Lent Devotional Day 45

Day 45
Friday, April 7

John 20:19-31

Jesus appears to the disciples

19 It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”

Jesus appears to Thomas and the disciples

24 Thomas, the one called Didymus,[a] one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”

 But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”

26 After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!”

28 Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” 

29 Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.” 

30 Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. 31 But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.

The first miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine. Throughout his time on earth, he transformed what was (water, disease, death) into something new (wine, health, life). In this passage, he appears to his closest friends to give them the next part of the story: “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” He gives them the Holy Spirit and the blessing of Peace.

But Thomas wasn’t there. And hearing about it, even from his trusted friends, wasn’t good enough. And so, Jesus gives Thomas what he needs. He shows himself to Thomas and offers his body (again). Thomas sees and (finally) believes. We mostly know of this disciple as “Doubting Thomas.” What we mostly don’t know is that he went on to preach the Gospel outside the Roman empire, ending up in India, where some believers today still call themselves “Christians of St. Thomas.” Moving from doubtful to decided,
Thomas accepted God’s mission. I think we all have some “Thomas” in us. And thankfully, we also have the Holy Spirit with us. Yes, as Jesus says, we should be able to believe without seeing. But thankfully, our God keeps giving us chances, keeps showing up until we can say, “I believe.”

Where has God intervened in your life? Are you comfortable calling it a miracle?

Dear God, thank you for loving me in my moments of doubt. Thank you for continuing to show up in miraculous ways, whether I recognize the miracles or not. Your love and power are constant, unlike my human heart. Help me walk your mission, share your love and change old things into new. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

By Deanna Jent

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