Peace Be With You II
29 November 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 20:24-29 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (John 20:24-29 NLT)
Eight days later Jesus appeared to his disciples and this time Thomas was present. Jesus’ greeting the same as last time: “Peace be with you.” They would have remembered the words he had spoken to them not long before: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27 NLT) They were both—troubled and afraid. And it required more than just mental effort and determination to get back on track. They needed the breath of the Holy Spirit to rekindle their passion and help them find their way forward. Jesus understood.
Then immediately Jesus addressed Thomas. Poor Thomas who, because he was honest enough to express doubts when they told him a week earlier that Jesus had appeared to them, has since carried the name Doubting Thomas! He had said, “Unless I see the wounds, I won’t believe!” (Keep in mind that they had seen the wounds).
Jesus didn’t rebuke or exclude Thomas because of his doubts. Jesus met him with the experience he needed to change his doubts to faith. Neither does Jesus rebuke or exclude us present-day disciples when tragedy, disappointment, or delay occur and discouragement and doubt set in. We’ve tended to treat doubts as a sign of inferior faith, or as “sin”. In reality, doubt can be an indicator of sincere questions. 1) Don’t be condemned because of your doubts. 2) Don’t hide your doubts and hope God won’t find out! 3) Do be completely honest with Jesus and with a few trusted friends.
Father, I believe. Please help my friends and me to turn honest doubts into sincere faith. For the Kingdom’s Sake!