Summary: The disciples report sighting Jesus after the Resurrection.
“Disciple Stories” Jesus Sightings Part 3
“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.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:27-28 NIV
Intro: Today we continue the Sermon Series “Jesus Sightings.” We have looked at the Jesus sighting of the Easter Jesus by Mary Magdalene and the other women. Last week we heard about two men on the road to Emmaus sighting Jesus after the resurrection. Today we are going to explore another Jesus Sighting. This resurrection sighting is the “Disciple Stories.”The first sighting of the Easter Jesus by the disciples was on the evening of the resurrection day. The disciple John tells us his first hand sighting in John 20:19-25.
A young man was very skilled at picking pockets. One day, he took something that felt like a wallet full of money only to discover, when he returned to his hiding place, that it was a copy of the New Testament. Angry, he threw the bible to the floor. Yet later that night, unable to sleep, he remembered the little book. He started to read the New Testament. Reading the bible changed his life. He soon abandoned his bad habits, and surrendered his heart to Christ. From that day forward he looked for opportunities to tell the disciple stories about the risen Jesus.
Do you take opportunities to tell your “Disciple Stories” about Jesus?
The Disciple Stories after the crucifixion began as one of fear. Ten of the disciples were meeting to pray. Judas who betrayed Jesus was already dead and Thomas the disciple was absent from this first Jesus sighting. John 20: 19 “the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews”who had crucified Jesus. Maybe you are afraid to share your faith. Fear of not knowing what to say. Fear of saying something wrong. Fear of sharing the Gospel but nothing happens? The original Greek: φόβος, ου, ὁ Phonetic Spelling: (fob'-os) means panic, fear, the cause to withdraw, fleeing because of feeling inadequate, without resources. To remove oneself. To avoid because of dread. You cannot open someone’s heart to the truth of the Gospel as long as you are “fob'-os”
As Christians we are called of God to tell the Disciple Stories. To share what Christ has done. Some of the last words of Jesus on earth were, “Teach these new disciples to observe everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:20
Here is a simple faith question. How do you get to the place where you can teach a Sunday School class? How do you get to the place where you can teach a Wednesday night GROW class? How do you get to the place where you can participate in evangelism? How do you get to telling others what God has done for you? Philippians 1:6 “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” In other words all you have to do is be willing to start it. God has already promised to see it through to completion. God says that He will complete your incompletions. But you have to do your part and break out of everything that is holding you back. God’s work for you began when Christ died on the cross in your place. God’s work within you began when you first believed. Now the Holy Spirit lives in you, enabling you to grow more like Christ every day. When you are discouraged remember God want give up on you. He has promised to finish the work he has begun.
On January 31, 1829, Governor Martin Van Buren of New York wrote this letter to President Andrew Jackson. “As you know, Mr. President, railroad carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 mph by engines which roar and snort their way through the countryside, scaring livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speeds. If we are traveling at the SPEED OF CHURCH how fast are you going? I want you to talk about that question over lunch today.
Faith lives. Passion improves. Joy flourishes. Break out of fear and live by faith.
Suddenly, Jesus is standing there right among them! Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” As he spoke he held out his hands for them to see and he showed them his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they sighted the Easter Jesus! Again for the second time Jesus said, “Peace be with you.” but then he added, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” We are all sent to spread the Good News. Your authority comes from God. As the Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends his disciples, and Jesus sends you. God goes to work when he sees you are willing to go to work and be used. Your speed odometer is set on God’s promise, by your faith, on victory. You may need to adjust your speed. One time you believe and have faith. The next time you are afraid and doubt and become discouraged. Start believing once again. Start living by faith. Believe that you can live free from pain. Have faith that God will heal your brokenness. Start believing in a better life. Claim God’s blessing. Thank God in advance for his favor. Let God set the cruise control and your life want be stop and start, sputter and jerk, speed up slow down.