John 20:24-29 New Living Translation
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[a] 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.”
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
Answering the Kingdom of God’s Hardest Questions
What is the hardest question we, as Christians will ever ask another person?
Reverend John Wesley, founder of Methodism gives the very simplest answer:
“How is it with your your Soul today?”
A very simple, non threatening, open ended openly friendly question to be sure.
But one that is not so frequently asked perhaps for the fear that someone might actually and truly take 20 minutes to “chew your ear off” giving their response.
Who is actually ready to suddenly separate 20 minutes, perhaps even more, for the extra donut and coffee, out of their day to truly engage this inspired soul?
Not going to risk being late for work?
Picking up one’s child from school?
Missing the wife’s best meatloaf dinner?
Being late for the opening pitch of your home teams baseball game?
Not really interested in risking that new friendship which might transpire?
Not really interested in receiving tough theological questions you are unsure you are able to give a sufficient non threatening answer for – “who is Jesus?”
Some churches don’t want you or me to ask those hard and honest questions.
Their mindset is they are reluctant or do not to respond to those questions which have no obvious and clear cut answers, which present no evidence of God, His existence, His attributes, His Miracles, His Sovereignty or Authority.
That’s sad, I think.
If we have been Christians awhile in these churches, we kind of get trained to know which questions we find easiest to ask and which ones to simply let go.
That’s where Curious Unbelievers and New Christians can be so refreshing.
They ask bold and fresh and honest and naïve, thought provoking questions.
They’re not afraid to seek for the Lord and find his answers.
Thomas is our designated doubter.
His doubts and questions enable our doubts to be expressed and to receive an answer from the Lord himself.
All A Necessary Part of God’s Plan All Along
First things first: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is 100% central to our Beliefs.
For their is no other name under Heaven by which man is saved! (Acts 4:8-12)
and also …
Romans 10:9-13 New Living Translation
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” [a] 12 Jew and Gentile[b] are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[c]
Jesus in The Synoptic Gospels
Though Jesus mentioned many times that He would rise from the dead, it never seemed to penetrate the minds and hearts and souls of any one of His disciples.
After all, the crucifixion would have left them completely dumbfounded.
They would not know what to respond with do or how to handle the prophecy.
They would or could never be sure where they should go or what they should do.
And when they finally heard that Jesus was alive, it came as a surprise to them.
Mark’s Gospel says,
“Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead” (8:31 NLT).
The disciples couldn’t begin to wrap their minds around the idea that the ugly crucifixion was or could possibly be any part of God’s plan for their prosperity.
How could something as ugly and brutal like that be called any “good thing?”
How could all that brutal humiliation, suffering and sacrifice have any value?
But it would be through Jesus’ death that death is defeated, eternal life came.
Jesus was saying,
“I’m in control. I know it sounds radical when I say that I will suffer and die. But I’m also saying that I will rise again. This is part of the plan. I know what I’m doing.”
This is what God says to us as well.
There are times in our lives as Christians when we may not understand what God is doing.
Why did He allow this thing to happen?
How could He allow this thing to happen?
Why did He allow those problems?
How could He allow these problems?
Why did He allow that tragedy?
How could He allow to that tragedy
And why hasn’t He intervened?
Why doesn’t He intervene?
It is hard to know why sometimes.
It is hard to receive the questions that are being asked here.
Because we simply have no way of giving any reasonable or correct answer.
But Jesus is saying to all generations,
“I am in control. I know what I am doing. I always know what I am doing.” (Psalm 46:10-11 AKJV)
10 Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
The absolute truth for every Christian is whatever we give up to follow Jesus will be more than made up to us in this life and in the life to come.
It will be worth it all.
It was all a part of God’s plan all along to reveal and to affirm the pathway it is necessary for any one, whether a non-believer, new believer or mature believer, to travel first declaring their unbelief, need for miracle to believe, then believe.
This Roadmap to Belief? God’s Plan For Us All Along
Hebrews 10:12-18 New Living Translation
12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,
16 “This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day,[a] says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[b]
17 Then he says,
“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”[c]
18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
It’s hard to fathom Christ’s final, agonizing hours upon a Roman cross.
The floggings, torture, and humiliation He endured were reserved for the worst of criminals.
It is no wonder, then, that with His last breath, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Tetelestai!—“It is finished” (John 19:30).
But what was this cry?
Was Jesus simply announcing His own death?
Was it an acknowledgment that the cruelty and pain were now finished?
Was it even something of a cry of defeat?
On this point, the Bible is clear: Jesus’ final word was actually a shout of victory, of triumphant recognition (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 10:12-14; 1 Peter 3:18).
He had fully accomplished the work He had come to earth to do.
In the realm of eternity, in perfect fellowship and harmony with one another, the Father had planned, and the Son along with the Spirit had willingly agreed, that this would be the way—and now their purpose was being accomplished.
So we must always remember that Christ’s sacrificial death was according to the Father’s plan.
Christ was chosen to bear the penalty of mankind’s sins “before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20).
Likewise, Isaiah prophesied concerning the Suffering Servant who was to come, saying, “It was the will of the LORD to crush him” (Isaiah 53:10).
From all of eternity, the Father chose the Son to be the Perfect one who would provide an “one and done for all time” atoning sacrifice for the sins of many.
The Father’s plan is paralleled by the Son’s sacrifice.
When Jesus walked onto the stage of human history, He was clear concerning His role and mission: “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38).
The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was not coerced.
Rather, He laid down His life in full awareness of and voluntary submission to the Father’s plan.
The truth and reality of this covenant plan of redemption is applied to our lives by the Spirit’s testimony.
The Spirit of God repeatedly affirms and continually testifies through God’s Word, in no uncertain terms, reminding us all of the wonder of what God has accomplished for us through Christ Jesus’ finished work on the cross (Hebrews 10:15).
Christ’s offering means we stand perfected in God’s sight.
Our sin has been removed by His Son, and we are clothed in the righteousness of His Son.
The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was never Plan B.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
In eternity past, the triune God determined that the road to Calvary would be the only way of salvation.
Bow today under the simple beauty and wisdom of God’s redemption plan, asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand more fully and appreciate more deeply what it meant for the Son of God to bear and take away your sin.
Receive the doubting Thomas’ who all too often choose to remain anonymous and separate from the joy and triumph first found in that Upper Room that day.
Let’s not be so anxious asking any one of those doubting Thomas’ the question:
“How is it with your soul, today?”
Let’s be careful not to squash asking those honest and seeking questions.
Our goal isn’t so much in asking the question, but in our and some Thomas receiving an authentic faith in the Lord, who is the answer to our questions!
“Are We Able … to Ask of the Master …
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Father, stir my heart to continue to seek after you. I want to know more about you, and I also want to be more aware of your presence in my life. I want my character to be conformed unto your will. So please know that my doubts and questions are my seeking you and not my seeking some random tidbit of knowledge. Give me the Spirit of revelation to know you more completely so that I might be transformed by your will rather than being conformed to the culture around me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
Adeste Fidelis! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.