Sometimes, you just don’t know whether to believe something. Something you see on TV, that you wonder if it is just a trick of the cameras; something that causes you to make a double take; or a rumour that you are sure can’t really be true…
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 The disciples were afraid of the Jewish leaders, and on the evening of that same Sunday they locked themselves in a room. Suddenly, Jesus appeared in the middle of the group. He greeted them 20 and showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they became very happy.
21 After Jesus had greeted them again, he said, “I am sending you, just as the Father has sent me.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they will be forgiven. But if you don’t forgive their sins, they will not be forgiven.”
Jesus and Thomas
24 Although Thomas the Twin was one of the twelve disciples, he wasn’t with the others when Jesus appeared to them. 25 So they told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But Thomas said, “First, I must see the nail scars in his hands and touch them with my finger. I must put my hand where the spear went into his side. I won’t believe unless I do this!”
26 A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples 27 and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!”
28 Thomas replied, “You are my Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!”
Why John Wrote His Book
30 Jesus worked many other miracles for his disciples, and not all of them are written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in him, you will have true life.
Well, by now we didn’t know what to believe.
We had all seen Jesus die, seen him breathe his last, seen the evidence. Everyone had been there, it was real ok.
But then, but then Mary had come with this tale that the tomb was empty, but more than that – that Jesus had been raised. Then he’d appeared to the two as they were walking in the countryside, wondering what was happening.
Now we were afraid. Afraid because we didn’t understand what was happening, and afraid because now the Jewish authorities would be after us. They’d assume we’d pulled some trick or other to back up the stories of Jesus. But we hadn’t, we were as confused as the next man and woman.
So here we were, shut away.
And then here he was, right in the middle of us, among us again.
Peace be with you
that was what he said to us. Bringing his calming peace into our place of questioning and fear.
He showed us his hands and side. There was no question it was him. Thomas missed all this. He wasn’t going to believe it he said. Not unless he saw it with his own eyes. But Jesus accepted that, and a week later he appeared again, allowing Thomas to touch, to see – and believe and understand.
He repeated his message of peace, and then added to it,
As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you – wow!
Seeing, believing, receiving – and then going with it.
God’s new thing was here – and now it was up to us, to me, to pass it on.
Thank you Lord
you are with me in the times I have locked myself away,
in my questions,
in my doubts,
in my fear,
in my grief.
that you bring your word of peace,
allow me to touch you
– as you touch my life anew.
Help me to share what I have discovered in you,
that others may discover the new thing you are doing
and become a part of it.
I have really enjoyed this book, and found it very helpful. Thanks to Tom Wright!