Did You Know? –John Stendahl, Feasting on the Word
• “Our ministry is emblematic of the purposes for which others are to use their resurrection breath, speaking and doing the gospel of mercy and justice. May Jesus breathe in our words, but also let our hearers speak in kind.”
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were 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 his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Jesus and Thomas
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin[a]), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
The Purpose of This Book
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah,[c] the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
This Sunday, we’ll look at the Gospel of John 20:19-31 where Jesus appears to the fearful disciples shortly after his death. The room is locked but the risen Jesus walks right through. A lot like Superman!
We humns are entranced with the possibilities of super powers. This materializes today in media and movies as Captain America, Black Panther and other super heroes burst on screen in theaters taking on corruption and evil, sexism and racism. They are agents of justice!
Long ago, before smart screens and big screens, stories of the ancient gods displayed their might. Whatever the medium, these “super hero” stories leave their mark on generations. They can inspire young and older to consider the impossible. And, thankfully, story lines have evolved over time. We now know that girls can be Super Heroes and that ethnicity and color and our authentic beloved-by-God selves are powerful gifts and forces of good.
And, of course, this is what Jesus taught through divine power. He breathed the power of the Holy Spirit into the disciples. Spirit continues to move without boundaries today bringing life out of death and appearing in places that seemed locked down and far from the breath of holiness.
Peace and Grace,