In this passage Jesus appears to the disciples in a room where they are hiding out. He tells them to continue with his mission of love and peace. Thomas was not there when Jesus appeared and famously said he would not believe until he saw and touched Jesus and his wounds.
I invite you to read this sermon.
Second Sunday of Easter
George Burns once said a great sermon is one that has a good opening message and a good closing message with very little distance between the two.
Rather than dive into the part of this gospel that focuses on doubting Thomas, lets look at the first part of this gospel reading.
The doors are locked and the apostles are scared. They have good reason to be scared. Their leader has just been given a tortuous death on the cross for sedition. I suspect the ones who had him killed would like to clean house. They would want to get rid of the Jesus key followers and those followers are scared.
Then, even though the doors are locked Jesus appears in there midst in the flesh. How did he do that??
Apparently the laws of physics no longer apply to him (if they ever did). He can just show up. Just, for a moment, imagine yourselves in that room. You are mourning the death of a leader whom you loved and trusted and he suddenly appears. Jesus has just done the impossible.
I would have been speechless. I might have fainted. Emotions would have come to me that would be uncontrollable.
Jesus said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” He was telling them the mission was not over. The message of peace and love. The last commandment Jesus gave his disciples was to love one another. This mission needed to continue and today, we are on the same mission. This peace, this love is not simply confined to those of us in this room or people we consider friends. Our mission is to love even those who are hard to love. You have heard the saying that someone has a face that, “only a mother could love.” We are to love that person.
So, how do you do that. How do you love the hard to love. How do you love the unlovable. In a lot of ways, loving someone is not about them and who they are. It is more about you and who you are. The question we need to ask ourselves is how open are we to loving others.
In my case it is a call for me to change. I have to start looking for qualities in people that are a reflection of our creator. I have to see the God within each of us.
After Jesus said, “as the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Jesus breathed the holy spirit upon them . In the baptisms and reaffirmation of baptism we had last Sunday the breath of the Holy Spirit was upon us as well. The holy spirit is still in us. It is a force that will guide us and protect us, and when our end comes carry us to heaven.
Lets talk about Thomas. Doubting Thomas. He was like so many of us. We want to believe but it would be so good to have proof. I think that is why so many miracles are mentioned in the bible.
One of the questions asked in our bible study was: What enables Thomas finally to declare, “My Lord and my God!” What do we learn about the nature of faith from the experience of Thomas as well as that of the other disciples.
A. Jesus gave him undeniable proof.B. Some people need that kind of proof to remove their skepticism
C. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and still believe.”
That is us. We have not seen and still we believe. There is something inside of us that tells us Jesus was the Son of God. What he did on earth really happened. The promise of eternal life is real and will be kept.