Seeking and Sharing the Fullness of Life

Behind Locked Doors

A sermon on John 20: 19-31 by the Revd Dr Paul Sheppy.

Tonight we were privileged to have as our visiting preacher, live from Oxford in the UK, the Revd Dr Paul Sheppy. Paul is and has been many things – liturgical scholar, county cricket umpire, advanced sports car driving instructor, luthier, musician, poet and hymn writer – but above all a wonderful pastor and preacher. There is no written version of the sermon available, but you can listen to the audio or watch the video, and Paul’s brief notes are below.


  1. Is Thomas different from the other disciples? They all wanted to see for themselves.
  2. The closed and locked doors.
  3. The reference in 1 Peter to those who love the Lord without having seen him.
  4. The reference in the Psalm to not being abandoned in the pit of Sheol, which Peter quotes in his sermon (Acts 2)
  5. We are all like Thomas, we want a miracle we can see.
  6. The final phrase in the Gospel reading (“There are other signs that Jesus did”) suggests that we might want to understand this appearance to Thomas as a sign – which is the Fourth Evangelist’s way of talking about miracles.
  7. What is the significance of this appearance to Thomas?
  8. What about those locked doors? Are they a sign of the way we close our minds?
  9. These doors appear to be no impediment or barrier to the Risen Christ.
  10. How do we read this passage in the season of Easter in 2020 in the middle of a lockdown and a time when we are all looking for a miracle that will deliver us?


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