Summary: In the midest of pain, suffering, doubt, disbelief, and even disobedience Jesus is there bringing peace that makes a real difference in life.
Sermon: When You’re Sweatin’ It John 20:19-31 April 7, 2002
A. I don’t know how many of you noticed but a couple of my family members now look like a lobsters. Yes, we have just gotten back from a week’s vacation. It was wonderful but let me tell you something there is such as thing as too much closeness.
1. You see we took my parents small RV this past week. I was a little concerned before we began that it was going to be too small for us.. It is just the right size for my parents but there was five of us and I wasn’t too sure how well we would do in such a small space. As we placed the last items in the trailer and load up to leave I was quite pleased. It looked there was going to plenty of space. That is there was plenty space until people began taking their shoes off.
2. Did you know the average foot gives off a quarter cup of odoriferous, smelly, sweaty, nasty perspiration on a slow day, and as much as a full cup on a day of fancy footwork or stress. You don’t believe me? Take off one of your shoes right now and pass it to your neighbor on the left. Take a whiff. In fact your perspiration rate right now just exceeded the quarter cup quota. Now I don’t really want you to take your shoes off. I think you get the point a 1/4 cup of foot odor is a lot of odor
3. And let me tell you something else - I am not naming names or anything but there are some people in my family who sweat more than their fair share of a quarter cup of foot odor. and in a small area like my parents camper that’s a lot of smelly, stinking stench smell of sweat.
B. Sweatin’ with the Disciples
1. And if you think that’s bad, image the sweaty foot odor that must have been in the locked upper room on the evening of the first day of the week following resurrection morning.
a) here we have eleven grown men - and an untold number of disciples - who were locked in a room with the windows barred shut - and they were “sweat it”
b) they had heard the stories
(1) from Mary Magadeline and the women
(2) from Peter and the beloved disciple
(3) but could it be, was Jesus body really missing from the tomb, did someone take his body or could he, could Jesus really be alive?
c) And what about the Pharisees and Sanhedrin they had already blamed them for Jesus’ missing body, surely they would come after them. They’d have them arrested, flogged, beaten and perhaps even crucified like Jesus.
(1) The intensity in that room that night must have been overwhelming.
(2) Their fears, doubts, uncertainty and confusion had them sweat over every detail from the past week.
(3) Easter hadn’t driven away all their fears and doubts - it hadn’t been enough for them to be there just that one Sunday that year - to hear about the resurrection
(4) And then just when it seemed the space in the room was too small for all of them, it was filled by the presence of one more.
II. Turn with me to JOHN 20:19-31 - (READ)
A. The disciples were still perplexed, confused, wondering what was going to happen now. What did all this mean and they had gotten together that night behind bolted doors to try and figure it all out.
1. They were discussing the women’s reported sightings of angels, what Peter and John saw at the tomb and Mary’s astounding claim that she had seen Jesus.
2. Peter was telling them about seeing Jesus (Lk 24)- trying desperately to convince them about the truth.
3. The women had reported the angel’s words that the disciples were to go to Galilee and meet Jesus there (Matt 28:7) and yet here they still sat. For some reason instead of going to Galilee they had remained in Jerusalem paralyzed by the fear of being found by the Jewish leaders
4. The Resurrection had occurred, They had experienced Easter, had heard first person accounts, they had seen the empty tomb but still what difference did Easter really make in their lives ?
5. They were still hiding out!
B. Then without warning There are sounds of excitement and noise outside the door (Lk 24). Frantic knocking perhaps this was finally it - the authorities had found them.
1. But wait the voices are familiar, they open the door and two disciples rush in. They are breathless and excited and begin telling the group how they had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus and talked with him most of the day.