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!”
Could you look at God? Could you look right into His face? As Moses stands in the presence of God, facing the bush that would not be consumed by the fire, he hears someone speaking. The voice says that the ground ahead is holy; Moses had to remove his sandals. But this encounter does not end there.
The voice then reveals Who is speaking. He says, “I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses realizes he is in the presence of God, that he is encountering God, he covered his face. Why conceal his face from God? Fear of God. He was afraid to look at God.
This fear of God is not wrong. Each one of us should fear God. We are meant to fear God. Moses recognizes at that moment that he is a sinner standing before a holy God. Immediately he acknowledges that he is unworthy by hiding his face. At this point in the story, God shares with Moses the great plan to redeem His people. One of the awesome things we read is that God is going to use unqualified Moses to help His chosen people. Today, consider if you have had a true encounter of Jesus Christ. Have you turned and hid your face when before our holy God? Have you recognized your great need for Jesus Christ? We all need Jesus!
“’I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” – Exodus 3:6 [NLT]