Today's Scripture Reading
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
Jesus and Thomas
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of This Book
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
One of the things I find comforting about the post-Easter lectionary readings from the gospels is the humanness of the disciples. The first followers of Jesus, they were actually present for Holy Week. They heard the incredible news on Easter morning straight from Mary of Magdala: “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18a)! Yet, here they are in verse 19 hiding in fear.
Maybe that’s a strange thing for me to find comfort in. But we haven’t heard Mary directly. Unlike Thomas, we never do literally get to put our hands on Jesus. So if I am afraid sometimes, if I am unsure how to live as an Easter person some days, if I have doubts and questions, it is okay. Those first disciples -- witnesses to the events that still shape our lives, persons often larger than life in our imaginations -- still struggled too.
If Jesus would treat the first disciples, in the midst of their fear and doubt, with such love and compassion, how much more will we receive?
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
Today's devotion was shared by