Welcome to our 12-week Bible study, Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John, covering the life, teachings, and miracles of Jesus. “Come and See” how the Gospel of John reveals the depth of God’s love and grace, and how it can transform your life.
Through this study, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus is, what he accomplished, and how to respond to him in faith, obedience, and love. You’ll also learn about his role as the Son of God and what his life and death mean for us today.
Each week, we’ll explore a different theme from the Gospel of John, including love, grace, and forgiveness. We’ll also take time to reflect on what it means to be a follower of Christ and how we can apply these teachings to our lives.
If you haven’t registered, no problem at all. Register now (yes, right now!) for this in-person Bible study and experience a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, fellowship with other believers, and the joy of growing in your faith as you share the Gospel of Jesus with others.
Week 10: Overview
Here’s a quick recap of what we covered in Week 10 using Justin Buzzard’s John: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible) as our weekly discussion guide:
- Why we are to work from rest and integrate our faith into our daily lives to honor God.
- How Jesus highlights that the message of the Gospel is available to all, regardless of gender or social status.
- The Trinity’s mission to bring salvation to the world through sacrificial service and obedience.
- How Jesus demonstrates mercy towards doubters and meets them where they are in their faith journeys
Jesus’ resurrection takes place “not the first day of the week” (20:1). Thus the early Christians set aside Sunday as the day for gathering and worship (Acts 20:7; 1 For. 16:2). What does this say about how Christians are to view their work week? Do we rest from work, living for the weekend, or do we “work from rest”, gaining strength for our work from our times of worship?
The fact that Jesus’ resurrection took place on a day other than the first day of the week has led early Christians to set aside Sunday as a day for gathering and worship. This practice suggests that we should work from rest, allowing our times of worship to give us strength and renewal for the work week. Instead of simply living for the weekend, we should strive to integrate our faith into our daily lives, allowing it to shape how we approach our work and other responsibilities. Viewing our work in this way can help us to find purpose and meaning in what we do, recognizing that our work can be a form of worship when done with a heart that seeks to honor and serve God.
Mary Magdalene is the first to visit Jesus’ tomb. Upon finding that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, Mary “ran” to tell the news to Peter and the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (John, the author of this Gospel). What does Mary communicate to these two disciples; how does she explain the empty tomb? What do Peter and John do once they hear the news from Mary?
Mary Magdalene is the first to visit Jesus’ tomb and upon finding the stone rolled away, she runs to tell Peter and John. She explains to them that the body of Jesus has been taken from the tomb, and she does not know where it has been taken. Peter and John, upon hearing this news, run to the tomb to see for themselves. John reaches the tomb first but waits for Peter to enter first. When Peter enters, he sees the burial clothes and the cloth that had been around Jesus’ head, but there was no body.
Verse 8 in John 8 signals a change. What happens to John once he enters the tomb? Why do you think the disciples, Peter and John, went back to their homes (v. 10)? With whom might John have shared the good news? Recall John 19:27.
In John 20:8, we learn that when John entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there, he believed. This marks a significant change in John’s understanding of the events that had taken place. He had previously been unsure of what had happened to Jesus and had only just started to believe that he had risen from the dead (verse 9).
It’s unclear why Peter and John went back to their homes after seeing the empty tomb. Perhaps they were confused and needed time to process what they had seen. It’s also possible that they were unsure of what to do next and needed to wait for further instruction from Jesus or the other disciples.
As for with whom John might have shared the good news, it’s possible that he told the other disciples or Mary Magdalene, who had gone back to the tomb with him. We also know from John 19:27 that Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to John, so it’s possible that he shared the news of Jesus’ resurrection with her as well.
Mary stays at the tomb and weeps. Two angels appear and ask Mary a question. Mary answers the question. Then, Jesus appears and asks Mary the same question the angels asked. Who does Marty think Jesus is? What does it take for Mary to recognize Jesus? From what you know of first-century Jewish culture, why might it be significant that a woman is the first one to encounter the resurrected Jesus?
Mary initially mistakes Jesus for the gardener, indicating that she does not immediately recognize him (John 20:15). However, once Jesus calls her by name, Mary recognizes him. This suggests that hearing Jesus’ voice and being personally addressed by him is what it takes for Mary to recognize him.
In first-century Jewish culture, women were not regarded as credible witnesses and were often excluded from formal education. Therefore, it would have been significant that a woman was the first one to encounter the resurrected Jesus, as it demonstrates that the message of the Gospel is available to all, regardless of gender or social status. Additionally, it highlights the fact that Jesus valued and respected women and elevated their status in a culture that often marginalized them.
Later that same day, at nighttime, Jesus appears to his disciples. Why do his disciples have the doors locked? What does Jesus say to his disciples, what does he show his disciples, and how do his disciples respond?
The disciples had locked the doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders (John 20:19). Jesus appears among them, even though the doors were locked, and says, “Peace be with you!” He shows them his hands and his side, displaying the wounds from his crucifixion. The disciples then rejoice upon seeing the Lord.
After showing his disciples his hands and his side, Jesus commissions his disciples. The sent one (Jesus) has now become the sender, commissioning his disciples to serve as his messengers and empowering them with the Holy Spirit. How do you see all three persons of the Trinity involved in this scene? How does this notion of being “sent” by Jesus help deepen your understanding of Christian discipleship?
In this scene, all three persons of the Trinity are involved. Jesus, the Son, commissions his disciples to go out into the world and spread the message of the Gospel. He also breathes on them, symbolizing the giving of the Holy Spirit, who will empower them to fulfill this mission. The Father is also present in this commission, as Jesus says that he is sending them just as the Father sent him.
This notion of being “sent” by Jesus helps deepen our understanding of Christian discipleship by reminding us that we are not just called to believe in Jesus, but to actively participate in his mission to bring salvation to the world. We are called to be his messengers, sharing the good news of his life, death, and resurrection with others. This requires a willingness to go where he sends us, to do what he asks of us, and to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out his will. It is a call to sacrificial service and obedience, and it is a privilege and a joy to participate in this great work of God.
John 20:21-12 is John’s version of the Great Commission. Compare this passage with Matthew’s (Matthew 28:16-20) version of the Great Commission. What similarities and what differences do you notice?
Matthew’s version in Matthew 28:16-20 of the Great Commission.
- Both versions involve Jesus commissioning his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations.
- In both versions, Jesus promises to be with his disciples always, even to the end of the age.
- Both passages mention baptism, although John’s passage does not specify that it is to be done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- In John’s version, Jesus breathes on his disciples and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” In Matthew’s version, Jesus tells his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- John’s version emphasizes the power of forgiveness, as Jesus says, “If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Matthew’s version does not specifically mention forgiveness.
- John’s version takes place on the day of Jesus’ resurrection, while Matthew’s version takes place after Jesus’ ascension.
- John’s version does not include the command to teach, while Matthew’s version does.
Overall, both passages share the same basic message of Jesus commissioning his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, but the details and emphasis differ slightly.
Eight days after Jesus’ first encounter with the disciples, how does Jesus handle Thomas’s doubt? How does Thomas respond to his encounter with Jesus? Through this encounter, what does Jesus teach his disciples about faith?
Jesus invites Thomas to touch his wounds and encourages him to believe. Thomas responds by confessing his faith in Jesus, saying “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Through this encounter, Jesus teaches his disciples about faith by showing them that belief in him is not limited to what they can see, but also involves trusting in what they cannot see. He also demonstrates his mercy towards Thomas, who had doubted, and shows that he is willing to meet us where we are in our faith journeys.
Don’t forget to read through the three sections in Week 10 of Justin Buzzard’s John: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible) on Gospel Glimpses, Whole-Bible Connections, and Theological Soundings. Then take time to reflect on the Personal Implications these sections are likely to have on your walk and relationship with Lord Christ Jesus and his people.
Take a moment now to ask for the Lord’s blessing and help as you engage in this study of John. And take a moment also to look back through this unit of study, to reflect on a few key things that the Lord may be teaching you — and perhaps to highlight or underline these to review again in the future.
We hope these notes have been helpful in catching up on what we’ve covered so far. We’re excited to continue our study of John together next week in Week 11!
In the meantime, explore a very engaging animation video from the Bible Project team that explains the first twelve chapters of the Gospel of John. Additionally, you can read Mark L. Strauss’ article “John: The Gospel of the Eternal Son Who Reveals the Father.”
Alvin Brown, the Lead Pastor of Mosaic Church Fort Worth, brings over a decade of pastoral ministry experience and more than 20 years of operational and technical leadership expertise. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Mallary, and their three children and contributing as a writer to various media outlets.