April 11, 2021
John 20:19-31 (NIV)
Certified Lay Minister, Dutch Valley UMC
Tennessee Valley District
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.”
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), 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.”
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 that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Can you imagine what it was like for the disciples after the events they had experienced? The disciples were unsure of the future and afraid of what might happen next. When Jesus suddenly appeared, their fear turned into joy and peace! Thomas did not get to experience this sighting with everyone, but a week later he had a remarkable experience. Jesus appeared to the disciples again, and this time Thomas was there. He saw where the hands and the side had been pierced. He cried out in faith. Jesus reminded Thomas and the others that truly great faith is shown by those who have not seen and yet believe.
Many generations later we are those who have great faith and believe. We weren’t there when the wondrous events occurred, but we can read about them, study them, and pray for understanding. What a blessing it is to have the Word of God. Perhaps during this Easter season, we need to remember to share our faith with others. We need to share the Easter story and share the Good News. When we share the Good News, then people are given the opportunity to believe as 20:31 states, “that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Easter Blessings to All.