Summary: After the resurrection day appearances of Jesus, He made many other important appearances during the next 40 days until He returned to heaven. Those important appearances included He gave the great commission, recommissioned Peter, and ascended before their eyes. He is coming again!

A. As you know from experience, in our day and time, there is a lot of misinformation the flows through the internet, in news headlines, and from public figures.

1. There are at least two internet sites that are satirical “newspapers,” but unfortunately, some people don’t realize they are “fake news” outlets.

a. One is called “The Onion” and one is called “The Babylon Bee.”

2. “The Onion” has been around since 1988, and was originally a weekly newspaper publication, but stopped publishing its print version in 2013.

a. The Onion promotes a liberal perspective on current events.

3. Here are a few of their “fake headlines” from their present online issue:

a. “Mayonnaise Label Warns Product For External Use Only” (And here you’ve been using it on your sandwiches!)

b. “73% of America’s Food Waste Traced to Really Messy Toddler” (Who would have thought!)

c. “Health Insurance Plan Only Covers Random Hippopotamus Attacks” (Better read the fine print!)

4. “The Babylon Bee” was launched 2016 and is only available on the internet.

a. It has been called a Christian, or conservative version of The Onion.

5. Here are some “fake headlines” from their present online issue:

a. “Progressive Christians Waiting Until Marriage to Remove Each Other’s Masks” (That could be shocking!)

b. “Man Shows Wife How to Close the 8,537 Tabs She Has Open” (No wonder her browser was running so slowly!)

c. “Celebrities Spell Out “We’re All in This Together” with Their Yachts” (Isn’t that thoughtful!)

B. If you are wondering why I am introducing this sermon with these humorous “fake news” publications, is because it is so important for all of us to be sure about what we know and believe.

1. Last week we discussed the resurrection of Jesus and the impact it had on those disciples who saw the risen Christ.

2. But last week, we also read about the false report the Jewish Leaders created and bribed the Roman soldiers to circulate that said that the disciples of Jesus came during the night and stole the body of Jesus while the soldiers were asleep – you talk about “fake news!”

3. But Thomas, one of the apostles, was not present that resurrection Sunday when Jesus appeared to the other apostles.

a. Thomas didn’t know what to believe when his fellow apostles claimed Jesus was alive.

b. How could it be that Jesus was alive? Thomas’ memory was fresh with the crucified Jesus being buried in the tomb.

c. The image of the nails in Jesus’ hands and feet, and the side of Jesus pierced by the spear could not be dismissed.

d. Jesus had died and had been buried, and that was the indisputable truth, but what about this news of a resurrection?

4. Thomas doubted it and declared, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (Jn. 20:25)

a. For Thomas, seeing was believing and who could fault him for that?

b. The good news for Thomas was that Jesus is a patient and compassionate Savior who is willing to meet people where they are.

C. The Gospel of John tells us what happened one week after the resurrection on the next Sunday.

1. John reports: 26 A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.” 28 Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (Jn. 20:26-29)

2. So one week later the apostles were still in Jerusalem.

a. Fear was still a controlling force as once again we find the apostles behind locked doors in what was probably the same location they were at the week before.

b. Jesus appeared to them again and this time it was for the specific benefit of Thomas.

3. Don’t you love the fact that Jesus knew exactly what was going on with Thomas?

a. And don’t you love the fact that He wasted no time and immediately addressed Thomas?

b. Jesus offered for Thomas to touch His hands, feet and side, but it doesn’t look like Thomas needed to do that in order to believe.

c. Can you imagine how relieved and joy-filled Thomas must have been to see Jesus alive?

d. He declared, “My Lord and my God!” and he probably did it on his knees and through tear-filled eyes.

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