God Does It For Others, But Not Me
Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 83 · 9 months ago

God Does It For Others, But Not Me

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Doubting Thomas should probably be known by a different name. Maybe we doubt God sometimes because we just haven't given Him the opportunity to show Himself to us.

All right, today we continue in our series. I don't part two, and last week we introduced this idea with a message that was about seeing is believing, and we thought, and we think sometimes, if God was just to show up in our world, if he was to sit next to us right now and tell us exactly what we were supposed to do, that we wouldn't have any questions, we wouldn't have any doubts. We just say Yep, God, I thank you for doing that. I will get on that as soon as possible. But Jesus did do that. We read about that and the Gospels he did. He showed up, his resurrected self to the disciples and we read the verse that said some people worshiped him and the other people, what did they do? They doubt it, and so that's not just seeing it for yourself isn't necessarily going to cause you to believe. And we'd also talked about this idea that because the disciples were there, because Jesus resurrected from the dead and was standing in front of them, because they were there, that's what caused them to doubt. And so often we think that doubt is the opposite of belief, that the goal in the Christian life is to not doubt at all, and if that was true, then they shouldn't have been there. You shouldn't be here, you shouldn't be asking questions, you shouldn't be wondering if the goal is not to doubt. They saw something, they were confronted with Jesus, they were confronted with truth, with this is the way that it was, and now they had to wrestle with it, now they had to figure it out. And so doubting is not a step in the wrong direction. Doubting is not getting stuck on airplane circling the airport. Doubting is not getting stuck on the highway when you feel like you should be moving forward, you should be taking steps in your spiritual life, you should becoming more like Jesus, you should be my churing in your faith, and now you run into doubt and now you feel like you're going in the wrong direction. Whoever told you that doubt is evidence that you are heading in the right direction, that you are taking steps to follow Jesus, that you are getting a little bit further out of Your Comfort Zone? Then that you're comfortable with and now you're wondering now you're questioning, and now, as we're staying the goal of this series. We want to help you all. Want to help you transform your doubts into opportunities to walk in faith. And that's what the disciples had to do after Jesus resurrected from the dead. He told him before, one of his last words to the disciples, but I'm going to go to Galilee and I want you to meet me there in Galilee. I'm going to go to Galile I'm going to die on the cross and going to get buried, I'm going to rise again, I'm going to meet you in Galilee. Did anyone go to Galilee right away? No one. The disciples did not go there. But yet Jesus told him that, and so finally they did end up in Galilee, but not before Jesus met them...

...in Jerusalem twice, and we're going to talk about those two appearances today in our message, where Jesus appeared in that room to the disciples. And there was one guy who wasn't there, and his name is Thomas, as Christian history has called him. His name is doubting Thomas. He just wasn't there the first time, but he was there the second time. And so we're going to look at Thomas's story and the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples in Jerusalem that day today. So, if you have your Bible, turn with me to John Chapter Twenty, John Chapter Twenty. We're going to be starting in Verse Nineteen. If you don't have your Bible, that's okay. The words will be on the screen behind me and we would love to send you home with a Free Bible before you leave today. Just stop in the lobby at the new here area. We will send you home with the Bible. We'd love. We'd love to do that. And so that Sunday evening, that Sunday evening that Jesus resurrected from the dead, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. That Sunday evening, remember Jesus told his disciples that he was going to go to Galilee. that Sunday evening he gets up out of the grave. I wonder, did Jesus expect to have a crowd of people like outside the Tomb? Right he's been telling everybody this was going to happen. I'm going to die three days later. I'm going to rise from the dead. Maybe he was like, I'm gonna the stones going to roll away and I'm going to come out and there's going to be all these people, you know, counting down three, two, one, here I am and nobody was there. And Jesus, this is just me making stuff up. This isn't in the Bible. But maybe Jesus went to Galilee like he said he was going to do, and so Sunday morning he starts he goes over to Galilee. Sunday afternoon he's a Galilee and he starts looking at his watch like where are they, like why, why aren't they here? Well, where did they go that? They get stuck in traffic, like what happened? I thought I told him clearly. And so it's like Sunday evening and he's like, well, I guess they're not coming, and so he goes back to Jerusalem and and he finds them in a room, behind locked doors. Jesus is alive, God is walking around on the earth and his closest followers are stuck in a room because they're scared, behind locked doors. And I love I love this because this is our life. Jesus is saying, follow me, come with me. I've got something for you. I've got an amazing, abundant life for you, I've got a mission for you, and we're like, I don't know about that. I'm stuck. I'm stuck in my room, I'm I'm locked...

...inside. I I can't, I can't do that, I can't go there, I can't love, I can't forgive, I can't. I can't and you can. You can, because the door that they were locked in behind was locked from the inside, and the door that you're locked in is locked from the inside, like you have the power to get up and unlocked the door and walk into everything that God has for you. But we choose to stay in a locked room because it's comfortable. We like it where we are. We're comfortable with our pain, we're comfortable with our hurt and we can't imagine our life any different, and so we just accept it, we just live in it and we are okay with our dysfunction. It's fine. I'm meeting behind a locked door, I'm living behind a locked door and it's locked from the inside because and for the disciples, they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. They were afraid of the Jewish leaders who just days ago. What did they do? They took Jesus and they crucified him, and these disciples thought, I if they did that to Jesus, if they did that to him, then certainly we're next. Right, they're coming after me, they're coming for me next, and so I'm going to lock myself in this room and nothing is going to get in, nothing is going to change nothing. I'm protecting my life. Suddenly Jesus was standing there among them. God is calling you to go somewhere, to do something. He wants you to go to Galilee. He's saying, come with me, follow me, trust me, it's good over here. It's better over here. Come over here, come over here, and we're over here, like I'm fine in my little locked room. It's good. God and Jesus, I'm sure he's waiting, he's coming, he's calling, he's saying come, come, come. But the thing about Jesus is he meets us right where we are. And if you're behind a locked door today, just like Jesus did, he gonna show up in your life. He's going to show up in your locked room,...

...in your situation, whether you want them to or not. Notice anybody looking forward to their resurrected body. You can just teleport wherever you want, walk through walls, doesn't matter. Right. Jesus just shows he shows up there in this room. They're keeping everyone out, they're afraid that that that anyone's going to come inside, and all of a sudden there's this guy standing there. How did you get here? How did he Jesus does that when it's just you and a book behind the lock door. Jesus shows up, when it's just you and a screen behind a lock door, Jesus shows up, when it's just you and your thoughts behind a lock door. Jesus shows up. Jesus is standing there in this room, right among all the disciples, and then he tells them peace be with you, because they were experiencing anything but peace in that moment. They're trying to keep the whole world out because they're going to die if anyone gets in this room. And here's somebody in the room. Oh my goodness, oh no, oh no. And so again we think that if God was to show up in our life, if he was to be right here right now, like physically is on all his glory and all of who he is, just reveal himself, would be like okay, God, thank you for telling me. I very much appreciate it as great, great guidance. I will for sure get on that as quickly as possible. That's not how anybody responded to God's glorious presence showing up in their life. All throughout scripture. When God shows up, like for real, shows up in all of his people freak out. They're like Noo, why? How? What? Ho? What? Like that is the response when God really shows up in your life, even today, like if you're not asking why, if you're not asking how, if you're not asking what, are you actually saying? That's not that's probably not God, because he's coming in a whole different level, like a way above whatever we can ask or think, and it's got you know. He's saying, trust me, I got something for you. And we in our own human, finite understanding. It's scary. It causes us the question, it causes us to doubt, and so that's why Jesus says peace be with you in this moment. You can trust me in this moment, you can walk with me. It's okay. And then there's a great reason why it's okay. He spoke and he showed with them the wounds in his hands and in his side, and...

...they were filled with joy when they saw the Lord. There is great reason and evidence and proof to trust God and in this moment when everything is going crazy, Jesus shows them who he is, and I love this. Out of all the things that Jesus could have done in that moment, just think, what could someone do to prove that they were God to you? LEVITATE, walk on water, create something out of nothing? Jesus could have done all that stuff. Right. What did he choose to do? Identify with their weakness, identify with pain, and he showed his hands and his side, and I think it's a lesson for all of us to learn about connecting with God, connecting with people. Is that, as Michael said earlier, if we are open and honest and vulnerable enough to actually show our wounds, connection happens. Connection happens with people, connection happens with God, and Jesus, in this instance, new that that's what his disciples needed in this moment. Here's who I am, this is me, trust me, wounded, hurt, painful, weak me, and they were filled with joy when they saw the Lord. And that's, yes, a basic this is God, this is Jesus, this is you. I yes, this is you. And then Jesus goes into this like summary Statement. You know, I'm sure he said more than this, but this is what's recorded for us. He said peace be with you, as the father has sent me, so I'm sending you translation. You can't stay behind this locked door. You cannot live the rest of your life living in this locked door. You have to get out, you have to go. You have to trust me, you have to follow me. I've got a mission for you. And then he breathed on them and said receive the Holy Spirit. He was looking ahead fifty days to the day of Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, was going to come and dwell them, empower them to live a life that they've never experienced before, to serve people like they've never done before, to share the Gospel with power and authority like they've never done before. Jesus was giving them this blessing say look forward to this, receive the Holy Spirit. And then he says these confusing words. If you forgive anyone sins, they are forgiven, and if you do not forgive them, then they're not forgiven and you're like, I thought God is the only one that can forgive sins, to which I would say, yeah, I think so too. So what's he saying here? I think Jesus is telling the disciples that you know how to be forgiven, like you know, you've got the message, you know that it's Jesus and what he's done for you on the Cross, as death borough of Resurrection, and you got to trust them and believe in him. And so if people do that, you can tell them...

...like God has forgiven you. And if they haven't done that, or they haven't done it yet or or, then then God hasn't forgiven them. But I also think there's another aspect to it, like these disciples were the leaders of the church, the first leaders of this new thing, and so when people, and this happens today, people need to experience what it means to be forgiven by somebody in order to kind of understand what it means to be forgiven by God. That's a big concept. What does that look like? And so, like today, people, they love Jesus, they love God, some, usually sometimes right. They need they need forgiveness, they need grace, they need love, they need all of the stuff from God and they looking for it there, they're asking for it. And then, like maybe, they show up in a place like this to a church and they come in contact with people that claim to know God and claim to love be loved by God and that God is with them and God has grace for them and mercy for them, and they experience anything but love. They experience anything but grace from the church people. Right they don't get forgiven by the church people, and so therefore it's hard for them to understand what it means to really be forgiven by God. And so we, as followers of Jesus, have a responsibility to show other people what does it really mean to be forgiven, like, if you've been forgiven by God, great, now you are an example, you're a representation of Jesus, of what it means to be forgiven. So yes, these are some confusing verses, but I think the idea that you know, you can say that you're forgiven if you believe, if you've if you've trusted in the truth of the Gospel, and also this idea of experiencing forgiveness because of the inner personal relationships that we have as well. Jesus is giving them these big summary Statements. But there was one person who wasn't there, and his name was Thomas, nickname the twin. In the Greek it's Didimis, and he was not with the others when Jesus came throughout Christian history. This is doubting Thomas. Why doubting right? Maybe it should just be like late Thomas, or like absent Thomas, or I just missed out on it, Thomas Right. I mean those don't ring as nicely as doubting Thomas does, but there's a lot of other words that characterize Thomas Right, not just doubting. He was one of the twelve disciples and he wasn't there for all of this. He missed it, he missed out on it, and so when he did eventually show up, everyone else is like, we have seen the Lord. Can you just imagine that? You know,...

Thomas comes walking in. We have seen the Lord, he was just here. They're going on, going off about this whole story and it's like really, that's that's crazy, and Thomas has replying. I won't believe it unless I see the nail hands wounds in his hands and put my fingers in them and place my hand in the wounds in his side. I just imagine right the disciples are telling the story over and over again. This is like the tenth time, and the disciples are telling Thomas, Thomas, you should have been here. You missed it. Yesterday. It was incredible. Jesus showed up. And remember how they took these nails and they nailed it into his hands, into the cross, and Thomas is looking at them like I remember that, and then they're like yeah, yeah, remember when the Roman Centurion had this like big tall in this big spirit he like was gonna go stab him, and it was like remember that? In Thomas was like yeah, yeah, I remember that. You. You've told me this for the tenth time already, like I wasn't there. I know that was cool, I wasn't there. And so we start to wonder, and I wonder if God, Thomas was wondering this. God did that for you. God showed that to you, God showed his hands to you, God showed his side to you. But me, like, we know in our mind, we know in our head, we trust you know, God has heal or God can heal people. God, God, God. We pray for people. They're in the hospital and like God can. They're at the brink of their something very bad and like miracle happens and and like the doctors don't know what happened and they come back to full health and it's like amazing. But you're also praying for someone that you love and maybe it's not even as bad and it just seems to be getting worse and you're praying and you're praying and you're like, I'm praying harder than them, I go to church more than them, I'm a better person than them, and why isn't God answering my prayers? And it doesn't get better and maybe maybe they're not with you anymore, and you just start to wonder. I know God can do that. I know God does that, but for me, or like in relationships, you know you're you've been praying for that special person in your life and you know God it's promised, like I want this. I know God brings those people. I know sometimes you know your future spouse like sits behind you at Church and you turn around I'm like, well, there they are. That's the wow. It's amazing, like God does that for people bull but for me...

I think of it like when I'm in the hospital and I know I've been in many hospitals. I've prayed with people before surgeries. I've done that a lot of times. But when it's you, I know, I know friends and people that have had children get heart surgeries, open heart surgeries, but placed valves do some crazy stuff in their chest. But when it's your child and it's just you and your wife sitting in the waiting room while it's your kid with the chest open, you know God does this. God's with you, God's presence. He's promised that he does. He brings you through it. But me, but me, and sometimes I think one of the biggest reasons we doubt God is we've never given him the opportunity to prove himself to us. Sometimes, one of the biggest reasons we doubt God is we've never given him the opportunity to prove himself to us. You're like that sounds good, pastor, but what does it mean? Let me tell you what it means to me. Some of us, I think, have second generation faith. Like we look at our parents and they wow, they were strong believers. God really worked in their life. They had a great marriage, their family was amazing. God was at work in their life. And but me, I don't know. My Church. Fifty Years Ago God was certainly moving and now like it's God even there. God Saves People, God heals people, God transforms lives. God does that. It's amazing. You to take an attict and bring him into this amazing like relationship with Jesus. That like just sets them off on this whole new life of serving and loving people and it's a credible like God does that. But he doesn't do that now. Like I missed it. That was then. I wasn't there, I wasn't around. That was for somebody else. That wasn't for me. And so whether we just miss it or we choose to miss it, like God saying go to Galilee, come over here, follow me, and we're like, I'm finding this locked room, I'm finding this lock space, I'm fine right here. And then, as I said earlier, you know, Jesus shows up there. He meets us where we are all the time. But even when Jesus shows up in our darkest of places, sometimes we just don't even look up, sometimes we don't even open our eyes, sometimes we don't even reach out. Jesus is like, look at my wounds, look at my hands, look at my side and you're like, I'd rather not. He's trying to get you to understand who he is, to prove himself to you, and sometimes we doubt because we've never given him the opportunity to prove himself...

...to us. And so that's why doubting Thomas. He doubts the testimony of the other disciples. He missed out on it. I won't believe unless I see the nail hands like you did and put my fingers in them like you did, and place my hand in aside and the like you did. He missed out. So this is this is heavy. That's heavy stuff. I realized that I'm going to lay it not for a second, with a different illustration. So I need somebody that can leave the room right now for a minute or two. You're not going to miss anything other than being a part of the illustration. So I need one person to leave the room and one other person to come up on stage while the other person leaves. I got one volunteer. Well, got another volunteer. All Right, why don't you got to leave the room? Why don't you got to be Thomas? Why do you got to miss up? All right, John, why don't you leave the room, will come and get you in like two minutes. All Right, joy, come on up here, have a seat. I think, I think I know what's happening here. So, so, John's not going to know anything about this. Okay, if she's actually paying attention, which he's doing. Good. So your you're all the disciples. You're seeing this and John's missing out. Right. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to put this pen through this bag of water over joy's head, and I got a pull here just in case, just in case, but it's science. Nobody's getting with okay, but you don't know that. You know? Do you trust me enough? Then I would not get you wet in this moment, right. That's the illustration. And so, look like you just you just put it through. They're like that. Who? Well, you know what I meant. Jeez, all right. So just take...

...my word for it, all right, joy, someone go get John. All right, come and have a seat. Joy, was just sitting in the seat a moment ago. Everybody was witnesses to the fact that, if I do this correctly, so there's some human are involved in this, you are not going to get wet. I promise I get in here? Yes, sit on the seat please. So the theory is? Theory is that I'm going to hold this over your head like this. Yeah, and I'm going to take this pen, okay, and I'm going to put it in the bag and pop it. Is it gonna? I mean it, I failed there earlier, but it she did earlier, within the last five so, is John gonna get wet? Everybody. No. Do you believe them? No. Do you take their word for it? Do you want to see it for yourself? They've seen it. Yeah, it works all right if I do it right. So Ready, Huh, okay, all right, Ye, a little wet. Yes, look at that. Wow, you survived the almost dry. Yes, look at that, beautiful. You did it. You did it, you got it all right. Here's the point. There is a difference in believing it through someone else's words then owning...

...it as your own, just because we all testified to the fact that John was not going to get wet, and my human error even added to the event. Right, it was doubtful. He saw it, he experienced it, it didn't get him wet. Poking a bag of water over your head, right, but he missed it. He missed it the first time. You all saw, you all experienced that. He's going to have to go back and watch the video later to see what really happened. And that's what Thomas did. He missed it. He just missed it, and so he needed to, he wanted to, he desired to experience it for himself. And so eight days later the disciples were together again and this time Thomas was with them. Eight days later, we give up praying after eight minutes, right. Some of you have been praying for stuff for eight tea years and having given up. Yet eight days later, Jesus is probably like, I'm I'm with you, you know. Eight days, yeah, I'm I'm just like countdown. I'm making you sweated out, I'm making you wait. And Thomas is there with the disciples again, and the doors were locked. The resurrected Jesus has appeared to the disciples in that room and they are still afraid, they are still stock, they are still not wanting to move out of that room. Jesus even told them I'm sending you, you have to go, and they don't want to and Jesus says peace be with you. This is like a this is like a doover right. It is the same thing that happened eight days prior. Because they're afraid, they're freaking out. WHO's this person? How did he get in this room? He walked through the wall. What are you doing here? Peace be with you. And then he said to Thomas, put your finger here and look at my hands and put your hand in my wound, in my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe. Jesus showed up and gave him what he needed and he gives us to give Thomas and he gives us this invitation. Don't be faithless any longer, don't doubt any more. Believe, believe, and maybe today that's Jesus calling out to you. Don't be faithless any longer, don't doubt anymore. Believe. Look at his wounds, look at his side. He is who he said he was. Believe. And so Thomas Exclaims my little Lord and my God, not the Lord or the God right. It's not...

...a mental ascension to some facts. It is a personal trust in my Lord and my God, Thomas exclaimed, and Jesus told them you believe because you've seen me. Yeah, put your hands in Jesus's wounds. Touches side. Yeah, I believe to write, but I can't do that. And so Jesus looks through time, through history to you and says, blessed are those who believe without seeing me? Blessed? Are you that can't have the same experience that Thomas had? Blessed? Are you that still believe and you're like, well, if I can't have that experience, then how can I believe? How can I do this? And the disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs and additions to the ones recorded in this book. John, the writer of this Gospel, is saying there's more to it than just Thomas showing as the wounds. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, and that by least believing in him, you will have life by the power of his name. John wrote his Gospel and as evidence, as proof that Jesus was who he said he was and did what he said he did. And so, yes, I'm not going to we're probably not going to be able to touch Jesus's hands and his side and see it that kind of evidence for ourself. But there is so much evidence out there to look for, to see. And I believe because John saw it firsthand and he wrote it down and I'm reading his words two thousand years later. And I believe because Thomas was there and he saw it, he touched Jesus and his account is written down and I'm reading it two thousand years later. I believe because Matthew saw it, he saw the resurrected Jesus and wrote it down and I'm reading it two thousand years later. I believe because Peter saw it and he experienced it. It was real. Jesus was who he said he was and he his account was written down and I'm reading it two thousand years later. Like our evidence in our proof might be a little different than Thomas's was, but there is so much. There is so much, and so I encourage you to ask questions, to doubt it, to wonder about it, to look at it and wrestle with it, because your doubts don't change the fact that it's true. Your questions don't change the fact that it's true. It's true Jesus, this is who he said he was, he did what he claimed to do and there is so much evidence to the fact of that and so as we can continue...

...to look at it and wonder about it and wrestle with it and look at it from different angles, we're going to continue to have more questions, we're going to continue to have more wondering and more amazement and more doubts and more but Jesus is who he said he is and, just like John wrote, you can believe in him. He's written these things so that you will believe in him and that by believing in him, you will have life by the power of his name. So let us pray worship team will get this song in here before we we end. Lord Jesus, we just come before you now and we realize that sometimes, sometimes we don't see it exactly like other people see it. We have different experiences. Life is different for all of us and Lord, I just pray that we would look for evidence, that we would look for the truth, that we would study it out, that we would wonder about it and that we would choose to not be faithless any longer, but that we would choose to believe. Lord Jesus, help us to believe in Jesus name. Amen.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (120)