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Tuesday, April 19, 2022
"Unless I See"
Message summary: In our daily text Jesus gives a word of blessed assurance to all in subsequent generations who would believe without the benefit of being an eyewitness. "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Do you believe today?
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"Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told Him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it.' A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though 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; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'" (John 20:24-29).
I grew up in Missouri, which has the nickname "The Show Me State". I sometimes jokingly ask, "What state did Thomas come from?" Of course, people are perplexed, but I respond by saying, "He must have been from Missouri since he essentially said 'Show me'."
There are various views as to why Missouri has the "Show Me" nickname. One source states "the 'Show Me State' got its nickname because of the devotion of its people to simple common sense. In 1899, Rep. Willard D. Vandiver said, 'Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri. You've got to show me'."
With so much "fake news" I find myself more and more skeptical and want proof before I accept something as true. That's why I can identify with Thomas.
Thomas is often nicknamed "Doubting Thomas" based on today's Scripture portion, but in reality Thomas was an earnest seeker as evidenced by the fact that he was with the disciples a week after Resurrection Sunday. God is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
That meeting began in a remarkable way, "Though the doors were locked Jesus came and stood among them." Apparently Jesus, locked doors notwithstanding, suddenly appeared in bodily form and gave the disciples a word of needed assurance, "Peace be with you!" before turning His attention to Thomas.
Jesus was aware of Thomas' request for evidence, either having been informed by one of the other disciples or more likely by supernatural knowledge. He met Thomas at his point of need.
"Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." I don't see any evidence in the text that Thomas actually exercised this offer to physically examine the signature bodily evidence on the resurrected Christ. However, some interpretive art does indicate this.
However when Thomas saw the scars this powerful visual evidence was sufficient. He emphatically responded, "My Lord and my God!" He certainly became Believing Thomas, although Acts and the remainder of the New Testament do not follow his ministry. His last reference is in Acts 1:13 in a listing of the eleven. However he did his part in fulfilling the great commission and is best known for his ministry in India where to this day a group traces their heritage back to him.
Indeed, the nail-pierced hands of our Lord are a lasting reminder of the price paid for our redemption. Following the inquiry of Thomas in our daily verse Jesus was quite ready to provide him with this stunning evidence of His death and resurrection.
On another occasion Jesus was recognized following the resurrection when He opened His hands to break bread with two of His disciples on the Road To Emmaus (Luke 24:35).
In our daily text Jesus gives a word of blessed assurance to all in subsequent generations who would believe without the benefit of being an eyewitness. "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
We believe today! Do you?
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, You said the greatest proof of genuine love is when one lays down his life for another. We are grateful recipients of Your substitutionary death for us - the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Thank You for proving Your love as You endured the greatest test of love when You presented the greatest gift to humankind. God made You who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him by receiving forgiveness for our sins. And after you paid the price you rose from the dead! We're eternally grateful and, though we have not seen, by faith we do believe. Amen.
When Ester was little, like many children she was intrigued by boo-boo's and even more so due to her many "boo-boo's" from her frequent heart procedures and surgeries. If anyone was wearing a band-aid she would go right up and ask them, "What happened?" This could sometimes be quite embarrassing when she'd approach a total stranger!
She had a shirt she loved to wear with a very special picture on it. It showed a concerned little girl looking up to Jesus, whose nail-pierced hand was stretched out to her. With inquisitive eyes she asked, "What happened to your hand?"
Ester wore this shirt when we had a special ministry opportunity in a nursing home. She was able to illustrate my sermon as she greeted each resident and showed them her shirt! After she outgrew the shirt we lost track of it, but the opening photograph is the same photo print as the shirt we just described.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Scars In Heaven" Video Casting Crowns
The only scars in Heaven, they won't belong to me and you
There'll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in Heaven, are on the hands that hold you now
Brooksyne's note: If you have not yet listened to this song, please take the time to do so. It will touch you deeply and may be a resource for you to forward to someone who has recently lost a loved one.
Stephen's note: Sunday after church service I stopped by and prayed with a friend who had been called back home to New York due to his father's worsening condition. I considered a line from a video we had seen in church at the beginning of our service.
The resurrection is a declaration
That Jesus is King
And fear has no place
And sin has no reign
That pain is not permanent
That light overcomes darkness
That brokenness will be broken
We all have experienced this brokenness and some of you, like my friend, are in the midst of it as you read our message. May the reality of the resurrection assure you that one day there'll be no such thing as broken!
"By the Mark" Video Dailey & Vincent
"There's Joy In The House Of The Lord" Video Phil Wickham What a joy-filled song!
Will Jesus still have the scars of crucifixion in heaven? Interesting perspective from gotquestions.org
Built in 1884, the Lincoln schoolhouse originally served students in grades one through eight until 1951. The building was recently restored inside and out. In fact our neighbor Marvin restored the original cast iron bell seen in the bell tower.
This large stone grist mill along the Conestoga River near Brownstown, PA was built in 1856 and has been converted to a private residence.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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