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Sermon for April 7, 2024 – Second Sunday in Easter

Welcome to this week’s episode, a special rerun from our Speaking of Life archive. We hope you find its timeless message as meaningful today as it was when it was first shared.

Program Transcript

Speaking Of Life 3020 | Life in a Handful of Dust
Greg Williams

John starts his gospel work “In the beginning.” Later Jesus creates sight for a blind man with a handful of dust. After his resurrection, he meets Mary in a garden on Easter morning. In the Upper Room, he breathes on his apostles. Notice John’s words:

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

John 20:21-22 (ESV)

Throughout the gospels, most vividly in John, we see the familiar images of dust, gardens, and breath. History started this way, in the garden, where God first breathed life into Adam. Here at the start of the New Testament church, Jesus begins the whole process again, by breathing the Spirit into us.

There’s that Hebrew word for breath—ruach—the word for Spirit.

Instead of destroying us for our rebellion and for turning from him, instead of starting over with a scorched earth policy from the ground up, God came here himself to re-create. These echoes of creation remind us that God always kept a remnant, Noah, the Exodus, the people brought back from exile. And then he brought forth his Son from one family, one woman, one womb.

He kept the remnant because that was his plan all along. He is the God who re-creates. He takes the dust and waste that sin has turned the world into and starts his kingdom here and says, “It is good.”

Has he breathed life into the dust of your life? Has he taken what is lifeless and dry and made it live? Think of the addict who is healed and goes onto support other addicts. Think of a mother who was hurt and abused as a child, but was then given her own children to cherish and break that cycle of pain.

We live in a world of death and resurrection with a God who, over and over, breathes life into a handful of dust. How is he breathing life into you?

I’m Greg Williams Speaking of Life.

Psalm 133:1-3 • Acts 4:32-35 • 1 John 1:1 – 2:2 • John 20:19-31

This week’s theme is the blessing of peace and joy. In our call to worship psalm, we are given a picturesque depiction of unity and harmony lived out among God’s people. The reading from Acts also displays a peace and joy in the form of solidarity and sharing of possessions among the earliest believers. 1 John links the fellowship among believers with the fellowship given in Christ with God, and then elaborates on confession and forgiveness, which brings peace. The Gospel text in John recounts the post-resurrection story of Jesus’ blessing of peace, along with his bestowal of the Spirit, on his fearful disciples behind locked doors.

A Double Blessing

John 20:19-31 ESV

The Easter season is a time when the church can once again revisit the biblical witness of the risen Jesus, along with the blessing that comes to those who put their trust in him. This Easter season we are following closely the Apostle John’s testimony of Jesus’ resurrection and the implications of faith in him based on who Jesus has revealed himself to be. Considering John’s gospel account of the first encounters of the risen Lord, along with a look at today’s account of a later post-resurrection appearance, we are given an opportunity to make use of a wordplay to make a point. That wordplay will be the word “double.” Which is why this sermon is titled “A Double Blessing.”

To set this up, let me point out some “doubling” that we see in John’s writing. First, the way John tells the story of Jesus’ first resurrection appearance in John 20:1-18, along with today’s story of Jesus’ later post-resurrection appearance, is by making use of two parallel “double-stories.” So, there are two doubles right there. If you remember John’s telling of the Easter story, he pairs the story of two disciples with Mary Magdalene. In doing so he shows a contrast between faith and doubt of those who are encountered by Jesus. In the resurrection story, it is the “beloved disciple” who demonstrates faith upon seeing the empty tomb, contrasted with Mary Magdalene who still believes Jesus is dead, even while standing face-to-face with him. Then, in our story today, John contrasts the response of rejoicing by ten disciples who are encountered by Jesus in a locked room, with that of Thomas who is absent and declares he will not believe without proof. So, now let’s take a look at some more “doubles” in John’s second use of a “double-story.”

As you read through this story you may notice a few more doubles. First, we see an image of two doors. There is the locked door of the room the disciples are hiding in and then there is Jesus, the Door, who appears in the room. Admittingly, that may be an exegetical stretch. But these are not: There are two occasions of disciples locked in a room. There are two blessings of peace pronounced by Jesus. There are two appearances of Jesus—one with the absence of Thomas and one with him present. There are also two presentations of Jesus’s hands and side. And just for fun, Thomas is referenced as “the Twin.” You may be able to find a few more doubles. But I probably should stop and make my point.

The point is simply to reiterate a pattern observed in all scripture from Genesis to Revelation. In Jesus, what is lost, is not only restored, but exponentially renewed. So, even using the “double” wordplay is not good enough. God is up to far more than just “doubling” of some blessing. He aims to bring us into the very source and fountain of all blessing, his own life and love shared by the Father and the Son in the Spirit. Here’s another way to think about it.

Borrowing from theologian Walter Brueggeman, we see a pattern particularly in the Psalms, and generally in all scripture, of God bringing us through the process of Orientation-Disorientation-New Orientation. When we go through a crisis, experience a loss, or have any experience that amounts to “disorientation,” we usually want to go back to the way things were. We seek re-orientation. However, not only is this impossible, but it’s not the pattern that God holds out to us in scripture. In Jesus Christ, God has done a new thing. He leads us to “New Orientation” which transcends the past and leads us to a joyous future. This framework is one aspect we can see in the story of Jesus encountering the fearful disciples in a locked room after the resurrection. Let’s take a look and keep in mind, the “double-blessing” pattern of Jesus’ work in our lives.

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19 ESV)

We can identify with the disciples locking the doors because of their “fear of the Jews.” When we go through “disorienting” events in our life we can be fearful of the future, locking ourselves away, grieving the loss of the past. But Jesus gets behind our locked doors. He doesn’t wait for an invitation, and he is not hindered by our fears. He shows up with the words, “Peace be with you.” For the disciples this would be comforting considering the last time they saw Jesus they had abandoned and denied him as they acted fearfully during the events leading to his crucifixion. But Jesus transcends our past actions and the past events of disorientation of our lives. He restores us with peace – a lasting reconciliation that frees us from all past events that have left us scarred and wounded.

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” (John 20:20-23 ESV)

Jesus used his own scars and wounds to serve as a connecting point for the disciples. Most likely, a very real fear the disciples had was being caught by the Romans and having their own hands pierced by nails and their own side impaled with a spear. To see the resurrected Jesus in their midst displaying these scars was a message that the Romans have no lasting power. Jesus gets the final word and that word in this moment is “Peace.” This is a second pronouncement of “Peace be with you” from Jesus. We can see the weight and force of the reality of peace that Jesus brings by his speaking of it twice. If all of creation was called into existence through the Word spoken once, then how much more of a reality of something he speaks twice! In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we do indeed have an abiding and lasting peace.

Within this reality of peace given to us, Jesus then commissions the church. He tells the disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Jesus’ whole life and ministry was lived in the Spirit. From birth, through ministry, and all the way to his death, all that Jesus said and did was done in the Spirit. This is how the church is sent into the world. We are not sent out alone or abandoned. We are not sent out on our own power, cleverness, or ability. He begins a new mission for the disciples as he “breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”

Being sent does not mean being sent away from Jesus but being sent with Jesus into his continuing ministry. Jesus has begun a new thing in his disciples to go out and fearlessly proclaim the new creation and it’s new King. As we see who Jesus is as the resurrected one who sends his Spirit, we can move forward into the new orientation he has for us. It’s in this newness that we have life. There is no going back to the past, but we need not fear the future as Jesus stands as the Alpha and Omega, redeeming all time past, present, and future in his finished work on the cross. And we are not left alone but are given the Holy Spirit who encourages and empowers us to move forward into the new life and mission he has for us. The disciples are about to take their first steps from being fishermen to being fishers of men. The “double-blessing” is upon them. It’s a blessing held out to us as well in Jesus Christ.

In giving the Holy Spirit for this new mission the disciples would be entering, Jesus gives a descriptor of what that will look like: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” We will want to make sure to understand this in light of all scripture. We know Jesus is not giving us the power to make people forgiven or not forgiven but rather he is teaching the disciples the importance of living in the Spirit. As we forgive others, we come to understand more fully the truth and reality of forgiveness found in Jesus.

As a side note, Jesus also reveals by showing them his hands and his side that he is no ghost. His resurrection is a bodily resurrection. He restores and redeems all humanity with all our scars and all our wounds to a glorified body with a glorious future. That’s a glory we can’t fully comprehend this side of death. But Jesus gives us a glimpse of it as he stands unaffected and unhindered by the scars from his crucifixion. Those scars are now being used to elicit rejoicing from his disciples. We can trust that he will turn our scars and wounds into points of rejoicing as well.

It’s also the scars of Jesus that serve as the point of connection for Thomas to overcome his doubts.

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, 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; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29 ESV)

Now we come to see the contrast in faith that John highlights with his “double-story” of the ten disciples first encounter with Jesus behind locked doors, and Jesus’ second encounter with Thomas included. It’s important to note here that even though the ten disciples who were in the room when Jesus appeared are telling their brother Thomas that they “have seen the Lord,” they too, along with Thomas in this moment, are still hiding behind locked doors. Often Thomas bears the brunt of unbelief in this story but that may not be a fair reading of John’s point. Each person in John’s narrative is dealing with the reality of Jesus’ resurrection in different ways and at different times. Faith in Jesus is personal. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to putting one’s trust in the Lord Jesus. It’s a work of the Spirit in each of us at a very personal level. It is not some mechanical method, automatic technique, or magic formula at play. Faith, by which we mean trust, is, by definition, something that can only take place in a relationship. And Jesus by the Spirit, is the initiator of that relationship. And he will take whatever time and approach that is fitting for each of us to grow our faith in him.

For Thomas, it seems he needed another week to even be in the same room as the other disciples. They are all behind locked doors, but Thomas seems to have another door locked as well. The door of belief. And before we look down on Thomas, let us not forget the many times we have done the same. Whether through life experiences or human reasoning we decide that Jesus is not to be trusted. Have you been there? Maybe you have been there and back again. Trust takes time and fear certainly impedes our progress. So, we react by locking the door and refusing to let Jesus in. But then, unexplainably, and without our invitation…. Jesus appears. He doesn’t need our belief in order for him to be present in our lives. He just appears behind our locked doors of unbelief and starts bringing forth a faith that we couldn’t bring forth on our own. Praise God! Jesus finds a way behind all our locked doors, and he meets us where we are, building a faith in us that leads to life.

Did you notice that Thomas’ demand for evidence that Jesus was alive was the very thing Jesus had already presented to the other ten disciples? And Jesus did not lose his patience with Thomas, or tell him, “Sorry, you should have been here last week.” No, he just presented his hands and side again, this time with the added invitation to touch them as that was what Thomas declared it would take for him to believe. And to Thomas’ credit, he was a man of his word by professing, “My Lord and my God!” We don’t know if Thomas actually touched the scars or not, but we do know that Jesus restored his faith by meeting Thomas where he was in his unbelief.

After Thomas’ profound confession of faith, Jesus asks, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Is Jesus making a comparison here to diminish how Thomas grew in faith? I think we are inclined to read it that way as we love to make comparisons that put us in a favorable light. But it seems more probable, in the way John is writing this, that Jesus is alluding to Thomas’ and the other disciples’ role in being sent into the world to proclaim the very message they have just come to believe. Jesus is risen. In hearing this message which the disciples will preach, others like you and me, who were not present to witness Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, will share the same blessing of being encountered by the risen Jesus, who gets behind our locked doors to bring us to faith. In this way, the passage concludes on a note of double-blessing that comes with the blessing of Jesus appearing to the disciples and commissioning them to tell us the story today where we can receive the blessing of placing our trust in the one who was raised to bring us new life. And that’s the story we have just heard. Do you believe it? If not, there are more stories to be told. Jesus is not done getting behind our locked doors and bringing us into his peace. John concludes saying much the same thing:

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31 ESV)

As we continue our journey through this Easter Season, may we see the risen Lord who gets behind our locked doors. As he meets us where we are, even in the middle of our fear and pain of loss, may our faith grow as he encounters us, helping us to move forward in newness. This new orientation in Jesus is where we find life–joyous, abundant overflowing life. It’s where we find that we are “double-blessed.”

The Weight of Glory w/ Jon Ritner W1

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April 7—Second Sunday in Easter
John 20:19-31, “Peace Be With You”

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Program Transcript

The Weight of Glory w/ Jon Ritner W1

Anthony: Let’s transition to our first pericope of the month. It’s John 20:19-31. I’ll be reading from the Common English Bible. It is the Revised Common Lectionary passage for the second Sunday in Easter, which is April 7.

It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.” 24 Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.” 26 After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!” 28 Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.” 30 Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. 31 But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.

Jon, Jesus came to his frightened friends and said, “Peace be with you.” And then goes on to say, “As the Father sent me, I’m sending you.” And this seems to be significant in understanding who God is and what God does and what he would have us to do. What say you? What does this have to teach us and compel us to do?

Jon: Yeah, I’ll be honest. This phrase, peace be with you, is a phrase that continues to grow and expand as I mature in my own theology, I think. I was born in ‘75 and grew up and in and around the church without it really being something that was a personal relationship with me.

And when I heard phrases like, peace be with you, offered as a benediction—I can remember even one of my parents who would finish their letters, peace and joy, the word “peace” for me was always a 1960s and 70s definition of peace, right? It was either global peace, world peace, or we don’t want wars. So, peace as an absence of conflict. But I was like, that’s not what my parents are writing in their letters.

What I thought they were writing was more of a hippie ‘”peace,” more of “cool out, man,” like a relaxed chill. As if Jesus shows up and he can sense that everyone’s super anxious and he is, cool out, boys; I’m with you.

And the more I grow, the more I understand the essence of this word “peace,” and its Old Testament roots in this Hebrew version of shalom, I realized that it’s not either of those things completely, right? Yes, God’s peace might offer calm from our anxiety and yes, God’s peace does ultimately maybe get expressed as an absence of conflict, but at its root, this word shalom is the defining characteristic of God’s kingdom.

It’s not just the absence of something; it marks the presence of God’s power, of God’s Spirit. It’s God’s rule and reign wrapped up in one word. So, shalom is justice and love and beauty and harmony and reconciliation. God’s shalom captures the redemption and renewal of all creation into the way that the world was meant to be.

So, I think what Jesus is trying to do when he shows up to these disciples, some of whom haven’t seen him yet, is he’s trying to mark the inauguration of this new kingdom they’ve been waiting for, that has been coming. But literally his resurrected body is the first physical object that is completed in this kingdom.

It’s been he’s the first person who’s resurrected. And so, what he’s saying is, I come with this new peace we’ve been waiting for. I come and I’m ushering in my kingdom in this shalom. And so, because of that, everything has changed.

I’m not alleviating all conflict. My gosh, these men will all die for their faith. More conflict is coming. And I’m not getting rid of all anxiety because there will be much anxiety in the years ahead as they try to follow Jesus into ministry. But what he’s saying is that the peace of my kingdom has become even more real now through my resurrection. And the story is taking on a new chapter, so to speak.

And I love the idea that when he says, peace be with you, I think also what he’s hinting at is peace is with you because I am peace. That peace is a person, and so his body—the fullness of who God is in the Incarnation and now in the resurrection—is the first expression of the fullness of God’s peace.

And what’s crazy to me—and I’ve always wrestled with this—is why does he still have holes in his hands? Why does he still have scars? Shouldn’t the peace of God, the restoration of all things have removed those scars, those wounds, the marks of the wounds, right?

But I am so encouraged as someone who has wounds in my life, who has emotional scars in my life that have continued to be part of who I am even as I follow Jesus, to recognize that God values those experiences and transforms them. And I remember hearing a sermon on this years ago, and it brought tears to my eyes. This moment with Thomas, Thomas says, the only thing that will prove God’s presence to me, the only apologetic I’m going to believe are the wounds. The only evidence that God is real will be if I see Jesus and I see these wounds.

And I have found in my life that as many times as I’ve tried to argue people into the kingdom with apologetics around the validity of Scripture or the historicity of our faith or arguments to the nature of God, what often really connects with people on a deeper level is when they see the healing that has come in my life that Jesus has brought in areas of my woundedness. And so, I’ve learned to steward my pain and suffering and weakness and to be honest with that and say, hey, you want to stick your hand in the hole? Stick your finger in this hole. You want to see my scar, so to speak? Because I’m not bleeding anymore and Jesus is not actively bleeding, but there’s still an indicator that pain and suffering took place. And yet he has transcended that and that’s part of that peace, too.

Anthony: So, taking that a step further, and I agree with you, I heard somebody once say, Jon, that I trust men who keep their wounds where I can see them.

And I wonder, how can we embody that sort of transparency, like here I am scars and all to a world that needs to know that’s okay. Because it just seems to me, we’re often trying to hide the wounds and especially in a social media age where everything needs to look perfect when we know it’s not.

So, what would you say when you’re going out into your parish, your neighborhood, talking about how could you embody peace be with you?

Jon: Yeah, the way you said that reminded me of that famous scene in Jaws where the two men are under deck and they’re basically having a competition of to show off all of their scars and wounds. Oh yeah look at this one, [he] shows the gash in his arm. Then the guy pulls up a shirt, oh, yeah look at this one. And there’s this bonding that is taking place. They go from competing with each other to actually appreciating, okay, you are like me. And we don’t need to compete anymore. Let’s just celebrate that. We both had these experiences and we both survived them.

And I think in our culture around us when people’s wounds are being exposed, when we see someone going through something that might initially bring judgment from us, maybe they’re going through a divorce, maybe they’ve had a catastrophic moral failure, maybe they are embarrassed from something has come out that is a wound, that is a trauma, the natural human fleshly tendency is to either distance ourself from them or to judge them or to say, thank God I’m not like them.

But I think what Jesus is inviting us to do is actually to draw near. And say, your wound has been exposed. Can I show you my wound and can I maybe point you to the one who has healed me of my wound? And so, it’s not that I am without scars or without wounds or without faults, but actually I am bearing them up in a way that might allow me to connect with you.

And that’s where the real hope for that person might come from. So, it’s ironic. You said about social media because it’s something that I’ve wrestled with a lot. And I in my on again, off again, use of social media, it’s very hard to figure out how to be transparent because it’s not a medium that seems to welcome or celebrate that.

And I have seen people try to post like, I couldn’t get out of bed today and I’m really depressed. And I often feel like I don’t know how to even respond because there’s no intimacy of community right now. I’m in my house here, you’re at your house, stuck in your bed. And it does feel artificial. I don’t want to say inappropriate, but artificial. It’s very different than saying to someone over coffee, hey, can I let you know something.

Anthony: That’s absolutely it. Jesus did not say the words, peace be with you, on a phone call or a zoom meeting. He literally came through the walls and showed up and was present with proximity. I think you’ve really nailed it. It’s about proximity and relationship, eyeball to eyeball.

I’ll repeat something I’ve said in the past, I think God and his brilliance put tear ducts in her eyes because our tears are meant to be seen by others in trust and relationship, that people can say, yeah, I’m here; I’m with you, as Jesus did.

Thomas was gifted with this experiential encounter, a very personal one with the risen Lord and his doubt melted away into one of the greatest proclamations of faith in the entire New Testament: my Lord and my God!

What does this encounter have to say to us beyond what you’ve already said? Anything you want to add there?

Jon: I think it’s a great pattern for us to understand how the kind of modern secular individual is drawn into faith in Jesus—maybe even “postmodern” is a better word. In modernism, there was such an emphasis on the apologetics of information. Paul Little. Josh McDowell. All of you probably have all the same books I have on how to argue, how to articulate your faith, how to answer every question that someone has so they have certainty.

I’ve got two teenagers in my house. That’s not their starting point anymore. They want to know, is this Jesus that you keep talking about, dad, is he real? And if he is real, how do I experience him? When you say that the way we experienced Jesus is through the Holy Spirit today, what is the Holy Spirit? How does he engage with us?

And so, this generation, this more postmodern secular culture, is longing for spiritual encounters, spiritual experiences. And so, Jesus is, like you said, drawing near, inviting them in a relationship, saying, reach out and touch.

He’s validating that. He doesn’t say to Thomas, you man of little faith, I can’t believe that you had to encounter me before you’d believe the testimony of your friends. They testified to you that I was alive, and you didn’t believe them. Gosh, be gone. He goes, no, I get it. Some people, that’s what you’re going to need. So, I’m here. So, touch it. What do you want to do? You want to touch it? You want to hug me? What are you going to need to have an encounter with the resurrected Jesus? And when he has it, it clicks.

We are now the incarnation of the resurrected Jesus as the local church, and it’s our responsibility to be praying for people to have encounters, to help facilitate those encounters through our own expressions and activities and to validate this need that people have to really encounter God alive and at work in the world around them.

Anthony: It’s amazing to me, Jon, how frequently you see people of Scripture having doubts. And so often we want to push them aside, like you said, ye of little faith, but God doesn’t seem to be too worked up about that. He keeps showing up, keeps pursuing, and keeps drawing all people to himself. Hallelujah. Praise God.

Small Group Discussion Questions

  • Can you think of some examples of when you were “double-blessed,” meaning you got something that far exceeded your expectations? Describe this experience. How might that compare to what the disciples experienced when Jesus appeared in their locked room?
  • What did you think of Walter Brueggeman’s insight of the biblical pattern of Orientation-Disorientation-New Orientation? How often are we looking for reorientation when Jesus is aiming to bring us into a new orientation?
  • What are some examples or experiences you can share of hiding behind locked doors out of fear?
  • What did it say to you to read that Jesus appeared in the room that the disciples had locked? Can you think of times Jesus appeared in your life without your invitation?
  • What did you think of the statement that “faith is a work that can only take place in a relationship?” How does understanding faith as trust in a person change how you understand faith in Jesus? How does this shape our view of what Jesus is doing in our present circumstances, whether good or bad?
  • What was your impression of Jesus’ actions and words to Thomas, when appearing to the disciples for the second time? What does this say about Jesus and his heart toward us?
  • Has this story of Jesus, appearing behind the disciples’ locked doors, helped you grow in trusting Jesus a little more?

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