😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you. Sunday’s Gospel reading was about Jesus visiting the disciples two different times. Once without Thomas present and once with him there. I really like the different treasures and focal points God gives us whenever we read His word. This time He called my attention to John 20: 21-24 “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.” And in the 25th verse Thomas says “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my fingers into the nailmarks, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
So often Thomas gets a bad wrap for wanting, desiring proof that the Lord is alive and that kind of becomes the focus of these verses, but did you notice that Thomas didn’t get to have Jesus breath the Holy Spirit upon him? Sure, it’s easy to believe when He’s standing right in front of you breathing His Holy Spirit upon you. I can only imagine if Thomas was there the first day and Peter wasn’t, we would all be saying doubting Peter. After all, Peter did have a history of denying Christ, right? Once we’ve experienced the true presence of Christ breathing His Holy Spirit upon us, it can be hard to remember what life was like without Him. Because of that, it can be hard to put ourselves in others shoes when we see and hear them express doubts and unbelief in the Lord. Be patient and just as Christ did, offer them peace and His presence. Looking at verse 21 “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.” It took a couple times for His closest friends and disciples to be willing to accept His peace when offered, so no doubt it will take multiple offerings of Christ’s peace for someone who doesn’t know Him to be willing to trust and not doubt what they cannot see. The eleven disciples saw and felt His presence in that room when Christ breathed the Holy Spirit upon them. They expected Thomas to believe without seeing Him or feeling His presence. It takes multiple experiences of Christ’s peace and presence for us to believe. So, what does that mean for you and me? It means that we never know where that person, that is standing in front of us, might be in their walk. We have a choice to offer His peace and presence to them or not. Even when you offer His peace and presence, you may never know the results of how He is moving within that person. But here it is…That’s where we have to trust and not doubt that which we cannot see. We have to trust that He is present and making Himself known so that they too will come to believe and rejoice in His glorious presence. Bless others and be blessed.
#ZachWilliams – Walk with You