A Message, a Mission, and a Mandate.
First we see in John 20:11-18: Jesus meets Mary Magdalene early in the morning in the tomb as she’s standing there lost in grief. He shows Himself to her, but she doesn’t recognize Him, so He calls her by name, thrilled at the sight of Him she wants to hold on and not let Him go, but He wants her to serve Him. She is given a task to complete. She must tell the disciples about Jesus’ impending ascension to the Father. She is the one chosen and entrusted with this important Message.
Then in John 20:19-23: Jesus meets with the disciples later that same evening as they are locked away in fear. Thomas is not there. Jesus comforts the rest of them with His gift of peace, He reveals Who He is, He breathes on them and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit, and then He explains what He wants them to do. Armed with the blessing of the Holy Spirit they are now expected to step outside of their fear. Because He is sending them out of that room and into the world with a Mission to accomplish.
And finally in John 20:24-29: Jesus meets Thomas eight days later. Thomas is present with the other disciples this time but he is filled with doubt. Jesus greets them all with His peace and then turns His focus onto Thomas. This doubter is called upon to touch and see the scars of Christ, He highlights Thomas’ need for proof and then He gives him a strong Mandate regarding his attitude; stop doubting and BELIEVE!
Like Mary, there have been times when Jesus was right there with me in my grief but I didn’t recognize or perceive His presence. I’ve had times of drowning in the ‘what if’s’ in fear of what’s coming next. And even like Thomas I’ve had my share of doubt while waiting for God to prove the faithfulness of word to me. Whether we are grieving, fearful, or in doubt, God will draw near to us when we cry out to Him.
As we open our eyes to seek Him and our ears tune into His voice, may our hearts open up and surrender to Him. Whether you are presently engulfed in grief, caught up in a web of fear, or trudging through the mud of doubt, God will meet you right where you are.
Let’s Reflect: Are you ready to be sent to others with a Message to give? Or are you seeking to be sent out with a Mission for Him? Are you in need of a Mandate regarding the supernatural adjustment of your current attitude? Take some time to reflect on which position you’re in and ask God to meet you there.
Let’s Pray: Heaven Father, for those of us who are grieving, we pray for comfort. For those of us struggling with fear, we pray for peace. And for those of us steeped in doubt, we pray for confidence. You are the Designer of our hearts and the Lifter of our heads. We look to You alone for help in our times of need. And we are so grateful that You meet our needs with the encounter that each one of us craves in this hour. In Jesus’ name. Amen.