present-ing himself

Here is Jesus presenting himself to Thomas, the doubting disciple.  Gently, patiently, invitingly.  Jesus gives Thomas a moment to take him in.  Nail scars still there, not fixed, not restored, forever wounded.  Spear piercing in his side- the reminder of that horrible Friday- the vividness of human sin crucifying the Savior.  It had really happened.  And now Jesus, the nail-scarred leader, invites Thomas, the doubter, to draw near.  (I wonder sometimes if perhaps Jesus might have even worn an encouraging "come-on-it's-okay" smile.)

Thomas must have shamefully stared at Jesus… who had most likely put out his hands, stuck out a foot or two, and gestured toward his side.  "Go ahead, Thomas, put your hand in them," says the Leader of the Universe.  "Prove to yourself that I AM alive.  Let the testimony of my scars speak forever."  Thomas must have been moved to the core of his soul… Imagine seeing those visible wounds- purposefully unhealed- on the most powerful human who was or is or who will be.

The humility of the resurrected Jesus strikes me perhaps more than anything else about him.  Here is Jesus gently appearing to grieving women in the garden.  Here is Jesus making breakfast on the shore for his disciples… serving them fresh fish over a fire.  Here is Jesus eating a humble meal in Emmaus with two no-named men – who, by the way, didn't even realize who he was.  Here is Jesus restoring the love of Peter.   Here is Jesus presenting himself to only a select number of people, instead of rubbing his presence in the face of his killers.  He didn't mock the Sadducees who sentenced him to death- and who rejected the idea of a resurrected body.  He didn't spit on the soldiers who spit on him.  He didn't turn on the crowds who had turned on him.  He didn't seek revenge on Barabbas.  He didn't massacre Herod's family… or beam himself to the throne room of Rome to make Caesar wet his pants.  Here is the King of kings and Lord of Lords, the Great I AM, friend.  Here is Jesus, the Lamb of God.

Who could possibly be a greater leader than the resurrected Jesus?  He conquered death!  What more could a person do?  Jesus was the essence of brilliance and glory.  Splendor was his.  The sound of his resurrected voice alone could have blown like a nuclear blast.  One wave of his arm could have forced everyone to their knees.  And yet, here is Jesus presenting himself to Thomas, the doubting disciple.

(See John 20:24-29)

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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