Gospel Reading and Thoughts for April 27, 2014

Gospel – John 20:19-31Jesus and Thomas

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews,

Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

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.

So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them.

Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?

Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

 

Jesus always knows how to comfort us and tell us what we need to hear. In the locked room, the apostles are hiding away for fear that they too may be drug away and crucified. They likely don’t completely understand what happened to the body of Christ. He had foreshadowed that he would rise from the dead but in their limited human nature, they may not have understood what he was saying. And then He appears to them, probably startling them because they thought they were safely locked away. And the first thing Christ does is comfort and reassure them – “Peace be with you.” I wonder if some of them jumped from their seats in fear. Others may have rushed to his side. Surely all of them were taken by surprise – at least a bit!

But Christ comforts them, probably puts a reassuring hand on them, gives some a hug. And tells them he has a mission for them. Surely, it is not what they want to do, but He is sending them out to teach others about Him.

In the same way, Christ knows how to comfort us – what to say to our hearts to soothe us. But then He also sends us on our own missions. He wants us to follow His will rather than our own. He wants us to further His kingdom. Sometimes that means going outside our comfort zone, taking His hand and following him down the path where we cannot see clearly, knowing that wherever it goes will bring us closer to Him.

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