Last week we looked at Mary Magdalene being the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection in From A Life Of Dishonor To Receiving A Great Honor. Today we will look at the second and third appearances of Jesus after his resurrection that John records. There were other appearances one can read about in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. But John records these two to set up the backstory to a wonderful truth Jesus shared.
After Jesus’s appearance to Mary, John records Jesus’s appearance to his disciples, well all but one. Jesus displayed his power through the ultimate grand entrance. He appeared among them without going through the locked door.
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!”
This would definitely get my attention sitting there talking with friends, hiding behind a locked door out of fear and all of the sudden there is Jesus in the midst of the group. He gives them the simple customary greeting-Peace be with you.
Jesus showed them his hands and side to provide proof it was indeed him and even more to show them the depths of his love that he would do as he said in John 15:13:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
The one who wasn’t there? He is the one we get the phrase doubting Thomas from. In all fairness to Thomas, we have to understand where he was coming from. He experienced the same things the other disciples experienced watching Jesus be arrested. He knew Jesus had been crucified. Yes, he was there when Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead and yes he had heard Jesus talking about dying and defeating death. But think of the emotional roller coaster for him and all the disciples. So Thomas expressed his doubts.
“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.”
The stage is set now for Jesus to repeat his grand entrance thus setting up a beautiful truth for us.
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!
I imagine the other eleven weren’t used to this but for Thomas it was the first time. Jesus told Thomas:
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.”
Then Thomas believed.
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
All of this sets up the wonderful truth for you and me. For all who have believed in Jesus over the centuries even though we have not seen him with our eyes.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
There is a greater blessing for those who believe but have not seen. That is for all who believe in Jesus. We will not fully know what that blessing is until we enter into heaven.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.