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|Posted on August 15, 2016 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
Thomas Gets What He Asked For
John 20:26 (ESV) Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
I think Jesus enjoyed entering through locked doors. These dramatic, miraculous entries were a part of confirming that He was indeed the Son of God, risen from the dead. This time all of the eleven were present and accounted for, including Thomas. Jesus did not want Thomas to be the only one missing out on the fact that He was risen from the grave, in the flesh, but able to appear in the room with the doors locked tight.
John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
Jesus gave Thomas the opportunity to test Him. I believe that Thomas was not the only that had doubts. He was the only one brave enough to articulate them. The others had doubted as well before Jesus had shown them proof of the crucifixion scars on His body. Note that Jesus did not wait for Thomas to ask to see His hands and side – He offered that proof immediately. Jesus admonished Thomas not to reject this proof but to believe.
John 20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus had shown Thomas the proof he needed, and Thomas worshipped Him as both Master and God.
John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus chided Thomas a bit for not believing until he had seen for himself. Then He pronounced a blessing on those who would believe even though they had never seen Him with their physical eyes. “Those” are those of every generation after the original disciples who had walked with Him on earth. Including us!!! We have not seen and touched Jesus’ physical, human body; but the Holy Spirit graciously has enabled us to believe with spiritual eyes and recognize His word in the Bible as truth. We are truly blessed!
John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John had walked over three years with Jesus, so there was much more he could have written. The Holy Spirit enabled John to discern what key events to record that would lead people to believe the things Jesus had done and said during His sojourn on planet earth. This gospel account was written so that people would believe and trust in Jesus and gain eternal life. There is power in the name of Jesus! Peter later preached concerning the name of Jesus:
Acts 4:12 (NASB) And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
Q – Thomas may have doubted, but that did not cause Jesus to reject Him. Jesus proved Himself to Thomas and through the Holy Spirit caused him to become a bold witness of the truth. John wrote so that people would believe. Do you ever recommend that a person who is seeking God read the Bible? Point them to the gospel of John as it is a clear account of Jesus life, death, and resurrection that can lead them to eternal life. I (Susie) have even seen just that one book of the Bible printed as something to give to people, called “Living Water.” I once had the Spanish Version. They are available at http://www.livingwater.org/#home for ministries who might want to give them out to visitors, seekers, or new believers.
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Jesus Walks Through Locked Doors
John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
The disciples were locked inside the room where they were staying because they were afraid the Jews would have them arrested for following Jesus. They were trying to stay inconspicuous, under the radar of the religious elite by not going out among them and being holed up behind locked doors. Suddenly, Jesus was standing in front of them. He did not knock or wait for someone to ask Him the password. He just entered through the locked doors without even opening them! Jesus, the Prince of Peace, greeted them with, “Peace be with you.” He was the only One who could restore peace to their trembling hearts.
John 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
Jesus verified that it was He by bodily proof, voluntarily showing the disciples the nail prints in His hands and the hole in His side where the spear pierced Him. The disciples were glad when they realized it was truly Jesus, and He really had risen from the dead as He had told them beforehand. The impossible was made possible by the power of the Lord.
We look forward to having perfected bodies when we are with the Lord someday. However, notice that the Lord chose to retain the scars of crucifixion to prove His identity and His love to His disciples. Michael Card has an excellent song called “Known by the Scars.” You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgkU2QPs6eo" target="_blank">http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgkU2QPs6eo
John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Jesus reiterated His message of peace and said He was sending them out. The Father had sent Jesus to share the kingdom of God on this earth, and now He was sending the disciples out as ambassadors to spread the Gospel, the message that the Kingdom of God was at hand and available to those who would believe.
John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
After the traumatic experience of watching their beloved Lord die on the cross and then seeing Him appear before them even though a heavy door was securely locked, the disciples needed a booster shot of strength and peace. When Jesus breathed on the disciples, he confirmed the fact that they had believed and trusted Him and had eternal life. Jesus enabled the disciples to be sustained until the Holy Spirit came in power to indwell believers about 40 days later at Pentecost. The disciples were not empowered to forgive or not forgive sins, nor did they ever do that in the accounts we find in Acts. They were to herald the fact that Jesus became our sacrifice, the substitute for our sin, in order that those who believe would be forgiven. When we proclaim the gospel message, we are leading people to the only One who can forgive and cleanse away their sins, Jesus. When we fail in that mission, people do not hear the message and do not have the opportunity to repent and be forgiven unless someone else shares. Jesus commissioned the disciples and us today to be witnesses of His amazing grace. This is what we are “sent out” to do. The purpose of our being “born again,” “saved,” granted eternal life is to glorify God and proclaim Him to the world. As Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, so aptly put it, “To know Him and to make Him known.”
John 20:24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
We are not given the reason that Thomas was absent. But He missed the excitement!
John 20:25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Thomas gets a bad rap for not believing, but Thomas was not satisfied to be a crowd follower. Perhaps he was from “The Show Me State” LOL. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t trust the testimony of the other disciples. Not sure why we pick on Thomas when the others did not believe the women when they said they had seen Jesus. Yes, we focus on Thomas as “the Doubter,” but history records that He became a great missionary and was martyred for His faith.
Q – As Christians, we have the responsibility to share the truth of the Gospel with a lost, hungry, and dying world. Are you actively telling others that Jesus can forgive their sins? Do you know how to share your faith? Find a believer who obeys this commission and ask to tag along. It is really as simple as telling others what Jesus has done for you.