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Elmhurst CRC
Thursday - Jesus and Thomas
March 31, 2016 Elmhurst CRC
Welcome to the Elmhurst CRC Devotional Experience. It’s Thursday, the fifth day of Easter week Our scripture reading today comes from John 20:24-31 Now Thomas (also known as 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.” 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.” Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. Do you ever have doubts about what people are telling you? Perhaps the story that they are sharing is just too hard to believe. Perhaps he did catch a fish but it wasn’t that big! So what do we do with that doubt? If you are like me, you ask further questions to try and establish the truth or you ask for evidence, you want proof. And as you receive answers to your questions and proof of the story you start to see that something that was initially unbelievable becomes believable. I don’t think it was any different for Thomas. To think that Jesus had risen from the dead is understandably difficult to believe. I think so often he is given a bad rap for his doubt, in fact he is known to many as “Doubting Thomas”. And with that name often comes a negative connotation. If you were Thomas in this story, how would you have reacted to the disciples telling you they had seen the Risen Lord? Could it be possible that Thomas wanted to see for himself so that his faith could be his experience and not the experience of the other disciples? As the disciples had seen the light, he wanted to see it also. In doing so I believe he is shining a light for us to use as an example as a way for our faith to grow, to not be afraid to doubt but then pursue them and go find the answers. I know as a parent I want that for my children, I don’t want them to believe in Jesus because I do, I want them to know Him for themselves. I want them to experience His wonderful gift of life that He offers. When Thomas encounters Jesus for himself, Jesus does not bring condemnation but answers his doubts precisely. In touching the wounds of Jesus, Thomas is able to confess who is standing before him, “My Lord and My God.” May that be our experience as we encounter the living, risen Lord. May His light shine. May you be encouraged that any doubts about our faith, if we are willing to bring them into the light, can be met in Jesus. Find a dark or dim place nearby. Bring along five sources of light for the fifth day of our experience. As you turn on each light share a doubt that you have or a concern that is on your mind. If you are doing this as a family have everyone share a doubt and then turn on a light after each one. When all the lights are on, speak these words: “Out of the darkness of the tomb, the light is shining. Jesus is the light of the world.”
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