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John: Day 25

The Son of God

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Today's Text: John 19:1-42, John 20:1-31, 1 Peter 2:22-25, Psalm 22:1-8

Text: John 19:1-42, John 20:1-31, 1 Peter 2:22-25, Psalm 22:1-8

My kids learned to fly kites this weekend.

After much trial and error (and a fair amount of weeping and gnashing of teeth), all three of them experienced that exhilarating payoff of the kite string pulling tight in their hand and the wind lifting the cheap, plastic diamond high in the happy, flappy breeze. They stood outside for hours—5 hours, come to think of it—watching their kites soar in the air. They flew kites while singing songs. They flew kites while dancing. They flew kites while running in circles and they even flew kites while lying down. My personal favorite? When they flew kites while singing AND lying down.

As I sat on a blanket and watched the event unfold, it reminded me of a Billy Graham quote about the wind. You fellow youth group kids of the early 90’s know the one; I’m pretty sure it was spliced into the beginning of a DC Talk song: “Can you see God? You haven’t seen him? I’ve never seen the wind. I see the effects of the wind, but I’ve never seen the wind. There’s a mystery to it.”

Believing in what we cannot see can be downright hard. Even those who walked the earth with Jesus wanted to see more of Him in order to believe or hold onto belief. The crowds followed Him, pushing in closer and longing to catch a real, live glimpse of the Messiah in action.

Mary Magdalene was one who followed Jesus faithfully. Even after His death she went to the tomb, anxious to see the body of her Savior; and when He wasn’t there, she wept.

Mary needed to see Jesus. Then He appeared to her there where she knelt crying, and she saw Him and believed!

The disciple Thomas heard the news that Jesus had risen from the dead. “We have seen the Lord,” the others told him (John 20:24). But Thomas was a doubter, like I’m prone to be.

Thomas needed to touch Jesus. “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (v. 25). And Thomas touched his hands to Jesus’ hands and believed!

We can understand our sister Mary and our brother Thomas, can’t we? In the hurry and sorrow and uncertainty of this life, we need a hope we can see and feel. But unlike Mary, we don’t get to see Jesus face to face. And unlike Thomas, we don’t get to put our fingers on His nail-scarred hands. Yes, we can see God’s mercy at work in the world, making broken things new. We can feel the Holy Spirit changing our hearts, softening what once was stone. But the darkest valleys leave our eyes and hands searching for something we can’t seem to find.

Jesus knew this would be hard for us. It’s why He gives us faith—to believe. Paul tells us faith is a gift, not something we muster up on our own (Ephesians 2:8). And Jesus calls those who have it blessed (John 20:29). He has also given us His very Spirit to live within us (John 14:26), and His Word to guide us (Psalm 119:105). Though we can’t yet lay eyes on Christ, He lays His hand of mercy on us by the indwelling of His Spirit and the gift of His Word.

There will be times when we struggle to believe what we cannot see. But the risen Savior is ever near, as alive as He was the day He spoke to a distraught Mary, and the day He beckoned Thomas to touch His side. When we have trouble seeing Him in our lives, we can see Him here, in the pages of His Word.

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  • Psalm 22:1–8
    1 uMy God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so vfar from saving me, from the words of my wgroaning?
    2 O my God, I cry by xday, but you do not answer,
    and by night, but I find no rest.
    3 Yet you are yholy,
    zenthroned on athe praises1 of Israel.
    4 In you our fathers trusted;
    they trusted, and you delivered them.
    5 To you they bcried and were rescued;
    in you they ctrusted and were not put to shame.
    6 But I am da worm and not a man,
    escorned by mankind and fdespised by the people.
    7 All who see me gmock me;
    they make mouths at me; they hwag their heads;
    8 i“He trusts in the Lord; let him jdeliver him;
    let him rescue him, for he kdelights in him!”

  • I have had no success getting cheap plastic kites to fly for my children. How did you do it???

  • Heather Fringer

    It just amazes me how He knew what was going to happen but yet He went through it all for us!!!

  • Time and time again I have heard this story but yet again I am in awe of our king! I am so very thankful for the grace he offers and forgiveness he gives. Praise be to the father!

  • Did Thomas touch his hands and side? He said he would need to to believe, Jesus told him to do so but it is not mentioned that he actually did.

  • His choice of words at the end; “Peace to you!” – is so fascinating. There is an exclamation mark, so He said it with strong feelings. And the word PEACE is a simple word but filled with complexity and meaning.

  • This chapter is full of individuals who are struggling to see the Truth that is right in front of them…John, Peter, Mary and then finally Thomas when he gets to touch his resurrected Savior. But my heart went out to Pilate as I read today. There was so much political pressure on him in this God-ordained moment. It seemed like he was so close to seeing who Jesus really was and then he caved to the pressure and sent Jesus to be crucified. I wonder how his life story ended, if Pilate came to see the truth of Jesus’ divinity or if he learned to surrender to Jesus as Lord? We are fortunate to have the entire Bible at our fingertips so that God can reveal the truth to us. But how many pressures in life still threaten to make us blind? It’s so easy to get caught up even in politics, agendas, and grey areas. Oh Lord, help us to truly see and believe in You! And thank you, Jesus, for your humble sacrifice.

    • Claudia

      My feelings exactly! I kept thinking “oh he’s not going to do it!” Of course, knowing he would in the end. He was so close.

    • Randi Schmid

      I was struck with sorrow for him as well. So difficult to see the truth standing in front of us sometimes.

  • I have always been struck by the image in John 20 of Jesus appearing to his disciples through locked doors. He did it twice (in verse 19 and 26)! As I was reading those verses again today and pondering that amazing detail, I realized that so many of us go through seasons of life where, like the disciples, we are locked away in fear, hopelessness, and confusion, not expecting Jesus to come. But He loves us so much that he is willing to walk right into our closed off hearts, to meet us where we are and say, “Peace be with you!”

    Jesus did not knock and wait idly by the door for His disciples to answer. He already knew their condition, their helplessness, and stood right among them. Even when we don’t have the willpower or strength to open the doors ourselves, He is able to reveal Himself to us, to break through the barriers, and to deliver us from all our fears. I am so humbled by this today. What an amazing and loving God we serve.

  • I really need some prayer. My husband is an alcoholic. He has been sober for almost 2 years but I recently found him drinking. He said it’s only 2 beers. And that he has only drank 9 times since his 1&1/2 of his sobriety. I just really don’t know what to do. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with him drinking and he said he would stop. He cheated on me when it was really bad and I watch God work a miracle in our marriage. We are in a much better spot then ever before but I had said it wasn’t a negotiable thing to have him drinking again so my heart is broken. I feel like he deceived me and is ok with loosing me and our daughter since he did it again without talking to me. I’m just not sure what to do. Like as a godly wife do I trust that he knows what’s best? I can’t control what he does either way but I also have a decision of if I want to be with someone that drinks. It’s just been unclear. He is about to be stationed for a year at least on his own so the timing is just awful. How can I put my faith that he will even be honest about it if he hasn’t been honest when I asked him to his face before now. I am just at a loss. He doesn’t want to do counseling again. He wants to be able to talk it out with me. But I also feel like he doesn’t know why he wants to drink so I’ve just been praying. And I’d appreciate yalls prayers, I haven’t told any of my friends or family because I want to respect his privacy but even though I don’t comment much, I feel like we are family! So please pray for us! Today’s reading really helped me realize how God has revealed himself to me over the years, I know He has me even if I don’t know what to do but I just don’t even know how to respond to my husband.

    • Katalina

      Definitely praying for you! I’m not married so I can’t exactly give you the perfect marriage, let alone, relationship advice but what I will tell you is don’t stop praying and pray for your husband. One thing I’ve learned throughout battles of this sorts is you can’t ever give up. You can’t give up on the person you’re praying about for a change to occur. Trust in God to know He has a plan and that He works in mysterious ways. Give your husband to Him while waiting to see what God is going to do in both your lives, especially in his. All my prayers and support go out to you <3

    • Jessica Gardiner

      Praying for you sweet sister for God’s guidance and wisdom in your response and also His wounds to heal your wounds. I can totally get how this would feel like a crushing betrayal. <3 praying for your husband that the Holy Spirit would convict his heart and caution and warn him about going down this road again. Praying that he would free from temptation and be accountable again. Much love sister

    • SARAH

      My husband and my brother struggle with mental illness and addiction. I can feel every bit of your pain. Seek God. Hard. Seek his face. Remember that God works everything out for those of us who love him. I keep going back to Proverbs 16:4. The Lord works everything (and he means everything) out to its proper end, even the wicked for a day of disaster. God didn’t create sin or wicked behavior, but he’ll use it for good. We can trust God doesn’t leave loose ends. To answer your question about being able to put your faith in your husband, you are completely right to think you can’t. But you can put faith in our perfect God and his perfect character. You are in my prayers. Pray for me too if you think of it :)

      • SB

        Thank you Sarah! I’ll pray for you! I too grew up with brothers with addiction and mental illness. It’s hard to watch them! Thanks to all of you lovely ladies that responded! I appreciate your feedback, thoughts and prayers!

    • churchmouse

      Please consider getting wise Christian counsel for yourself even if your husband refuses to go. The counselor will be experienced in these matters and can be objective. Also do not isolate yourself – I’m praying you have a confidential safe community where you can receive emotional and prayer support. I’ll put you and your family in my daily prayer book.

    • Diane

      Ill be praying for you! I know the road your navigating as I was there many years ago. All the comments here are valuable ,practical help,also I found an Al A Non group that gave me renewed hope and understanding into this sickness. My story has had a hapoy ending,yours can too!

      • SB

        I was doing well with al anon last year. I need to get back into it! It’s such a blessing! Thank you!

    • Adrienne

      Praying!

      • Paige

        Praying for you. My only advice is to keep praying for your husband, a wife’s prayers are powerful! Trust God and only put your hope in Him because that is the only place it can go. (hugs)

        • Brenda

          What , Paige says is true. Never underestimate prayer ! And also, find a good counselor. Like everything in life, there are good ones and bad ones. Find a good Christian counselor and one that maybe you and your husband agree on. If he wont go, go for yourself.

  • Jessica Gardiner

    Oh yes! He is near, so near and we can hear His voice every day in His Word. A quote from Piper really spoke to me about this. I have copied it in my Bible to remind myself everytime I open it up. “Keep the living Person of Jesus before you as you read the Bible and consciously remind yourself repeatedly that these are not the words of a dead teacher, but of the living Christ, who is as close as your own breathe and infinitely powerful.”

    Oh Lord give us eyes of faith to see you in your Word; to come expectant knowing that they are living words from the mouth of the living God; help us to respond to your words in faith and obedience. Amen

  • This song, What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong, came on my radio today and was such an encouragement to my heart! It parallels perfectly to everything we have been studying about Jesus in the book of John and I hope it will encourage some of you ladies today! I am so blessed by the SRT community :)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5L6QlAH3L4

  • Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,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 in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

    Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    I love this piece of scripture. Jesus loved Thomas so much, that he came to him to answer his doubts so that he may believe. At times, heck even right now, I can be a doubting Thomas in areas of my life that I assume dead, promises that I believe are dead. Yet God comes in the midst of all that, despite my doubts and shows that He is good and His word true. We have such a wonderful savior so willing to meet us where we are at. I am so grateful.

  • The risen Savior is ever near!

  • I remember I used to do exactly that when I was living in my darkness. I called out to God wondering where He was, why He hasn’t set me free from all my suffering. But once I was delivered from my dark past… it was like a huge wake up call. I can honestly say I have reached the point in my life where I have no reason to doubt God or fear that He isn’t there. I guess it can be called blind faith because I physically have not seen Him, but then again, I’ve seen ALL the things He has done in my life and those around me. It would be a sin for me not to believe. That’s why it’s so important to share our testimonies with others because they may not believe the word of God but there’s a greater chance that they’ll believe what we’ve gone through and what God has done for us. I feel it in my heart that I’ve been called to tell my story through my writing and I thank God for all He has done and for just being a merciful and purely loving God <3

    • Jamie

      Love this! I have been a Christian for many years but have never really taken the time to study His Word. That changed about a month ago, and while I still struggle, I have seen an amazing difference! I can hear His gentle whispers to me when I start to give into the flesh. I can actually feel His gentle nudges inviting me to pray and bring it to him instead of getting angry and lashing out. When my feelings want to take over, the scriptures I have been reading come to me. Oh, I still battle with my flesh. I still have moments where I want to control or panic, but then I feel Him. Maybe this all sounds crazy, but all I can say is studying His Word and drawing near to Him has made the difference I have longed for all these years. The difference has been my time in His Word. Before I would learn about God through a tv show, or a seminar. Taking the time to actually visit scripture every day has been an awakening experience.

  • Diane Huntsman

    So much amazingness packed into today’s reading.. but I couldn’t help but see how Jesus refrained from speaking in a time where most of us would have been putting those people who hurt us in their place in a 100 different ways! I mean sure, I’ll go to the cross but I’ll do so with dignity and not allow belittling in the process.. that’s me of course and NOT Jesus.. Due to all the political feuding as of late, I myself have found a platform to “speak my mind” or put in my 2 or more like 50 cents.. man.. the scripture today- 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. Lessons learned today boys and girls, entrusting to the One who judges justly. There’s a time to speak and defend and there’s a time to keep quiet and entrust the outcome to Him. I don’t always need to put in my defense, I don’t have to make my voice known or heard or type out in all capitals on Facebook my points of view.. no. I need to follow in the steps and example of my Lord and Savior and keep silent at those times where words just complicate and further damage situations.. the power in His silence.. I need to learn that power.. help us Jesus to not only admire Your ways but actually emulate them. Please.

    • Katalina

      Diane, i completely agree with you about putting people in their place after they’ve wronged us. This is something I’m praying God to help me with because it is sooo hard trying to live and act the way Jesus did when, at least speaking for myself, I have such a strong temperament. My mom is someone who God has gifted with this very talent but she learned it from my grandmother. I wish to do the same because if Jesus was able to restrain Himself while still showing Gods love and mercy than we should too.

  • Stephanie

    I love the fact that Jesus never condemned those who doubted, just gentle saying “Look at Me, touch Me, I am real, now believe”. There are so many times I have to remind myself that I do this walk by faith, not by feelings, and that He understands my doubts. Even better if I give my doubts to Him, He helps me walk through it.

  • I love this passage,and the devotion, and the comments this morning! Thank you SRT sisters for sharing your insights. This passage reminds me of my first encounter of hearing Gods voice,calling me out of sin and darkness into His wonderful love. When Mary heard Jesus say her name,she KNEW who He was. John 10:3 talks about how the sheep know the voice of their master. There is a knowing that comes through the power of the Holy Spirit,when we know that we know He is the way,the truth,and the life. I am remebering these early days of walking by faith now. Being so bold in the face of scoffing and scorn,nothing could take away from my knowing He,God had sent Jesus so I could be forgiven my sin,set free to live in the light of His love.

  • Susie Argil

    Yes!!! We read truth because ‘We can see Him here, in the pages of His Word.’

  • Ashley Motes

    Doubt is common. I fear doubt and yet I talk through it. At times I struggle with the eternal question, is this real? I always come to the conclusion, “of course!” It’s more than just coincidence. God is truth and most definitely present in my life, in all our lives. In times of hardship or confusion I so want to see a tangible aspect of Jesus just to satisfy my wondering, but that’s just it. It’s satisfying my flesh and does not pertain to faith. I pray that my faith will always be present and always win in those situations. Doubt is a scary thing for me but I almost feel like without it, would I be able to really distinguish faith from fiction? Does that make sense?

    • Shannon Ricketts

      It does! Almost like God gives us feelings of doubt to make our faith stronger! I never thought of faith as being a gift. My faith keeps growing and it’s truly a testament of what God can do in our lives. God Bless!

      • Kara

        “It’s satisfying my flesh and does not pertain to faith.” When I call out my questioning as being an issue of having faith and not that I’m just “trying to understand God more” there is so much weight lifted off my shoulders. Faith is literally the opposite of figuring God out and the opposite of explaining to yourself how everything you believe is true because it’s backed with facts and science. I find I most experience doubt when I’m searching for more of God, like I get over zealous and start to think “ooh I think I’ve figured it all out.” And then all of these questions arise and doubt sneaks in and it’s in those moments I need to recognize at some point I can’t know all there is to know about God. That’s why he’s God and I’m not. I can’t put him in a box. I just need to have faith he is who he says he is and respond in service to him, not by putting him on trial in my problem solving brain. Faith is so simple in theory but a hard think to actually excercise.

  • I took out my study bible when I read John 19:30. The part where Jesus says, “It is finished” has always been interesting to me, but I have never known why. The explanation says, “Jesus died as a victor and had finished what he came to do.” Jesus, a man who was just crucified and treated like a criminal, considered himself a victor. I love reading the New Testament because I continue to learn about Jesus’ character. He was victorious because despite his physical death, he did exactly what God told him to do. I pray that I can be that humble and obedient. Thank you Jesus for setting that example for all of us.

    • Becky

      Humble and obedient….amen.

    • CM

      I once asked my husband (who studied religion in grad school) what the original Greek in the phrase, “It is finished” is. I don’t remember the words exactly, but it’s a different tense then just our basic English of past tense. It means something that has been fully completed, but with lingering effects in the future. I love it!

  • churchmouse

    Thank you Amanda for once again reminding me of all that Jesus gives – all I really need. Just give me Jesus. He is enough.

  • Laura Kane

    You didn’t make it up, Alice. Not a chance! :) He walks upon the wind, and the clouds are the dust beneath His feet, yet He became a man to walk with you and with me. None of us could make this stuff up. Mark 9:24 “… I do believe! Help my unbelief!” He even gives us our faith, because we can’t generate it of ourselves.

  • This isn’t directly related to the devotion but I have a question about the Bible passage. I’m confused by John 20:22 when Jesus breathes on the disciples and says “Receive the Holy Spirit.” I thought they didn’t receive the Holy Spirit until Pentecost, and in John 16 Jesus says he has to go away so the Holy Spirit would come, so I’m not sure what is happening in John 20:22 and how that is different from Pentecost?

    • Kelsie

      To me, when Jesus says he has to go away, it means he has to leave his earthly body behind in order to join God in heaven. Jesus died so that we could receive the Holy Spirit. Because during this time, he was ascending into heaven he could breath the Holy Spirit on them. My study bible says, “Thus anticipating what happened 50 days later on the day of Pentecost.”

      • Carolyn

        I had a note in my Bible that this word breathe was the same word used when God breathed physical life into man and now Jesus was breathing a new spiritual life in man. They did receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Looked up the meaning of breathed in Blue letter Bible and Will copy below. Hope this helps.
        to blow or breathe upon
        The Greek word here used is employed nowhere else in the New Testament, but is the very one used by the Septuagint translators of Gen 2:7: ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.’ There, man’s original creation was completed by this act of God; who, then, can fail to see that here in John 20, on the day of the Saviour’s resurrection, the new creation had begun, begun by the Head of the new creation, the last Adam acting as ‘a quickening spirit’ (1Cr 15:45)!” (Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, p. 1100).

      • Berna

        Hello Kelsie, Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven with his physical body not just His Spirit. :)

    • AmyQ

      Good questions. I’m hoping someone can give us insight.

    • Brenda

      My footnote says for John 20:22 from the life application Bible, “This may have been a special filling of the Holy Spirit for the disciples, a forecasted of what all believers would experience from the time of Pentecost (acts 2) and forever after.

    • Lesley

      Thank you all for your replies. They help me understand it more.

  • Custom essay

    useful

  • Alice Carroll

    Yes. I confess here this morning that I often doubt and wonder if I’ve just made it all up.

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