The disciples had the great opportunity to walk, talk, eat, and experience Jesus in the flesh for three years. That is a long conference to attend!! I can’t imagine the “spiritual high” they must have been on as they entered into the last days of Jesus death and resurrection. The reality of the empty tomb hit hard and they were faced with the same choice we have today. Will we trust Jesus to give us the faith we need to believe and then act upon that faith? Let’s see what they did.
“Later, He appeared to theEleventhemselvesas they were reclining at the table. He rebukedtheirunbeliefand hardness of heart, because they did notbelievethose who sawHim after He had been resurrected.” Mark 16:14
“Andas theywere sayingthesethings (the two men from the road to Emmaus), HeHimself stoodamongthem (the disciples). He saidto them, “Peaceto you!” Butthey were startledandterrifiedand thoughtthey wereseeinga ghost. “Whyareyou troubled?”He askedthem. “Andwhydo doubtsariseinyourhearts? Lookat MyhandsandMyfeet, thatit isIMyself! TouchMeandsee, becausea ghostdoes nothavefleshandbonesasyou can seeIhave.” Having saidthis, He showedthemHishandsandfeet. Butwhile they stillwere amazedandunbelievingbecause oftheirjoy, He askedthem, “Do you haveanythinghereto eat?” Sothey gaveHima piece ofa broiledfish, and He tookit and atein theirpresence. Then He toldthem, “These are Mywordsthat I spoketoyou while I wasstillwithyou—thateverythingwrittenaboutMeintheLaw of Moses, theProphets, and the Psalmsmust be fulfilled.” Then He openedtheirminds to understandtheScriptures. He alsosaid to them, “This is what is written:TheMessiah would sufferandrisefrom the deadthethirdday, andrepentanceforforgiveness of sins would be proclaimedinHisnametoallthenations, beginningatJerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Andlook, I am sendingyouwhat MyFatherpromised. As foryou, stayinthecityuntil you are empoweredfromonhigh.” Luke 24:36-49
“In the eveningof thatfirstdayof the week,thedisciplesweregatheredtogether with the doorslockedbecause oftheirfearof theJews. Then Jesuscame, stoodamongthem, andsaidto them, “Peaceto you!” Having saidthis, He showedthemHishandsandHisside. Sothedisciplesrejoicedwhen they sawtheLord. Jesussaidto themagain, “Peaceto you! AstheFatherhas sentMe, I alsosendyou.” After sayingthis, He breathed onthemandsaid, “Receivethe HolySpirit. Ifyou forgivethesinsof any, they are forgiventhem; ifyou retainthe sins of any, they are retained.”
`But one of the Twelve, Thomas (called “Twin”), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe!
`After eight days His disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.” Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed. Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:21-31
My Heart’s Prayer: My Lord and my God! Help my unbelief. Too often I cower and shy away from what Your word says is true. Open my eyes Lord and give me the strength and courage through the Holy Spirit to act on faith. In Jesus Name, Amen.