John 20:11-31 “Jesus appears – Turning Confusion into Clarity”

My sermon notes for Sunday, Sept 2nd as we continue our study through The Gospel of John. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit


John 20:11-31

[11] But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. [12] And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. [13] They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” [14] Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. [15] Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” [16] Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). [17] Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” [18] Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.


[19] On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” [20] When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. [21] Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” [22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. [23] If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”


[24] Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. [25] So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “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.”


[26] Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” [27] Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” [28] Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” [29] Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


[30] Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; [31] but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (ESV)


John 20:11-31

Jesus appears.

Turning confusion into clarity.


If there is no resurrection, then there is no salvation.  To believe in Jesus is one thing, but to believe that He rose from the dead is another.  There are not many ways to God, BUT ONE WAY… the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!


Romans 4:25 – [25] who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (ESV)


Romans 10:9–10 – [9] because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (ESV)


His resurrection was the affirmation of what He accomplished on the cross.  When Jesus rose from the dead, He declared that:

  • sin is atoned for
  • the debt is paid
  • death is conquered
  • new life is given (eternal life)


His resurrection is what gives believers the power and purpose to live life.  Just as Jesus impacted Mary and the disciples… He should have the same pack in our lives today.  They went from a state of confusion to a life of clarity.


Mary Magdalene – vv. 11-18


  • Weeping outside the tomb – v. 11
  • Saw two angels in white. Why are you weeping.  I cannot find Jesus – vv. 12-13
    • The two cherubim on the ark of the covenant… He has come out of the holy of holies to reveal Himself. (remember… John consistently proving the deity of Christ)



  • She turned around and saw Jesus – v. 14
  • Rabboni – Teacher. Supreme reverence (Matt.- Fell to His feet) v. 16
  • Do not cling to me, I have not yet ascended to the Father
    • I am not who I was. I am not permanently here.  This me is temporary (4 days)
    • I am going and send the Spirit.
  • My brothers
    • New relationship with Christ. NOW they are adopted into the family.
    • They have been justified, sanctified and adopted into the household of God.
  • My Father, your Father. My God, your God
    • I have a relationship that is unique
    • MY relationship has made possible YOUR relationship.


Romans 8:14-15 – [14] For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. [15] For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (ESV)



The Ten – vv. 19-23


  • Upper room. Doors closed
  • (I can only imagine the conversation)
  • They wanted to believe, they just did not know what to believe



  • Jesus stood among them – v. 19
  • Peace be with you
    • LOOK AT MY HANDS AND SIDE (dead, but now alive)
  • As the Father sent me, now I am sending you – v. 21
  • He breathed on them, RECEIVE THE SPIRIT – v. 22
  • If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any is it withheld. – v. 23
    • THE AUTHORITY (As the disciples share the Word/Gospel people will either believe or not. They will either have their sins forgiven or not)l


THESE ARE PROMISES of things to come (ACTS 2).  ALL READY BUT NOT YET.  You were fearful, but in a few days, you will be true contenders of the faith… TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN.

  • Acts 17:6 – [6] And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, (ESV)



The Eleven – vv. 24-31


  • Doubting Thomas. UNLESS I SEE and TOUCH– v. 25
    • Not REALLY doubting…. just HEART BROKEN



  • Doors locked, but PEACE BE WITH YOU – v. 26
  • He told Thomas. See and touch – v. 27
    • He knew and loved Thomas.
  • MY LORD AND MY GOD – v. 28
    • A PROFOUND proclamation of the deity and lordship of Christ.
    • You believe because you see
    • When the Spirit comes, they will not need to see to believe



Other miracles where done, but the things written are sufficient.  HE IS GOD.  NO OTHER EVIDENCES NEED TO BE PRESENTED.





From confusion to clarity

These things have been written so that you may believe that JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD; and BELIEVING YOU MAY HAVE LIFE His name. v. 31


  1. JESUS – Who He Is
  2. IS THE CHRIST – “the anointed one” What He came to do
  3. SON OF GOD – Who sent Him
  4. BELIEVING – What one must do
  5. MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE – How it changes one

Leave a Reply