As I was reading John 20 this morning, I was reminded of the personal relationship I have with Jesus. I was reminded that each of us have a different relationship (or absence thereof) when it comes to Jesus. It all comes down to how we engage with God’s Word and with our Savior. Remember in John 20:20, we find Jesus appears to His disciples and He shows them His hands and side. He shows them His hands and His side. Later Thomas, or Doubting Thomas as many call him, returned. He missed the grand arrival of Jesus, and though the others noted that He came, Thomas would not believe. He said, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand in His side, I will not believe” (v. 25 NIV). Thomas desired a personal encounter.
Jesus appears later, this time Thomas was with the others. The Bible says that even though the doors were locked, Jesus came in. He said, “Peace be with you!” Then He directs Himself to Thomas. He says, “Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe” (v. 27 NIV). Immediately Thomas responds – “My Lord and my God!” Thomas had a personal encounter with Jesus.
We are often hard on Thomas. Yes, he demanded to have this personal moment with Jesus. He demanded to see Him, to touch the nail marks. He desired to look upon the One Who once bled for Him. He desired to reach his hands out and put his finger where the nails once were. He needed to have this personal encounter. Yes, he doubted. Yes, he needed some evidence. Most of all, He needed to encounter the risen Jesus Christ. He needed it to be personal. Remember, once this happened he immediately exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Today, seek out that personal encounter with Jesus. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a new way. As you reach out and grasp a hold of Jesus, may you exclaim, “My Lord and my God!”
In Acts 22, we read of the encounter Paul has with Jesus. What an awesome moment that changed so much not only in Paul’s life, but to spark a great work of ministry that continues even today. When Paul, then Saul, encounters Jesus, he asks two questions. The first is who are you. His eyes are blinded. He hears someone. He asks, “Who are you?” to know who is speaking. Once he knows it is Jesus Christ, once he has this encounter with Jesus, he asks, “What shall I do?” now.
I pray you have encountered Jesus in your life, that you have had the eye opening moment just like Saul did that day Jesus met him where he was at in life, and forever changed everything. This encounter reminds me of Isaiah’s call, when he is before the Lord with unclean lips. His lips are made clean and then the Lord asks who will go, and he answers, “Here I am.” Isaiah encounters the Lord and he then is ready for action—action for the Lord.
Today, as you travel through wherever you must go, remember that you are able to encounter Jesus. He wants to reveal Himself to you in new ways. God wants a deeper relationship with you. Continue to ask the question, “Who are you?” as you go about your day. Keep your ears listening, your eyes open. As He shows Himself to you in His Word, in His Creation, in His people—then the response should be “what shall I do”? since I’ve received this revelation. Revelation always should be followed by a response.
“And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me. And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’” – Acts 28:8-10 [ESV]