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Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The wonder packed into this brief text in the Gospel of John is amazing. The disciples are hiding in fear from their world. When Jesus appears to them, Thomas who is not present, refuses to believe their stories. But the resurrection of Jesus becomes real for him, too, when a week later Jesus appears to the disciples again and invites Thomas to see and touch the wounds on his body. And almost before they can even catch their breath, Jesus is already announcing a wonderful promise and blessing extending even to future ages—"people will be called to believe even without seeing."

The size of the events in this story seem almost too monumental to grasp, but the clarity about the future is bold. The fact that a person has actually seen the Risen Christ will not be a prerequisite for believing. Believing comes as God's gift that opens the life of abundance in Christ to each of us.

Thanks for the words of promise which open the life of faith to each and every one. Amen.

Wayne Radke
Zumbrota, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1960

John 20:18-31 (NRSV)

18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
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."
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin ), 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."
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 that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

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This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.