Study | Sharing the Gospel, pt. 1

John 20:1-10

What we do with our knowledge of the Gospel makes all the difference

This Bible story opens early Sunday morning, after that fateful Friday when the Christ was crucified. Mary Magdalene, a woman healed by Jesus, visits the tomb where his body had been laid.

When she arrives, she sees the stone that had sealed the tomb was missing! Not knowing exactly what this means, Mary doesn’t hesitate to run to the disciples who had already gathered together behind closed doors to figure out what to do now that Jesus was gone.

She bursts in, announcing her news. The one Jesus loved, John, and Peter immediately begin a footrace to the tomb to see this with their own eyes.

John gets to the tomb first, and looks in from the outside at the linen that had been used to cover Jesus lying there. Peter, bold Peter passes John and enters the tomb and sees the linen, and also finds the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head at burial there separately.

The Bible says that John sees this and believes. Do John and Peter understand that the Scriptures say Jesus was to die and rise? No. But still, John believes.

At this, Peter and John return to their friends where they are staying. The Bible does not mention what they do with the information they have. Do they tell the other disciples, or keep it to themselves to ponder? I can imagine they wrestle with this knowledge, trying to grasp it. Is the empty tomb a testament to the divine, or can it simply be credited to grave robbers? And what exactly are they supposed to do in either case? Wait for Jesus’ intervention, or simply go and spread the news (risking their credibility and even their safety)?

The question for the believer is, what do you do with your knowledge of Jesus’ supernatural resurrection?

Questions for discussion:

  1. What did the people in the story do with the knowledge they had?
  2. What is the significance of John’s and Peter’s actions (or lack thereof) at the tomb? Put yourself in their shoes – what would you have done? (Don’t be so quick to judge!)
  3. The people we’ve talked about literally had firsthand knowledge of the Gospel! When you first gained knowledge of Jesus, what do you do with it? What about now?
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