Our scripture this morning is John 20:26-31.

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.” 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.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 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.

I have always longed for the experience the disciples had, seeing the risen Christ in person. Even the Damascus Road experience of Paul (Acts 9:1-19) would be wonderful, hearing Christ call me into His service. However, these were not given to me for the same reason they were given to the disciples and Paul.

In this passage we hear of Jesus appearing to His disciples in the locked room. Thomas had not been with them during the first visit, and had said “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.” (John 20:25). Thomas is only asking to have the same experience the others had, wanting desperately to believe but needing the blessing of Christ’s presence again.

Thomas and the others had known Jesus in person as their friend and teacher, so it was essential to their credibility that they see the Lord in person after His resurrection. They have been charged with carrying on His ministry and sharing the Good News far and wide. Jesus tells them “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v. 29). This is the reason we believe, the faithful testimony given by those who knew Him, and the reason we are called to carry on the mission.

Loving Lord, thank You for meeting our need to hear the Gospel, handed down by believers through time. Strengthen us and send us to do the same, loving as Jesus did and telling the world that Your kingdom has come near. Amen.

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