Why Was the Door Still Locked? A sermon on John 20:19-31
Why Was the Door Still Locked?
† I.H.S. †
May the grace of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus cast a shadow on your doubt, as you dwell in Their Presence!
The Little Details
One of my professors used to talk about the fact that everything in scripture is there for a reason, that there are some small details that are there for a reason.
His goal was to stop us from reading through the scriptures, to slow down, take time, and savor the words.
It took me about 20 years to realize how right Doug Dickey was!
It does cause some interesting observations when you slow down and try to savor each phrase and word. Those observations, in turn, make you realize some incredible things about God, and how He loves you.
Today’s insight comes from pondering a question form something I noticed in verse 26.
“The doors were locked, but suddenly, as before… “
Wait, did you say the doors were locked, the second time Jesus appeared without entering them?
Hence the title of the sermon, “Why was the door still locked?”
But they already encountered Jesus!
The first time they were locked, they were locked because they were afraid of the Jews,
But they had Jesus bless them with peace, not once but twice!
They had been given the Holy Spirit, as the entire church would be on Pentecost.
They had been given divine authority, DIVINE authority to forgive sins, or determine that people in bondage to the sins they would not abandon…
They had an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, who had been crucified, and his side pierced with a spear….and had crushed death…walking out of the grave…
They were witnesses of this…and they were still afraid, hiding behind a locked and barred door like…. Cowards? Like those whose doubts got the better of them?
They still struggled with doubt, in fact, on the day of the ascension they still struggled with it.
In the scene where Jesus ascends, right before the Great Commission is given, Matthew records, “17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:17-18 (NLT2)
You see, we talk about Thomas as being the one who was labeled as the doubter. But he wasn’t the only one hiding behind locked doors.
Just like some of us struggle with things going on in our lives today. We might doubt, we might struggle, and while we need to grow, that is not something we should hide, or feel guilty and ashamed about.
That is important in times like this when we struggle to figure out what God is doing, or not doing in this pandemic. We don’t have to hide our struggle. It isn’t sin to struggle, it isn’t sin to doubt, it is sin to hide the doubt, or deny it, to pretend we understand it all.
Were the words only for Thomas?
When Jesus says, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” I don’t think he is talking just to Thomas, but to all the believers in the room.
For even though they see him, they are struggling with putting it all together. They are like the young father, who asked by Jesus if he believed, he had to say “yes, but help me in my unbelief!”
That should be our attitude – going to the very God we don’t always understand, or even when we do, we struggle with, and ask for His help.
We have to remember that He is there, that He loves us, and cares for us.
There are written that YOU may continue to believe!
That is the very reason that what Jesus did was written, here it again,
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
The entire scripture is a history of God acting in the lives of His people. From providing Adam and Eve a sacrifice to help them cover the evidence of their sin, to the second coming that God promised will happen.
Notice that it doesn’t say the doctrine is written, but the actual things Jesus has done. Not that doctrine isn’t important, but believing that He is risen, that He has the power to do all he did, enables us to believe that because He is risen, we are risen indeed.
And we can believe that, even when struggling behind locked doors, and trying to figure out what is going on, for Jesus Loves you.
He is risen! He is risen indeed! And therefore… you are risen indeed.