Summary: This is a sermon based on Jesus' encounter with Thomas following the Resurrection. It focuses on how the LORD Jesus revealed Himself to Thomas and helped Thomas find faith, security and peace.
Scripture: John 20:24 – 31
Title: The God Who Shows Himself
Grace and peace this morning in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
I want to talk to you about the God who cares so much that He takes the extra time to reveal Himself to us even in those times that we may not deserve it. That is what we find in our scripture passage this morning. Jesus goes out of His way to show Himself – His Risen Self – to his disciple, Thomas.
It all reminds me of a new musical film that has just come out over the last few weeks featuring the song – “THE GOD WHO SEES”. The song was written by Nicole C. Mullen and Kathie Lee Gifford.
It is an amazing song that takes us on a journey through the lives of Hagar, Ruth, David and Mary Magdalene. The song shares how in each of these individuals had to face a time in the wilderness, a time in the desert, a time dealing with despair, doubt and sorrow.
The song shows how through each of their lives the LORD GOD – EL ROI (THE GOD WHO SEES) revealed Himself and was able to bring peace and comfort into their lives. The song explains how God reached out to each one of them revealing to them that He had a plan for their lives – a plan that would be under His protection and grace. The song is centered around the theme that we serve a God who sees us and does everything to not only to meet our needs but to help us reach new levels of holiness, majesty and blessing.
Listen to some of the lyrics of the song:
I'm the God who sees, who sees
I'm the God who sees
Oh I'm the God who sees, I see you
I'm the God who sees you in your wilderness
Sees you in your brokenness
When you're feeling lonely, I'm the God who sees
In the desert places, in your empty spaces
I'm the God who sees
I'm nearer than you dare believe
Here in the very air you breathe
I'm the God who sees
This morning, we serve a God who not only sees us but on different occasions by different means will do His best to reveal Himself to us. Let’s see how Jesus did all of this and more in our passage this morning.
I. The God of Peace
Even though many had by now witnessed the Risen Lord, the Gospel of John tells us that the disciples were still having some struggles with fear and anxiety. That is why we read in verse 26 that eight days after the Resurrection the disciples were gathered together but only behind closed doors.
Most Bible Scholars believe that the disciples at the time were secretly meeting somewhere in the city of Jerusalem either in a private home or meeting house. The focus being on them finding a place that was both safe and secure.
They also believe that the disciples were still afraid for their lives. The disciples were still under the belief that the Jews; that is, those in authority still wanted to arrest them and perhaps put them to death. Maybe more now that the news had gotten out that Jesus had risen from the dead.
That means even though they had seen the Risen Christ, those early followers of Jesus had not yet understood that a New Day had arrived. The day of being afraid of the powers of darkness and the world should have been put in the rear-view mirror. But it would take a few more appearances by the Risen Christ and the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit to help the Church receive the power and strength that it needed to stand up to evil – both human and supernatural.
It is important then that we focus on Jesus’ first words to His disciples that we find in verse 26 – “PEACE TO YOU” (e????? eir?ne, i-ray'-nay).
The word Eirene is such a powerful word. Eirene (peace) was the word used to share the Good News that a time of war is over. It was the word that was used to tell a nation that it could now enjoy a time of national tranquility. It was a word that was to promote the Good News that a time of harmony, security, safety and prosperity was just ahead. It was a word that was always welcomed and always appreciated.
Later on, in Church History the word would come to mean – MESSIAH’s Peace. It would refer to the peace that leads to salvation and that results in a life of salvation. It would refer to the peace that describes a person’s relationship with God – safe, comforting, devout, trusting, content and prosperous.