Friday

3 July 2020

John 20:24-29

A 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.’ Then 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.’ (vs. 26-27)

Psalm: Psalm 31:1-6    

Background 

Have you noticed how some politicians, no names, no pack drill, don’t like to admit to an error, let alone apologise if something goes wrong. Of course this is not just a trait of politicians. I see it in myself. Sometimes, after blowing my top, I’ll go back and say sorry, perhaps even be more gracious. But it is as though I can’t bear to be wrong, so I point out the wrong in others. And if they’ve genuinely hurt me I’ll be back at them all the more swiftly.

I think that’s why, every time I turn to this passage and the one that precedes it, I am both amazed and humbled. Remember that while Mary had met Jesus at the tomb after his resurrection he first meets the men in a closed room. This for me would be a time for a few home-truths. They had let him down, big-time. Remember Peter had denied  that he knew Jesus. The other disciples, putting it politely, had dispersed. Only the women remained to the very end it seems.

So now, in this room, this is a time for putting things right. And Jesus does. Surprisingly, no criticism, no recrimination. Simply those words, "Peace be with you." Then the words repeated. And a week later Thomas is there, and hears the self-same phrase, "Peace be with you." More than that, Thomas is given just what he needs, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Jesus treats all his disciples with grace, understanding and love. But he also regards them as individuals, knowing their needs and seeking to meet them. Would that we could be like that with each other.

 

To Ponder:

  • How do you feel God has treated you as an individual in your life?
  • How do you think the Church could better recognise that we are all different?

Bible notes author

The Revd Andrew Pratt

Andrew is a Methodist supernumerary presbyter, Honorary Research Fellow at Luther King House, Manchester, and author. He has written over 1,500 hymns.

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