Summary: What happens when Jesus is in the midst of His disciples? If we allow Jesus to come into our midst, we shall be filled with peace, joy, His Spirit, forgiveness and invited to the adventures of a life time.
Scripture: John 20:19-31 (NIV)
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, 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’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. 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; 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!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Have you ever noticed that certain people possess an extra amount of charisma, charm, and allure? Their presence makes a room come alive. There is a magnetic pull towards them as they begin to talk and walk around. They have that something "special" that causes people to stop and listen. They have that something "special" that speaks to the very heart of people's lives.
The men and women who served with Generals George S. Patton or Douglas MacArthur would tell you that both of these men possessed this something "special." When they walked into a room, the whole atmosphere of the room changed. You knew someone important was present. People rushed to be near them and hushed to hear them speak.
Others have commanded this kind of attention. People like Elvis Presley. Elvis was able to electrify audiences with his voice and presence. Former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Regan both possessed magnetic personalities. When they started to talk, people stopped what they were doing to drink in their every word. Former President Bill Clinton continues to allure large crowds who are passionate about sharing space with him and hearing him speak. Clinton is a master communicator as well as someone who is able to make everyone feel like they belong and are needed. He has the ability to hold an audience in his hands. He has that something "special", that charisma, that appeal and that charm.
However, there is one that possessed more charisma, more of that something "special" than any of those that I have mentioned. As charismatic, as charming and as electrifying as all of these men were no one had more power to change the atmosphere of a room than our Savior and LORD Jesus Christ. No one. Jesus was able to command the attention of thousands of men, women and children for hours, for days at a time. He possessed charisma plus.
Our reading (John 20:19- 31) this morning deals with one of those electric moments in the life of Jesus and his followers. It deals with one of those times when Jesus' mere presence in a room transformed everything. Instantly, with Jesus' presence things went from negative to positive. With Jesus in the room there came courage and faith where there once was fear and doubt. With Jesus in the room there was laughter and joy where once there had been sorrow and despair.
And what Jesus was able to do in that room so long ago, I believe this morning He wants to do in our lives and in our Church Services each and every Sunday morning. I believe when we invite Jesus to be present among us we will experience seasons of joy, peace, transformation, salvation, courage and faith in amazing ways. Ways that will change not only the atmosphere of our worship settings, but ways that will change all of us as well.