Don’t Be Faithless Any Longer: Believe

21st – 23rd April

Weekend Edition

They told Him, “We have seen the Lord! But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.””

John 20:25

When you think of Thomas, Jesus’ disciple, what do you immediately think of? Perhaps it is his nickname ‘Doubting Thomas’. Yet the more we read the story of Thomas, the more we realise that actually he maybe was not so much a ‘doubter’ but rather a ‘realist’. Isn’t it normal to want evidence that someone had risen from the dead, particularly after witnessing Jesus’ brutal crucifixion. Ok, yes, Jesus did say that He would rise again on the 3rd day but maybe what Thomas was feeling or going through, was felt by each of the disciples too.

A few verses earlier, we read that all the disciples, bar Thomas, had met together, locked in a room because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Yet what is easily missed, is Jesus’ actions in the following verses. Not only does He greet the disciples with peace, quelling their fears, but He shows them the wounds in His hands and the piercing in His side. Isn’t that incredible. This was exactly the evidence that Thomas needed to see. Doesn’t this show us that the other disciples probably had the same doubts too, but perhaps didn’t vocalise them as brashly as Thomas.

Yet, Jesus, true to form, when He finally did reveal Himself to Thomas, showed him His un-reserved affection, love and grace, by showing Thomas exactly what He showed the other disciples; the nail wounds in His hands, and the wound in His side.

After seeing the resurrected Jesus, Thomas’ life was never the same. We read in Acts 1:13 that Thomas was in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost. Furthermore, Church tradition has it that Thomas was the first missionary to spread the Gospel in South India.

Today we live in the age of grace, empowered by the Holy Spirit to believe in Christ’s resurrection through faith. If you have doubts about who Jesus is, then ask God to show and reveal Himself to you, trusting that He will be faithful to you, just as He was to Thomas, and to the other disciples. Let us trust God for a miraculous revelation of who He is for you personally and for all mankind! Once you meet the resurrected King, your life will never be the same again!

Fisher’s Of MEN: Re-Focus

20th April

““Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who He was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. Then He said, “Throw your net on the right hand side of the boat and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.””

John 21:3-6

Peter having previously denied Jesus, finds himself leading the other disciples back to Galilee, his home town. Although Jesus, in the previous chapter, had revealed Himself to all the disciples, it seems that Peter had decided to go back to his old life and do what he knew best, fish! After toiling all night and catching nothing, Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples and tells them to re-throw their nets. Of course the obvious happens and they catch a multitude of fish, 153 to be exact. After the catch John recognizes that it is Jesus, His Lord. As he tells Peter too, Peter jumps out the boat and swims to the shore to greet Him, shortly followed by the other disciples.

This passage is almost an exact mirror of the story in Luke 5:1-11 whereby Jesus again, miraculously helps the disciples catch fish. However, at the end of that particular miracle, Jesus turns and says to Peter that he will no longer catch fish but men; ‘You will be a fisher of men.’ So why do we see Peter back fishing again in this passage? It seems like Peter and the other disciples are hopelessly and aimlessly searching for direction. They had given up their careers to follow Jesus, and after three and half years of following Him, they almost find themselves leaderless and without direction. Fishing was the only thing they knew. Peter was the disciple’s leader, yet instead of leading them to catch men, he led them to catch fish.

Yet when Jesus again revealed Himself to them on the beach shore, He reminded them once more, that their nets were for gathering men, not fish. Jesus had previously showed this to Peter, when He commanded him to go and catch men.

Sometimes in our lives we get lost and almost feel like we are wondering in the wilderness. We lose our way and go back to the only things we know how to do. That is called our comfort zones!! Jesus commands us all to be radical, to be fishers of men. However, this revelation only comes when Jesus reveals who He is, in a fresh way in our lives. Peter had previously seen the resurrected Christ, yet it needed this miracle to get him back on track, to re-align his focus to Jesus’ commission and to jump out the boat to meet Him. Notice that Jesus didn’t call Peter out the boat, he jumped himself. When we have an encounter with the risen King, our lives radically change, as it did with Peter.

Have you lost your focus and are in need of re-aligning yourself with the revelation of the risen Christ? Are you willing to jump out the boat? Take a step of faith. He is just a prayer away!