“Y” Does it Matter? – Recalculating

Rev. Andrew Prin
Sunday, October 13

GodSpeak for the Week of October 13

“’Y’…does it matter?” – Recalculating

We continue this week with a new series looking at the “forks”/the “Ys” we come to (and, take) in the “road of faith.”  Does it really matter which forks we take?  Does it really matter what we believe? 

This week we focus on “recalculating” our faith-based “GPS.”

Day 1…Read John 20:24-25

  • Consider this – famously, Thomas had been absent when the resurrected Lord had first appeared to the disciples.
  • Answer this – why wouldn’t the disciples’ testimony have been enough to convince Thomas of the truth?  What does Thomas’ reaction say about human nature in general?  What does it say about God’s faithfulness in full?

Day 2…Read John 20:24-25 (again)

  • Consider this – Thomas requires PROOF that the Lord is alive; he won’t simply take the disciples’ “word” for it.
    • Notice, too – the disciples’ TELLIING Thomas of the Lord’s resurrection only engages ONE of Thomas’ senses…hearing.
  • Answer this – what does Thomas’ requirement to SEE and FEEL the Lord’s scars say about what we need to process “truth”?

Day 3…Read Matthew 26:26-28

  • Consider this – compare Thomas’ requirement to SEE and FEEL the Lord’s presence in addition to HEARING about His resurrection.
    • Compare this to what Jesus says in this passage about the bread and wine, which has become Holy Communion.
      • In the Lutheran-Christian tradition, we are careful (and, correct in terms of what Scripture says) – that Jesus did not use a simile, here.  He DID NOT say: “This is LIKE my body…my blood.”  Therefore, what we celebrate is not merely symbolic.
      • Thus, we in the Lutheran-Christian tradition describe what is happening in Holy Communion as the “real presence” of Jesus “in, with and under” the bread and wine.
        • That is, we can’t fully understand or perceive HOW Jesus binds Himself in real time to the wafers and the wine.  But we gladly receive His real presence among us by faith.  In short, He has SAID He is with us and we gladly receive Him thus.
  • Answer this – as such, what is Jesus doing every time we celebrate and receive Holy Communion that is very, very similar to what He did for Thomas’ sake?

Day 4…Read John 20:27

  • Consider this – when Jesus says to Thomas: “Stop doubting and believe,” the Greek word for “doubting” carries the notion of MISTRUSTING God (i.e., not just having a lack of faith).
  • Answer this – like Thomas, where in your life do you find yourself mistrusting God (i.e., not simply struggling with faith in Him)?  What do you typically need from Him to “believe” (i.e., trust) again?

Day 5…Read John 20:29

  • Answer this – why does Jesus say this?  What is His point?
    • If it’s true that we often need multiple senses engaged (i.e., sight, smell, hearing) in order to believe, why would Jesus say this? (hint – HOW does the Lord engage our other senses without our asking?)

Day 6…Read John 20:30-31

  • Consider this – John ends his Gospel by noting that he’s not included EVERY “sign” Jesus performed.
  • Answer this – what can that statement/knowledge alone do for our faith/trust in God?
  • Consider this – in v. 31, John notes that what he has recorded has been done to foster faith that Jesus is the Messiah and that you may have “life in His name.”
  • Answer this – how do these verses, in particular, along with everything John and the other Gospel writers recorded help you to believe in His name?  What do these stories and accounts do for you?

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