Monday, February 20, 2012

John 20 19 to 29

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Key Observation:
Here is the place where Jesus imparts the Holy Spirit unto the church.

It is Jesus Himself who breathes on the disciples and imparts the Holy Spirit to them, a gift that is without end. Later, the first manifestation of the Spirit is at Pentecost, but the actual giving of the Spirit is here. The church is not given power to forgive sins here—rather the church “proclaims” the forgiveness of sins available in our Savior. “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)

The difficulty of the church historically has been to hold the line doctrinally. Additions to the Scripture seem to inevitably follow creed development, and history does reveal extra-biblical doctrines arising following speculations about unanswered controversies in the Bible. Let me just say that there is no doctrine from the Bible that allows priests or pastors to forgive sins. We may and should forgive each other, but beyond the forgiveness of the Cross, the Bible knows nothing. There is great safety in limiting our doctrines to those directly obtained from the Bible, and there is great virtue in seeing how our church fathers traditionally interpreted these Scriptures, but there is only great hazard and tragedy in following anything that goes beyond the ken of Scripture.

Thomas, I find a satirical figure. I find him always taking the place of Eeyore, who always gloomily observes the bad things. Let us also go to Jerusalem, that we may also die, says Thomas. Here he makes the statement that he will not believe except he sees the holes for himself. I need to remember that his first statement was not so far off, for all of the apostles, except the traitor, were endangered, and it took the intersession of the Lord to give Himself, and yet save them. Here, Thomas is only asking for what the others had already received. According to Luke 24:39, the Lord Himself had invited the apostles to all look at His hands and feet, to verify that it was indeed Jesus. Evidently Thomas, not present at this appearance, wanted to see for himself.

Says McGee of the appearances of Jesus: “Apparently Mary is the first one to whom the Lord appeared. There are eleven appearances before His ascension and three after His ascension. I think we can surmise from the text that there are others which were not described.” I think it wonderful that Scripture does not record whether Thomas actually examined the hands and feet of Jesus, only that he was invited to do so. What Scripture does record is the cry of Thomas that has echoed in the hearts of millions over the last two thousand years: “My Lord, and my God.”

McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 104177-104179). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.

How Great Thou Art

Stanza 1:
O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all
The world Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r throughout
The universe displayed;

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

Stanza 2:
When through the woods
And forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze;


Stanza 3:
And when I think,
That God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross,
My burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
To take away my sin.


Stanza 4:
When Christ shall come,
With shouts of acclamation,
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
"My God, how great Thou art!"

Lyrics ~ Carl Boberg, 1859 - 1940
English Translation ~ Stuart K. Hine, 1899 - 1989

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