Speaking Your Language
Ever think, “Hm, now isn’t THIS fine and dandy!” Finding yourself in a situation that requires more faith than the mustard seed you planted out back. Each day you go … look …wait, (spiritually speaking of course) That itty-bitty little thing aint doing much! Now frustration is growing in you. You feel all tied up.
Your prayers turn from a somber quietness to ‘I NEED something here, LORD!” Soon, faith in the wait, turns to a shade of doubt. “I don’t know, I just don’t know!” escapes your lips. Then of course that little whisper in the back of your head begins to shun you, You are tempted to disown your honesty, and grab a cup of ‘fake it till it hurts.’ DON’T DO IT! Pause, take a breath, let’s look at Thomas and Jesus.
John 20. Jesus knew doubting Thomas, He knew that there was a strong element lacking in him, that same element flows through all our DNA to some degree, why not address it. We want to, we long to believe, but…. We hang our head.
Remember Abe in the Old Testament. He walked extremely close to God. However, God called him to a stronger faith, a dependant faith, a saving faith. God HAD to prove His Hesed* (see below definition) loyalty to him, His covenantal love, by asking something of him. His Isaac. On that Mt. Abe took his obedience to the extreme, God waiting till the LAST second to stop him from sacrificing Isaac. Proving God was Who He said He was, He provided the ram. Abe’s faith grew in the pain. (Gen. 22)
We all at times NEED that moment, and for some of us, MANY MOMENTS, Thomas moments, “Show Me!!” moments. Is our faith growing in the pain? Thomas walked the same path as the others with Jesus, yet he STILL needed that proof. Jesus appeared, they all saw the same thing, BUT Jesus knew Thomas didn’t ‘see’ Him as He wanted, the true resurrected Lord. The power, the majesty, the authority!
Not only did Thomas need to believe ‘in’ Jesus, he needed to ‘believe’ Jesus. The picture I see is this, believing ‘in’ Jesus, gets you in the door. Believing Jesus, causes you to move about the mansion freely KNOWING your FULL inheritance privileges. Are you just in the door way, or walking about with confidence in your God, that He is Who He says He is, does what He says He does?
“Peace be with you,” Jesus says. Thomas needed more. Aren’t we glad Jesus takes the time. He comes to us, speaking peace to us, then pauses offering ‘US’ a moment. I LOVE how He reached out His hands. Can you image Jesus, the risen King, standing in front of YOU – NOT out of condemnation, but out of love. “Put your finger here – see my hands… My side.” He speaks Thomas’ language.
My life long desire is to have the same response as believing Thomas “My Lord and my God.” It doesn’t say it, but I am confident he fell to his knees. Who couldn’t help but do so.
Jesus takes EVERY opportunity to use ‘our’ moments to teach others. He goes on to say (DeDe’s version) “You believe and you get to see and touch Me, how blessed are those in the days to come who believe by mere faith… I too will meet with them, speak peace to them … reach out to them… they too will KNOW that I am Lord and their God.” Think of those in the room, some may have had the same needed moment, honest Thomas helped provide that moment.
Consider, when was the last time YOU had an area that needed Jesus’ personal moment? When YOU needed Him to speak your language? Your faith small, limited, even crying out for proof. Be honest, He knows anyway, He wants us to have proof, but we must be willing verbalize it like Thomas did (Jn. 20:25) and then see Him when He comes and stands in front of us. Allow Him to fully persuade us of Who He is. If need be, declare as the man in Mark 9:24 “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” Don’t run and hide, invite Jesus in your faith process.
Remember, others may be watching, NEEDING the same persuasion. Don’t fake it, be honest. It may take some time, progression time.
Doubting Thomas. HONEST Thomas. Believing Thomas!
I leave you with this: A small, but powerful phrase Jesus says in John 14:11 “Believe Me when I say …” What is He saying to YOU?
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” ~ Heb. 10:24)
* Hesed ~ ‘hay-said’ (Hebrew) Loving-kindness and most commonly translated as ‘mercy’. Other words to describe hesed, steadfast love, grace, faithfulness, goodness and devotion. Psalm 36:7 “How precious is Your loving-kindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.” (NASB)
Three elements interact within hesed – strength – steadfastness – love. It not only is a matter of loyalty but also of mercy, not only of obligation but one of generosity. It operates within the context of covenant and relationship. Our God interacts with us with hesed as His motive, relationship the context, and covenant His promise. Psalm 136 is a wonderful expression of God’s “loving-kindness endures forever.”
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