Summary: Apostles, Pt. 21
NOT ONE IS MISSING (JOHN 20:19-31)
I had lost a lot of things besides my shampoo and swimming trunks in gym. One was a set of keys I lost inside a hotel room on a trip. No maid entered my room but I could not find it again after seeing it in the morning. Another was my driver’s license on my way to attend a conference. I was really at a loss to what to do. I noticed it missing when I was getting gas two hours before the conference begins and the trip to San Diego was one and half hours away. If I were to get one at DMV immediately, the long lines and the slow workers there would keep me there till the end of the day, but the seminar I signed up was eight hours short. In those days, I kept my driver’s license in a small plastic jacket so that I can just grab the license going to gym and leave the wallet and cash at home. I decided to go to the conference I had signed up for a year earlier.
After coming back from the conference, I lined up at DMV office half an hour before the office opened. I took my documents with me, but they needed me to renew my Social Security to reflect the added “Victor” name to my license. It was more than a day’s work. Several days later, I found the lost license in the car, stuck in the most unbelievable place, wedged in the crack between the seat and the seal belt buckle!
The worst thing I have lost so far was my wedding ring shortly before my seventh anniversary. The ring was so stuck to my fat finger from cracking knuckles that I thought I would have to hire someone to cut the ring so that it would not choke me in the future. Lo and behold, four years of swimming slimmed down even my swollen finger.
One of the harshest critics of Jesus’ resurrection was not an enemy of Christ or a stranger to Him, but one of his apostles, Thomas. He was nicknamed “Doubting Thomas” for his suspicion of Jesus’ appearance, his disparagement of the evidence and distrust of what the other apostles had said. Jesus returned to set the “lost” Thomas straight, correct his attitude and use him for a powerful witness to the resurrection.
What are doubts? How do they arise? Why must we deal with it and how do we do it?
Unresolved Doubts Lead to Discontent
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” 24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. (John 20:19-24)
There’s an old story about a fisherman who was very successful. Every morning he went out on the lake in a small boat and when he returned a couple of hours later, his boat was loaded down with fish. He never failed. People wondered how he did it, even when others were not catching anything at all. He always came in with his boat just overflowing with fish.
One morning a stranger showed up with his fishing tackle and said, “Mind if I go fishing with you this morning?” “No,” said the fisherman. “Just hop in and we’ll go over to a little cove where I always have good luck.” The man hopped in the boat and off they headed across the lake until they came to a small cove. The old fisherman stopped the boat and cut off the motor. He reached over in his tackle box and took out a red stick of dynamite. He lit the fuse and held it for a moment as the fuse burned down. Then at the last moment he tossed it in the water and there was a tremendous explosion. Fish were everywhere on the water. He picked up his net and began scooping up the fish.
After watching this for a moment the stranger reached in his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Opening it up, he showed a badge and said, “I’m a game warden and you are under arrest.” The old fisherman simply reached over into his box and pulled out another stick of dynamite. He lit it and held it as the fuse burned down. Then, he tossed it to the game warden and said, “Now, are you going to just sit there or are you going to fish?”