Looking at today’s scripture, I wonder how we would compare to what the disciples went through. I know that it was much harder for them than us in so many ways; however, maybe we are more alike in our response to what is going on around us.
John 20:19 tells us that, “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,” the disciples were locked down and the reason it tells us is “the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews.” They were persuaded their lives were in peril from the same Jews that crucified Christ. That is not much different than many people today who are living in fear. I know that we have the COVID-19 pandemic going on now, but so many people live in fear day in and day out.
The resurrected Jesus came in their midst and spoke, “Peace be with you.” Just as it is with the disciples, the words of Jesus are the only thing that can chase away fear. Then verse 20 reads, “The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Thomas was not with them that day, so he did not believe them about the resurrected Jesus until he could see his hands and side. In verse 25 he declared, “I will never believe.” That is how some of us today feel about the promises of God; however, that is where faith comes into the picture.
Verse 26 tells us that Jesus again joined them behind the closed and locked doors. He again greeted them all, “Peace to you.” He then addressed Thomas by saying, “Put your finger here and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
In verse 29, Jesus delivered the most important part of this message: “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Are we going to survive this? YES, we will! However, there will be much suffering and sacrifice, and what will truly get us through is leaning on God’s promises. Our faith is tested in many ways and this is one of those. We must step up, share our faith and encourage others to believe God’s word too.
Jesus said in verse 21, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” He is sending all of us regardless of our degrees, titles or positions. You may ask, “WHAT IS REQUIRED?” I am glad to tell you that two things are required: FAITH and OBEDIENCE. It is not required to see in order to believe as Thomas. Remember Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
When you step out by faith and obedience, there is a blessing that others will not receive. When you move on God’s promises, others will see and will be challenged to do it, also. Now, go forth in faith loving and serving God by loving and serving each other.
Duane Williams is pastor of New Horizons Ministries in Kingsport.