Daily Archives: April 11, 2021
1 Peter 2:21-25 (ESV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
John 20:19-31 (ESV)
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
Jesus and Thomas
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of This Book
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
“My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
Sometimes we get labeled, whether justly or unjustly. This is certainly the case in today’s Gospel reading. Jesus had appeared to the apostles, but Thomas had not been present. When the other apostles told him about it, he couldn’t accept it. Even though they had been together for three years, he still doubted them.
The Gospel of John is filled with expressions that give honor to Jesus. Some people called Jesus a great prophet. Others called him the Christ or even the Son of God. But it was the apostle Thomas – the one who has forever been labeled the “doubter” – who first proclaimed Jesus to be “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28). In the words of one biblical scholar, Thomas made “the most complete affirmation of Christ’s nature to be found on the lips of anyone in the Gospel.”
My Lord and my God! Every miracle Jesus performed, be it the healing of the man who was lowered down through the roof, the healing of the blind Bartimaeus, or the raising of Lazarus, points to these four words. Every teaching Jesus gave, be it the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the prodigal son, or the Great Commandment, points to these four words. Every revelation of God’s mercy and love points to who Jesus is and how he wants us to see him.
This story about Thomas tells the story of every believer in the history of the Church. Thomas represents each of us when we say, “I find it hard t believe.” Just as Jesus rejuvenated Thomas’ faith, he wants to rejuvenate ours when we are caught up in doubt. He wants us to be like Thomas – a people who overcome our very human and very natural doubts. He wants to help each one of us say, “Jesus, you are my Lord and my God.”
So today and all week long, proclaim these four precious words. Then watch to see how his grace will help you believe even more.
Jesus, you are my Lord and my God! Amen.