Through the Locked Doors

John 20: 19-29, The Message
By: Gail Edmonson, Director of Leadership Development, The Fellowship

May 8, 2019

When Jesus first appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, they were fearfully locked in a room together and Thomas wasn’t there. Jesus showed them His hands and His side and with overwhelming joy they believed and encountered Him in way they had not experienced before. I can picture them later with Thomas, breathless, falling all over themselves telling him that they had seen Jesus and all that had happened.

You know what I love about Thomas? He spoke his need. He didn’t mask his disbelief or censor his words. With seemingly no concern for what the other disciples would think of him he proclaimed, “I need to see Him for myself and in fact I need something more concrete than just the look you guys got at Him. I want to touch Him - touch where the nails pierced His hands and put my hand in the wound on His side. Then I’ll believe.”*

It’s so easy to miss in the story of Thomas, what John reports happened eight days later, “Jesus came through the locked doors.” I usually jump past this miraculous moment and notice how purposeful Jesus appears to be - He goes straight to Thomas. I imagine Him full of compassion for what His disciples have been through and especially for what Thomas needs from Him in that moment. Christ’s words drip with love as He offers his scarred hands and exposes the wound in His side, “Touch me, Thomas. I want you to believe.”*

We don’t know if Thomas actually took Jesus up on His offer, but one thing we do know - Jesus came through locked doors to bring an awakening to Thomas. He offered an invitation, tailor-made for Thomas, for a very personal and intimate encounter. I would love to have been there for Thomas’ moment of awakening. Oh, to see the look on his face and to hear him exclaim, “My Master! My God!”

I believe that Jesus also offers us the opportunity for awakening in our own lives today. Our holy, loving, compassionate Savoir knows our needs, spoken or unspoken, and He knows the locked away places of our lives in which we are desperate for awakening to Him. Just as He did for Thomas, He comes through the locked doors and extends an invitation for each of us to personally and intimately awaken to a fresh encounter with our Holy God who breathes His life-giving Spirit into the deepest needs of our lives.

*My paraphrase

Prayer

Take time to sit with Jesus today. In His presence, ask yourself the following questions. What are the areas in your life that are locked - places of hurt, fear, anger, trauma, unbelief? What do you need to say in all honestly to Jesus today?
Imagine Jesus entering through the locked doors in your life. What does He say to you? What is His invitation?
What is Jesus awakening you to in this season?