Tag Archives: John 20:19-31

Reach Out and Touch Faith

I just can’t grasp it.

You tell me he’s alive,
that you’ve seen him,
but that’s not working
for me.

I saw him die,
I know he’s dead.
Your experience says different,
but I’m just not getting it.

I need to know,
I need to see,
to touch
and be touched.

I know that makes me weak,
my faith dependent on seeing
not believing,
but that’s what I need.

~~~

Oh how you know me Lord,
you know what I need
and you supply.

You allow me to see,
to touch,
to know.

How I wish I had the faith
to just believe,
but now
in reaching out
and touching
I know.

I believe.

You are alive

and you come to me in my need.

You invite me to reach out
to you.

I come now.

Thank you Lord,
for your presence,
your risen presence.

Thank you for not
writing me off,
but coming to me.

Thank you
that you are there,
whether I feel
I can reach you
or not,
ever present,
in my life,
in your world.

John 20:19-31 (CEV)

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.

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In The Midst

By Andrey Mironov (Own work)

John 20:19-31 (CEV)

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.

We were alone and afraid.  In the last few days we had been through just about every emotion imaginable.  Hope, as Jesus entered Jerusalem, thinking this was it, this was the time, the Messiah was here, and everything was going to be different; confusion at the meal, when he spoke of betrayal and suffering; the dawning horror of his arrest and the out of control steam roller that became his death; the pain, anguish and heartache watching his final surrender to all that humanity at its worst could throw at him; his death…

And then, as we mourned, more confusion.  He wasn’t dead after all, but was alive.  What to think, what to do?

So we did what we could.  We gathered together.  To comfort, for protection, to try to work it all out.

Of course the authorities would think it was us.  That we had somehow removed the body and were making up stories to make it seem like we weren’t fools, following a broken dream; that we hadn’t been deluded; that we weren’t wrong about Jesus.

As we sat, in shock, in wondering, in fear, suddenly there he was.  Just when we needed him, Jesus came to us and was amongst us, present in all those tumbling, whirling emotions; still there in the reality of our lives.

But he wasn’t just appearing to reassure us, though that was important.  He also came to remind us that the work was not done.  His death and resurrection are not the end, but a new beginning.  We are to now the ones to go and to show others God’s ways.  All that Jesus showed us, we are to pass on and to live out, to bring his forgiveness and hope to the world.

A hope, even for those who find it hard to believe it.

Thomas wasn’t there, he thought he’d missed out, that the resurrected Jesus wasn’t for him.  Jesus got that and came just for him.  Came so that he could touch the wounds and know their healing in his life.  God wasn’t worried by his continued doubts and ongoing worries, he came to meet them and reassure.

So, however we are left feeling after Easter, sad, happy, bemused, confused, empowered, or any combination, God comes to us, says, ‘Peace be with you’.  He invites us to know his reality in our lives today, and sends us to get on with the work – his work, before us.

Thank you Lord
That you are with me
in confusion,
pain,
bafflement,
sadness
and joy.

Thank you for being with me,
bringing your peace
and meeting me where I need it.

Thank you
that I can touch your wounds
and know the reality of your love
and hope.

Renewed,
restored
and empowered by you,
may I go
and do all you ask of me –
to take your words
of love,
hope,
peace
and forgiveness
to all who need to hear

I believe he is here now, standing in our midst

 

Waiting and Wondering

This passage is a story of after the event.

You know when there has been a massive build up to something – meticulous planning, great hopes, high expectation – and even when it has gone well, there is an anti-climax feeling afterwards.  What now?  That had been the focus of your life for so long.  Now what do you do?

Imagine how it must have felt for the disciples.  Things had entirely not gone to plan – and yet, somehow it was all ok – but what was happening, what now?

John 20:19-31

The Message

To Believe

19-20 Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.

20-21 The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”

22-23 Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”

24-25 But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.”

But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.”

27 Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”

28 Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”

29 Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”

30-31 Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.

They locked themselves away, worried and afraid.  And Jesus came to them.  He allowed them to touch his wounds, his pain, to do what they needed to – to be sure that he was real, that it had all happened.

What a relief it must have been, to realise that they hadn’t imagined it.  Jesus, the Jesus they knew and head learned so much from, was alive.  This is no imposter, it was no fake death – he is here, with them, bringing them faith, hope and forgiveness.

God comes to us – where we are, meets us and allows us to touch him.

Where are you today?

In a place of joy at the Risen Lord?  Or more in a place of despair, disillusionment, in a place of anti-climax, feeling abandoned and bereft?

Whichever it is, the risen Jesus comes into that place and speaks his peace.  God is here, with you.

Peace to you

And as he gives us his peace, he sends us to take his peace where we go – and the forgiveness of sins.

We are now God’s disciples here on earth, filled with his peace – and called to do his work.

Lord,
help me to believe,
in you, where you are,
what you can do.

When life is good and happy,
when it is dark
and painful
may I know your presence
and your peace.

And knowing your peace,
and receiving your forgiveness,
may I share it with others
who need it too.