Jesus in the Middle
John 20:18-29 (ESV)
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,[a] 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,[b] 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.”

Psalm 34:18 (ESV)
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

1. The Apprehension of the Fearful

A. Jesus Appeared to Them

John 20:19 (ESV)
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,[a] Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Acts 17:27-28 (ESV)
27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for 

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[a]
as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[b]

Psalm 145:18 (ESV)
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

B. Jesus Comforted Them

John 20:19 (ESV)
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,[a] Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

C. Jesus Challenged Them

John 20:20-21 (ESV)
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.”

D. Jesus Empowered Them

John 20:22 (ESV)
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

2. The Skepticism of the Doubtful

John 20:24-25 (ESV)
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[a] 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.”

A. Doubt brings Deception

John 20:25 (ESV)
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.”

B. Doubt fosters Dissension

John 20:25 (ESV)
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.”

C. Doubt creates Despair

John 20:24 (ESV)
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[a] was not with them when Jesus came.

3. The Provision for the Faithful

John 20:27-28 (ESV)
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!”

A. Faith renews our Fellowship

John 20:27 (ESV)
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.”

B. Faith restores our Focus

John 20:28 (ESV)
28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
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