April 7, 2002

John 20:19-31

Later on that day (of resurrection), the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you." Then he showed them his hands and side.

The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: "Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you."

Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said. "If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"

But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, "We saw the Master."

But he said, "Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won't believe it."

Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them, Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you."

Then he focused his attention on Thomas. "Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don't be unbelieving. Believe."

Thomas said, "My Master! My God!"

Jesus said, "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."

Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.

1. These words are written that you will have real and eternal life in the way Jesus personally revealed it. So how is your life lived? What will your biographer have to say that will bring real and eternal life to another through the revelation of your life?

2. What are the most important first words with which you can enter a conversation? Jesus seems to have used the words Peace and Forgive a lot. Might you bring those qualities to the situations in life which you face? If you are not bringing these qualities to encounters to others, what qualities are you bringing?

3. So often we dismiss the slow to come around to our position. How do you keep hanging in there with others, even when they seem to be dead set against you? Might it have something to do with the eighth day? What is the eighth day in light of creation? Is it the day of working out of "salvation" through the stubbornness of GOD's love that will never let us get so far away that we cannot be reconciled? May it be soon be evening and morning, the next day.

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