 31 are the key verses in the Gospel of John.

2.     John did not record all of the “signs” (miracles) Jesus performed (20:30), nor did Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the other NT writers.

3.     There is an interesting quote in Acts 20:35, reminding us that many of our Lord’s sayings were not recorded.  Note the word “remember,” indicating that our Lord said it often.  Its inclusion in the book of Acts means the Holy Spirit wanted us to know about it.

4.     Since John did not record all of our Lord’s miracles, the ones he did select were chosen (by the Holy Spirit – II Peter 1:21) for one specific purpose – “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31).

5.     If “believe” is the key word in the Gospel of John, the second most important word is “life” (20:31).

6.     “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

7.     “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

8.     “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

9.     “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13, 14).

10. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

11. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:39, 40).

12. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).

13. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

14. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

15. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27, 28).

16. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

17. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

18. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).



1.     Before I conclude, allow me to apply our Lord’s words in John 20:29, and John’s words in verses 30 and 31 to our present situation.

2.     There are multitudes of people who simply will not believe the plain words of Scripture.  Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

3.     But certain people insist on signs and wonders and spectacular miracles.  But we need to understand that this is dangerous (cf. Matt. 24:24; II Thess. 2:9-12; Rev. 13:13-18).

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