INTO THE WORLD
Loving Father, I come before you in weakness and smallness, so that I might be open to your might and glory.
Read John 20:19–31
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectSit quietly and recognize that Jesus is with you by his Spirit. Expect to hear from him.
How long does it take for the light to dawn? Some time, judging by the disciples and by our own experience. Evening on this most exciting and confusing of days, and they are locked away, afraid and uncertain, still not fully believing. It is to such people that the risen Lord comes. He breaks into the closed rooms of our fears, uncertainty and unbelief. In his presence there is joy (v 20), and doubts melt away (vs 27,28).
Jesus offers reassurance, a commission and resources. They, and we, are sent into the world as he was. To become intimately involved with its brokenness. To speak of the love of God. To witness to the death and resurrection of Jesus. To proclaim forgiveness in his name (v 23). To live out the life of the risen Lord in the middle of the brokenness, sinfulness and need.
We can’t do this in our own strength. Jesus gives his peace, a sense of wholeness and wellbeing that brings relief from fear. And Jesus gives his Spirit, as he had promised (John 14:16; 15:26 – 16:15). Only after Pentecost is there a full realization of all that this means and a full experience of all that the Spirit offers. We do not go alone.
Where will you spread the news of the risen Jesus this week? Where will you bring his peace to a broken world? Pray now for those you will meet.
Lord of my life, wherever you have placed me I want to be a signpost that points others to you. Help me, I pray, to gladly share the good news of the gospel.
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