Message

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

Christ’s peace does not separate us from disaster and death, but our relationship
with the Lord gives us peace of mind when we experience disasters and life
challenging difficulties. In response to the need to encourage Christians during the
crisis of new Christians being expelled from the Synagogue, the gospel reading for
this Sunday (John 20. 19-31) was written to confirm believers and those on the
fringe, so that they would develop faith, hope and understanding that Jesus is the
Messiah.
In the reading, after the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples who were afraid of the
Jews and of death met behind a locked door. They were traumatised by the
crucifixion and that they had just seen the Messiah betrayed, convicted by authorities
trying to maintain their own power. Since the disciples were afraid, Jesus
encouraged and empowered his disciples, building up their faith and giving them
hope.
Since Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus came, he did not believe that
the disciples had seen Jesus, as the disciples did not believe Mary at the empty
tomb. Thomas said, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand
into his side, I will not believe” (v. 25b). But once he saw, he believed.
In the sermon this week, I will discuss the appearances of Christ and the
development of faith in those who saw the risen Christ. For us, the coronavirus
COVID-19 pandemic is a great challenge that we are facing. Like the early
Christians, we also need the encouragement in this reading, and through prayer, as
we live through our faith and hope in Christ. In this week after Easter, during these
challenging times, may we find our peace, comfort, support, hope, and courage in
the wounded, risen Christ we experience in the Gospel today.
I ask you to think about the message in the sermon, bible readings and prayers on
Sunday, to help you experience the peace of the Lord. I have added some questions
for you to consider before the service on Sunday.
Contemplation and Discussion Questions for Easter 2

  1. Is seeing believing?
  2. How did Jesus encourage and empower his disciples, building up their faith
    and giving them hope?

Yours in Christ,

Debra