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Grace

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John 20:24-29 King James Version (KJV)
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Recently I have found myself seeing God’s abounding grace more and more in scripture. For years I have heard the particular passage of Thomas pointing to his doubts. Understanding Thomas’ doubt is inevitably clear yet I have found myself asking questions regarding this passage of scripture that I had never considered. Why would Jesus take the time to entertain the doubt that Thomas had residing in his heart? Why would Jesus show grace to Thomas when scripture clearly shares that Without Faith it is Impossible to please God? Among these two questions, many others swirled around in my mind. Then there it appeared so clearly. The Holy Spirit illuminating the word, showing me God’s grace towards Thomas and the grace that he shows towards us daily.

Among my many questions, I asked – Why wasn’t Thomas there with his peers, his brothers, his co-laborers of the Gospel?  “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.”  I do not want to assume where he was for scripture does not share where he was. He could have been grieving, he could have been serving in some capacity. It simply says he was not present. Often times, we feel we have been absent and missed God’s presence, events in our life, missed the flow or assignment or the various other calls, vocations, promotions, experiences, purposes that we sense God desires to be a part of.  We must note, scripture gave a clear description and calls our attention that it was eight days after his initial appearance to the other disciples. Scriptural meanings – eight means: New Beginning. (“The number 8 in the Bible represents a new beginning, meaning a new order or creation, and man’s true ‘born again’ event when he is resurrected from the dead into eternal life.”http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/8.html)  Here Jesus comes to Thomas making provision and showing him compassion, even in his doubt, to have a new beginning, a new order in his thinking. Allowing him to understand the error of his disbelief yet providing the healing grace to allow his heart to be circumcised from not accepting the testimony of his resurrection. Much like us today, even as believers, there are some areas in our lives – whether it is a wayward child, a marriage that seems like death has come and the corpse has turned blue and cold, parental and family relationships gone completely in the opposite direction of hope and tight knitted bonds to broken & tumultuous feelings that cause a seemingly unbridgeable chasm, to other broken places of emotions, health issues, and thoughts that seem like they cannot be resurrected and if God cannot blow into the nostrils of our concerns and issues that will bring his healing balm and cause all of those things to have life and be whole, unbroken, healed, & experience maturity in our love and faith walk. God providing us the grace to grow, the grace to forgive, the grace to mature, the grace to love and the grace to heal. We have been so focused on Thomas being the doubter – and he is. The other side of the story is the grace factor that we seem to overlook that Jesus extended to him.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Jesus appears and he utters: Peace be unto you. Sure we must consider that Jesus would say Peace be unto you because he is appearing, again, as our resurrected savior; adding to this, Thomas had yet to believe this to be true. Jesus is showing the grace of his compassion.

We witness Thomas unwillingness to further push the examination of Jesus, suddenly it appears his faith shifts because Thomas answers: “My Lord and my God” 

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God

By Thomas’ answer: “My Lord and my God”  His heart had been transformed and he makes a declaration. Thomas honors the Lordship of Jesus. He is now submitted, a yielded life to Jesus, a yielded heart to Jesus, a yielded belief system to Jesus. Jesus, as his Lord, takes Thomas’ clawing clutches off of his own life and renders Jesus the control. Allowing Jesus, his Lord, full access.
Jesus is more than our savior he is Lord or should be Lord of our lives. How many times we have gone to God regarding things and petition him yet those areas we seem unwilling to relinquish and try to control. It is as if we are rationing areas of our life to him. You do this God, yet I want to keep this. No – all access.

Thomas expresses his recognition of Jesus as my God. This is the Logos:  “In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God” (Jn. 1:1).[12] This Logos became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14), was crucified and risen, and now in John 20:28 is acknowledged Lord and God. With the confession of Thomas we have a supreme christological pronouncement, a tremendously advanced expression of faith which, despite its utter brevity, constitutes the ultimate statement in high Christology.[13]http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8173   Strong’s Concordance short definition: a word, speech, divine utterance, analogy.http://biblehub.com/greek/3056.htm

Even in Thomas’ doubt and his unreasonable request, we see God’s grace. Who was Thomas to make such a request to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? How Dare he!! Had he not heard the Rabbi teach? Had he not witness miracle after miracle? Could he not recollect the draw to walk with Jesus? Have we not heard the word taught? Have we not seen miracle after miracle? The miracle of us being saved – that he would make our hearts pliable and teachable to accept him as our savior. Can we not recollect the draw that made us disciples of Christ? God pours out his grace so we can grasp and believe and not to fall away. I am so grateful for his grace today.

 

 

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