See to Believe?

Posted by on Apr 19, 2020 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on See to Believe?

Grace and peace to you today! Let us pray…Dear Lord…thank you so much for the gift of salvation you gave us when you rose on Easter morning…and in 40 days ascended to your Heavenly Father. Thank you for the gift of life and promise that you would always be with us, guiding, teaching and protecting us. Amen Our gospel lesson for the 2nd Sunday of Easter is from John 20:19-31. The word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God. The reading for today from the Gospel of John begins the day after Jesus rose from the dead and when Mary Magdalene and the other disciples found that the tomb was empty. Mary, Peter and John (the disciple that Jesus loved) had come back to this room to tell the disciples that Jesus was not in the tomb and that He had appeared to them. The disciples are still locked in this room, because they are fearful for their life at the hands of the Jews…as they were known as Jesus’ followers. These followers had been in this room since before Jesus was nailed to the cross as they had all left the crowds and escaped to safety. The only one who had viewed the crucifixion was John who was the disciple that Jesus spoke to personally to ask him to care for Mary. While these disciples are cowering in the room, suddenly, Jesus enters the room. The door isn’t opened. Jesus walks in speaking “Peace be with you.” Can you imagine how thankful and joyful you would feel to hear those words from Jesus after the horror that they had heard about? Not only that, but they saw the wounds in Jesus hands, feet and side. Were they expecting this? I truly believe they were surprised and awe struck. Why, do you ask? Because even though they had heard about the Messiah coming and rising from the dead when the prophets’ and Psalms were read in the temples, it was hard to realize this type of miracle could really happen. I believe they were skeptical of what had been written in the Old Testament. Then, Jesus said to them, “As my Father sent me, so send I you.” He was commissioning them to be disciples to the whole world. He breathed on them…authorizing them to forgive sins of the people they were teaching. One disciple was not in attendance at this time. That was Thomas. Many have called him “Doubting Thomas”…but I prefer to say that Thomas was skeptical of what the disciples told him. This man, Thomas, had been with Jesus and the other disciples when they heard that Lazarus had died. He told his fellow disciples that they should accompany Jesus, no matter what the danger. (John 11:16) Tradition states that Thomas brought the gospel message to the east after Jesus’ ascension into heaven. But…for right now, let’s consider what Thomas said to his fellow disciples. He said he wouldn’t believe unless he actually saw the wounds of Jesus. He wasn’t totally different in his outlook from the disciples who didn’t believe Mary, Peter and John when they told their fellow disciples that Jesus had appeared to them and he wasn’t in the tomb. They, too, were skeptical. The skepticism was eliminated when Jesus appeared to them. Now…one week later, Thomas is again with his fellow disciples. This time, Jesus comes to them. He greeted them with “Peace be with you” and offered to have Thomas touch the wounds on His hands and feet. Thomas did not need to touch Jesus….he immediately declared,...

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