Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key Verse: John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
Last week, we started our walk towards Easter with a new series entitled, “Crossroads.” This is a series that takes a brief look at those whose lives intersected with Jesus during His earthly ministry on the way to the cross and how they were forever changed. Last week, we talked about the blind men from Matthew 20. Today, we’re going to look at someone a bit closer to Jesus. His intersection occurred when he was called to be a disciple, to follow Jesus. We know him as Thomas.
John 11:1 (CSB) Now a man was sick, Lazarus, from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, and it was her brother Lazarus who was sick. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Him: “Lord, the one You love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard it, He said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6 So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after that, He said to the disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.” 8 “Rabbi,” the disciples told Him, “just now the Jews tried to stone You, and You’re going there again?” 9 “Aren’t there 12 hours in a day?” Jesus answered. “If anyone walks during the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 If anyone walks during the night, he does stumble, because the light is not in him.” 11 He said this, and then He told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m on My way to wake him up.” 12 Then the disciples said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will get well.” 13 Jesus, however, was speaking about his death, but they thought He was speaking about natural sleep. 14 So Jesus then told them plainly, “Lazarus has died. 15 I’m glad for you that I wasn’t there so that you may believe. But let’s go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (called “Twin”) said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go so that we may die with Him.”
Here, we pause in the story because usually, one continues to read the amazing story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And, that is an amazing story, but not the one we focus on today. Today, we focus on Thomas. In John 11, Thomas appears, not as the doubter we believe he might be, but a man willing to walk into harm’s way, following the Master. The other disciples were concerned (John 11:8) for their safety since people in Judea were seeking to stone Jesus. But Thomas was ready…to follow Jesus even if it meant his own death. So then, why do we have the view of Thomas as the “doubter.”
Hope for Now and Forever
John 14:1 “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.” 5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
1. Thomas was unsure of what tomorrow might hold (vs 5)
– Thomas wanted more information, he wanted to know the way
2. Jesus gave the answer (vs 6)
– I AM (eggo EYE-me)
3. Thomas’ tomorrow came quicker than expected
– Jesus was soon arrested, tried, and killed
John 20:24 But one of the Twelve, Thomas (called “Twin”), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe!”
4. Thomas forgot what Jesus had said (vs 25)
– Jesus had shared His mission with them (Mark 8)
26 After eight days His disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.” 28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.”
5. Jesus again gave the answer – HOPE (vs 27-28)
– “Trust me”
– “My Lord and my God”
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”
6. Jesus’ answer is always the same – I AM (eggo EYE-me_)
HOPE FOR TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER