This sermon is written…for the same reason as the Scriptures: A sermon on John 20:30-31
a sermon by Deacon Robert Foutz, delievered at Concordia Lutheran Church 4/24/2022
This sermon is written…for the same reason as the Scriptures
Every night I would read my daughters a bedtime story. First I read them a Bible story and then a regular story. One of their favorites was Dr Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. It’s a very simple story with only two characters; the first is a guy named Sam and his friend, Sam’s friend has no name, I will just call him Sam’s Friend.
Sam only has one goal in the story that is to get his friend to eat green eggs and ham. He says, “taste my green eggs and ham . . . just try them and you’ll see they taste good.”
But his friend does not want to try green eggs and ham.
And on and on it goes, until Sam I am says, “You do not like them, so you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and we will see.”
Spoiler Alert! Sam’s friend does finally try them and does like them! And he likes them!
Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam!
Thank you, Sam.
As a parent, I’ve read that story to my daughters hundreds of times. They never seemed to grow tired of it.
Over and over, night after night I read Sam’s request as he repetitively asked his friend to try his green eggs and ham. You get the idea.
Sam I Am has one simple message. “Try my greens eggs and ham. They are good.”
So what does Sam’s green eggs and ham have to do with the passage in John, and what I am doing here today?
John has only has one simple message try my Jesus! You will like him, just try and see. And Pastor Parker needs a day off so it’s my turn to be like Sam tell you about Jesus.
So why am I up here?
What is Pastor Parker’s goal for me being up here? What is Pastors goal when he sends me off to other churches? What am I supposed to do – just tell jokes and tell you about some interesting facts about a book that was written 2000 years ago to people who don’t speak our language?
Or is my purpose to preach what Pastor taught me in my deacon class on Worship?
That the chief purpose of all worship services is to give you what you need to know about Jesus?
There was only one question on the final exam: What is the chief purpose of all worship services?
Answer: To tell the people what they need to know about Jesus.
Kind of like how Sam had only one message, one goal: To get his friend to try green egg and ham. I have one message, one goal: To tell you about Jesus.
That’s pretty close to what the Apostle John says here – in verse 30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book.
John 21:25 — Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.
I would like to know all about these miracles but then the Bible would probably be about a foot thick. Think about it for a minute, Jesus’ ministry lasted about 3 years and if Jesus performed one miracle a day, the disciples saw 1,095 miracles. Writing all that down would take all the paper in Jerusalem.
It also tells me the disciples only recorded the miracles they thought were the most important miracles, the most amazing miracles, the miracles that proved Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God.
So my job is to help you experience Jesus, depend on Jesus, to know without a doubt that Jesus is your Savior and then help you see the life you have as you grow to trust Him.
And not be like doubting Thomas.
Verse 26 says “Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
Thomas the Apostle—often referred to as “Doubting Thomas”—was one of the twelve main disciples of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John, Thomas famously doubted Jesus’ resurrection, telling the other disciples, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
All Christians suffer doubt at one time or another, why does God let us suffer? And a hundred other questions I have for him.
But that doubt does not mean disbelief, they are not the same thing, I have questioned God, I have doubted why God did things many times but never, never ever lost my faith in God. Big difference!
The example of doubting Thomas provides both a teachable moment and encouraging one. After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appeared alive and glorified to His disciples to comfort them and proclaim to them the good news of His victory over death.
I doubt (it wasn’t only Thomas), but all of us from time to time doubt. It was 33 days after Thomas’s proclamation, that according to Matthew 28:16, some of the disciples still doubted – they still didn’t get it all.
Last week Pastor told us about the men on the road to Emmaus, how an unrecognized Jesus explained the entire Old Testament to them.
Now let’s look at verse 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.
We can depend on Jesus, he is the one Anointed by the Father. All the miracles, all the scriptures point to this simple fact: Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus is the Son of God.
And when we depend on Jesus, we have life, life here on earth and life in heaven. How does this happen? It is simply because Jesus has claimed us as His own.
He bought and paid for us, sins and all, on the cross.
Two of my favorite phrases are “pay to the order of”
and “paid in full.”
To me nothing feels better feeling than getting a paycheck and then sitting down and paying all your bills. But sadly, next month all the same bills show up again.
But there is a true feeling of freedom on peace when you make the last payment on something like your last car payment. Mark it paid in full! Done! I never have to pay that bill again!
That what Jesus did on the cross my sins are paid in full! Done! I never have to pay that bill again!
That is what John is telling in this passage of scriptures to depend on Jesus because of everything He has promised us. Everything he has paid for us!
And when we experience Christ and know what he’s done, then when God tells us His peace is ours, we get it, because we know Him and His promises.
I remember the day after my father died, a friend came over and told about when his mother died. He told me “it well get easier.” He said “the pain will never go away but it will get easier. I promise.” I thought he was nuts, this hurt, this loss, this emptiness will never end.
Well, he was right. Over the years it has gotten easier. Like all of us, we miss our loved ones at big events, family gatherings, Christmas, birthdays, am I right?
But you know when I really miss my dad, the day that make me cry every year? Easter. The promise of the resurrection!
Some versions of the Bible use the word “Hope.” They use phrases like the hope of Christ, the hope of the resurrection.
NO No no!
I hope the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl. I hope I catch a lot of fish next weekend.
I don’t hope that my dad is in heaven, I have a promise from Jesus
You see my dad, stood on the promise of Jesus Christ the Son of the most, high God. And Jesus promised to take him home to be with him.
I am up here this morning to remind you of my nine favorite words.
The Lord is with you . . . and also with you.
Followed by my favorite 13 words.
He is risen, he is risen indeed.
And therefore, we are risen indeed.