Day 8: John 20:19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
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.
The doors were locked. They were in hiding. They had survived the day but now night was upon them. They were preparing their hearts for their imminent arrest. They were living in fear.
Suddenly, Jesus stood among them. This is the first they had seen Jesus since his resurrection—a resurrection that none of them believed was possible. But there he was—in the flesh. They looked at him with their jaws hanging open. On the one hand, they were overjoyed to see him. On the other hand, now that they had seen him, they were instantly aware of their failure. They all ran—just as he had foretold. They had not tried to protect him or rescue him. As glad as they were to see him, they were equally ashamed.
What would Jesus say to them? He would have been within his rights to say: “Hello, cowards,” or “I knew you would all run,” or “A fine group of friends you turned out to be.”
Instead, he said, “Peace be with you.” He could have scolded or shamed, but chose to bless instead. “Peace be with you.”
Our Savior is aware of our weaknesses. He knows our failures. He doesn’t count up our sins to hold over our heads. He would rather bless. The disciples received what was totally unexpected—his grace. He does the same today to all of us who call upon him in brokenness and humility. “Peace be with you.”
What a Savior!
Doug Boquist | Lead Pastor