Covenant Fellowship Church


Changed In The Presence of Jesus

  • Tom Moore
  • Apr 19, 2020

Changed in the Presence of Jesus John 20: 19-31
After every message that I give, I ask myself what changed. What difference did my words
make in those who heard or within me for the matter.
And I’m sure like all pastors, I fear that nothing has changed……
I know for a fact that there are times when I leave the service, after listening to a message, that
nothing changes within me………why?
Is it because the message was of no value? NO
Is it because I don’t believe? No
Then is it because I was not expecting anything to change?
Or was it simply that I did not respond to the message that I heard out of compliance?
I know that every message given by man that has come from God, is of value.
I know that I believe.
I also know that I am not looking to change, grow or be strengthened by every message…my
I also know that there are times that I come to church and participate simply because I am
expected too……….and I do not respond to the calling that God has placed on my heart from
the message.
There are times when church is just another weekly event. No expectations, just like going to
the grocery store…….it’s a necessity but routine……nothing exciting expected to happen.
When I go to the grocery store, I don’t expect to change from what I buy until I have prepared
and ate the product that I went to the store to purchase.
In the same way many times I have gone to church, heard the message and never thought
about it again until “I” needed the results of what the message was speaking of.
How about you? Does that sound familiar?
Steve shared a great message from Ezekiel a few Sundays back, regarding the ability of God to
breathe new life into old bones. That redemptive power of Christ taking my old self, my dry
bones and reviving them to live again, really spoke to me, because I recognize that there are
many times, I have come and left this church as dry bones, no life, no expectations, no future.
Remember that Christian was never meant to be just a religion.
Christianity was meant to be a reaction to life. It was meant to be redemptive.
So what does all of this have to do with the scripture this morning?
The disciples were taught individually by Jesus.
They walked with Him as He ministered for 3 ½ years.
They confessed to believe, to have faith, to understand, to carry on, to use what he taught,
BUT……our scripture this morning finds them hiding behind a locked door, cowering in fear of
what might happen to them now that Jesus has died on the cross.
It looks to me like they are not much different than I am at times.
I come into the church with my pains, fears and sin………then I leave with my pain, fears and
sin, not that Christ wasn’t offered, but simply because I expected no change. I did not accept
what was offered.
They have forgot, refusing to accept what Christ has taught them as they hide in their fears.
Changed in the Presence of Jesus John 20: 19-31
I want you to understand that listening to this message is an absolute waste of time, if it does
not change, reinforce and bring a way to release the fear, pain and sin in your life.
God’s word is never void, but I can make it useless in my life if I choose to not allow it to change
The Bible tells us Deut. and Matt that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word from
With that thought please look at the last two verse of scripture that were read this morning.
Vs 30-31: Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not
written in this book. BUT these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is
the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in His name.
Think about that for just a moment……The scriptures that preceded V30 & 31, here in the 20th
chapter of John, were written, so that you could believe.
The writer, God……did not want you to miss the fact that there is something in these verses of
John’s Gospel, that are necessary for you to believe.
Our scriptures open in v19 where the 10 of the disciples ( all but Thomas ) is hiding in a room
behind locked doors. Jesus was crucified yesterday and today they have forgotten all about the
faith and promises of Christ. They are as if they had never known Christ.
Can you relate to that? I sure can……….at different times in my life.
And Vs 19 goes on to say that “Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with
I believe the first extremely important fact in this scripture is the fact that Jesus presented
himself physically in their presence. He didn’t toy with them by knocking on the door, He didn’t
speak to them through the wall, HE appeared to them physically in their presence.
How do I know this?
Because the Vs 20 says: After He says Peace be with you, He showed them his hands and His
Luke 24:36-39
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them,
“Peace be with you”. They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing
a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your
heart? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a
ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have. And when He had said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still
wondering, He said to them, “ Have you anything to eat? They gave Him a piece of
broiled fish, and He took it and ate in their presence.
Here again, this is important that you see and realize and believe that Jesus was physically
standing in the presence of the 10 disciples.
Why else would Jesus ask for something to eat, if He were dead and just a ghost?
Jesus ate in the presence of the disciples to show them that He was physically raised from the
death. That it was not just His spirit but HE was raised from the dead………..
This description of His physical resurrection was not written in Luke and John’s Gospel to take
up space. This description, this event was written so that you could have something to hold on
to. To deepen your faith…… Very important that you decide, whether you believe this scripture
Changed in the Presence of Jesus John 20: 19-31
or not……It is essential. No fence to straddle, you either believe that Jesus was physically
raised, using this scripture or you don’t.
The disciples didn’t believe until they saw HIM physically, so I get it why you and I have such
hard time trusting HIM or allowing Him to make a difference in our lives. But these words in this
scripture, this testimony of John and Luke, are testimony to us, that Jesus was resurrected and
IS alive today.
IF you believe the word of God to be true, then accept this truth in a manner that makes a
difference in your life.
The words that Jesus spoke to the disciples are again extremely important to us today.
Jesus said “Peace be with you”…… The disciples would have understood this as Shalom.
A peace that is not just absent of conflict but is a state of well being……. It is a completeness,
wholeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfection, fullness,
harmony, the absence of agitation and discord in your life!!!!!!!!!
Where can I get that kind of peace? ONLY from my faith in God…….That kind of peace,
Shalom, does not exist outside of my faith in Christ. Simple…..
To bring that kind of peace to the disciples Jesus showed up in their life, physically, without and
this is important, without them asking Him to do so. I don’t think that is a mistake that the
scriptures do not tell us anything about the disciples praying to Jesus that He would show up.
The scriptures are absent of any such declaration. The disciples were hiding behind lock
doors. I’m going to say that they were hiding without faith………And Jesus showed up in their
Where is Jesus right now? Is He in your midst? The only way that you will know is if you take
your eyes, mind…… of the problem and look into his eyes….
Jesus is in your midst right now. I know that some of you and myself have felt Him present with
us. So that have felt His presence know that He has the ability to show up in your
midst…….Those of you who are still not sure, read the scriptures again. They were put here so
that you could believe.
Jesus came to the disciples, I believe for 2 reasons. One He knew that they needed to see
Him in order to have faith. They did not have the advantage that we have of reading all the
scriptures about Jesus. Sure they walked with Him, but you and have read the ending. I am
not saying that they were not told of the end, but they were just like you and I, concerned about
the here and now……and putting the end off until the end.
I believe the 2nd reason for His appearance was to give the disciples their purpose and power.
Vs 21 again in John, Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has
sent me, so I send you. When he had said this, He breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit. IF you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them, if you
retain the sins of any, they are retained.
Jesus has pronounced the purpose on their lives, which is also a commission for our lives.
Jesus has breathed on them ( just as God did in the passage from Ezekiel that Steve spoke of a
couple weeks ago) Jesus breathed on them and put knew life and power within them.
Changed in the Presence of Jesus John 20: 19-31
I believe at this point that the disciples were back on top of the world. They again had faith, a
renewed faith, the bodies and minds that had become dry bones from the crucifixion were now
again, alive and well…….redemptive ………renewed.
A week later after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, …………that would be about the
same time as we are at today, a week passed the resurrection, the scriptures tell us that Jesus
again appeared to the disciples while they were together only this time, Thomas was with them.
Jesus said to Thomas, put your fingers in here in the nail holes in my hand and put your hand in
my side. Do not doubt but believe.
Thomas answered, My Lord and my God!
Jesus then said to Thomas and the other 10 disciples, “Have you believed because you have
seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet come to believe.
That last statement, Blessed are those who have not seen and yet come to believe, is speaking
directly to us. To those who say that they have never felt Him or saw Him, yet they believe
from these scriptures.
My hope is that if Easter Sunday was not an exceptional day for you, if it was not life changing,
then I hope you will spend time in scriptures such as we studied this morning. And make a
decision. Go back and listen to the message that Steve gave last week on Easter Sunday.
Listen as if looking for something to agree with.
IF Easter Sunday was exceptional and did change your life, share it others. Because you have
received the purpose and calling that Christ gave to His disciples. Seriously, share with those
that you know, how it changed you or spoke to you. I need to hear from you…..Steve needs to
hear from you…..your neighbor, your family and your friends need to hear from you maybe
more in today’s situation than we ever have before.
One last thing that is important in this scripture. Did notice that Jesus showed up when the
disciples were together. He had shown himself to Mary Magdalene and to a few others when
they were alone, but the majority of the time, Jesus showed up when the disciples were
We can’t be together today, we are keeping our distance in order to protect one another’s
health. But we can be together in spirit. As you watch this message, know that other are with
you watching. Know that we are praying for you and need to see you and touch you. That
“YOU” are important to God, to this church, to each other.
Just as Jesus made a special appearance to the disciples when Thomas was present, Jesus
will make a special appearance with you right now. Jesus thought that it was important that
Thomas believe……….I convinced that Jesus believes that it is important that you believe, that
is why I am certain that Jesus is standing in your midst.
May you take time away from your problems, pain and fears……….to see Him.
Changed in the Presence of Jesus John 20: 19-31
He has been resurrected and you can be redeemed. If you have already given your life to
Christ, then do it again. If you have never done so, please……..believe now and give HIM your
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.