Daily Devotion – April 16, 2021 – Pastor Brian Hansen

John 20:19-31 

19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” 

26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. 

What if our deepest longing, and the heart of this text, isn’t simply about seeing and understand the real resurrected Jesus and believing.

But rather, what if it is about trusting that Jesus sees us. And in seeing us, raises us up from the dead as well.

Jesus shows up to the fearful disciples and he sees them. He sees their fear. He sees that the breath of God, the Spirit of life and courage has been knocked out of them, so he breathes on them and raises them up and sends them out of their own tomb. “Peace be with you. As God has sent me, I send you,” he says.   Jesus shows up for Thomas and sees him. Sees his doubt and uncertainty. And Jesus speaks a word of peace, shows him his wounded body, and reassures him. “Do not doubt. But believe.” I’m still here, Thomas. I see you.

And Jesus shows up for us – the ones who have not seen – and he sees us. And blesses us as we walk by faith and not by sight.  We give thanks this day for the God who comes to us and who sees each and everyone of us and that includes you. All of you. With your doubts or your faith. With confidence or your fears God sees you and calls you into the hope and the promise of a new day.  Thanks be to God that we have one who truly sees us.

Let Us Pray:  God who sees me, be with me when I struggle to make sense of life, when the daily struggles and fears take hold and I want to hide locking my inner most self away from the world.  Lead me by your Spirit that I might live in your resurrected life.  AMEN