Thursday, April 16, 2015

John 20:19-29 Believe it? or not? conclusion


Yesterday we stopped while marveling at how adamant Thomas was . . . he didn't say "I am having trouble believing that" or "Well, I have some doubts" but instead, "I will not believe."
That's a bit of an attitude, no?
Let's dig in again today.

We touched on this yesterday -- Thomas is actually telling God what he will accept as proof. Whew. Telling God to settle things on your terms is probably not a good idea.

That's why we see Jesus chiding Thomas:

                           . . . Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put
                           it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.  (John 20:27)

It made me really wonder . . . it seems that Thomas is being unreasonable with God. Why would Jesus even bother to show him His wounds, and invite him to touch Him? Why would he give in?

I guess if we sit back and think about Thomas, and try to put ourselves into his sandals . . . he was so unbending.
But wait! It had only been about a week now. Only a week ago, Jesus had died on the cross. One of the first stages of grief is anger; Thomas was probably a very angry man. He had followed Jesus for three years of his life, and adored the Lord so much that he was willing to go to Jerusalem and die with Him.
But then, Jesus was betrayed by another disciple, ridiculed, beaten, rejected, whipped, and then put to death in one of the most cruel ways ever devised by man.
And neither Thomas nor his friends could to a thing to stop it.
Maybe that was why Thomas wasn't there when Jesus appeared the first time. Sure, he could have been ill, or running an errand, or just late to the gathering.
No, I kinda think he was avoiding the company of his friends; he was angry and bitter and was sulking.
Thomas isn't being belligerent toward God, and he isn't intentionally trying to be unreasonable.
He's bewildered, and depressed, and he isn't willing to accept anything less than Jesus.

So Jesus shows Thomas mercy. He gives him just what he needs at that moment. And Thomas goes beyond a "head" faith to a personal, "heart" faith.

                        Thomas said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28)

Jesus, he's saying, you are my Master, and you are my God.  At that moment, he truly believed, and that was a transforming moment for him.

Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

What is God working on in our lives today? Do we have a demand before He can convince us? Are we asking for proof from the Almighty, the Creator of all?

Is He working with us about some doubts that linger in our minds? Is Satan using these doubts to cripple our effectiveness as witnesses for Jesus? As He did for Thomas, Jesus will give us just what we need at this moment. He will come to us in a quiet moment and make Himself real to us.

The desire of the heart of God is that we would know Him. He has not given up on us.

                      The one who obeys me is the one who loves me; and because he loves
                      me, my Father will love him; and I will too, and I will reveal myself
                      to him. (John 14:21)

He is real.
He is alive.
And He loves you and me.
Believe it? Or not?

                   Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not
                   believe will be condemned.  (Mark 16:16)

                   The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am
                   come that they might have life, and that they might have it more
                   abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his
                   life for the sheep. (John 10:10-11)

Believe, and receive life, abundant and free, in Christ today!

1 comment:

Belinda said...

"He loves you and me".....

For some reason, yesterday I thought seriously about this. I suppose *wink* God brought it to my attention. I normally dwell on the fact that I love Jesus, but I seldom really think about His love for me. Oh, I know He loved me so much he died on the cross, but He did that for us all. I need to get down to the nitty gritty and really truly remember that He loves ME. With all my warts. With all my failures to measure up. I need to dwell on THAT!
IF I can do that, then I don't have to be saddened by my disappointment to measure up. I can move past it and just feel His love.

That is my prayer for you all today. That you will feel His love for YOU!