John 20 – Jesus Appears to Thomas

(Note: for a summary of the events of this chapter from the resurrection at dawn to Jesus’ first appearances to Mary Magdalene and the other women, please see post at this link.  After the resurrection, Jesus – as He had told the disciples in Matthew 26:32 that He would meet them there – would be with them at the Sea of Galilee, and at a mountain there that He directs them to.  But several other events occur before and after this, the details of which are interspersed throughout the gospels in Matthew 28 and John 20.  And events in a single chapter are in some cases separated by days, and even weeks, as Jesus remained for forty days before the ascension.)

In the evening of the day of the resurrection, verse 19 tells us, the disciples had the doors locked where they were “for fear of the Jews.”  But Jesus comes and stands among them.  This is not to imply that the risen Lord was now some disembodied spirit.  But a locked door was certainly no challenge to the Lord, who had raised the dead.  He showed them His hands and His side’ and in verses 21-23, John gives his account of a foretaste of the Holy Spirit to come to them when He leaves.   Verse 23 confirms what He told them in Matthew 18:18.

English: The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Ca...

English: The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. Found at Category:Artistic portrayals of Jesus Category:Images of paintings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The “doubting Thomas” verses are next as Thomas was not with the others on the above occasion.  When the others told Thomas they had seen the Lord, he said “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”  Eight days later, Jesus again enters where they are locked in and He has Thomas do exactly those things.  When Thomas acknowledges Him as the Lord, Jesus says “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Though there still remains one chapter in the gospel of John, he ends this chapter by stating that Jesus did many wondrous things that were not written in his gospel.  But he says it was written “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


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