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John

20:24-31

 

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe."

 

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

 

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.(ESV)

 

 

Put Your Finger Here

Wednesday of Holy Trinity

3 June 2015

Children will put their fingers anywhere. You have noticed? Children perhaps are the most unconsciously human creatures. Their first concerns are about food, sleeping, and diaper changes. Their being brought into the world is one of the most fleshly and the most spiritually sublime occurrences that human beings can experience. It is fraught with pain, suffering, danger, drama, and the most inspiring joy. You know what I mean when the doctor places your newborn in your arms for the first time or you feed a grandchild on her baptism day.

 

As we grow up, we learn to discipline are childish fleshliness. Our parents model and teach us table manners, and there is the inevitable potty training. But still fingers go everywhere. A pastor shaking hands after a service will often note that children's fingers have been in interesting places almost immediately before they shake hands. Oh well. That's part of human life.

 

None of this is a surprise, especially to fathers and mothers. It is not a surprise also to our heavenly Father, who has created us and knows that we are flesh and blood. Adam and Eve were not phantoms nor hyper-spiritualized ghostlike beings. No, they ate and drank, and walked in the cool of the garden with God in the afternoons. We, their children, are no less flesh and blood than they. The second Adam, Christ our Lord, God's Son, comes in flesh and blood to save God's children: "Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham" (Heb 2:14-16). God's own Son takes our human flesh that He might return it to us in the condition for which it was created, so that we could have perfect fellowship with our God, His Father. In that flesh, our flesh, He suffers, in that flesh He dies according to the Scriptures, in that flesh He is buried, and in that flesh He is raised again according to the Scriptures, in that flesh He appears now to his disciples. There is nothing here of fairy dust and tall tales. There is only the immediacy of the risen Christ come to speak peace to His disciples, to eat with them restoring their fellowship with him, and to display the wounds that now mark His very real flesh and to say to Thomas, "Put your finger here" (Jn 20:27).

 

Martin Luther

 

Christ says: 'The bread which I shall give you is My flesh.' (Jn 6:51). What kind of flesh is meant? Not veal or beef found in cow barns. Of course, that is also flesh; but it is not 'the flesh which I shall give for the life of the world.' This is a live and yet a dead flesh, a flesh that has died and by reason of its death makes the whole world alive. Not John the Baptist or Mary or any angel, but solely this person, Christ, is involved. It is His flesh alone that does this. To it God wants to draw us and bind us. God is not to be sought or found outside the person born of Mary, the person endowed with real flesh and blood, and crucified. God is to be apprehended and found in the flesh and blood of Christ solely by faith. We must know that this flesh and blood, though real, not only have the qualities of flesh and blood but partake of the divine."

 

Martin Luther, Sermons on John's Gospel, 6.51
 
Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that we might place our hands upon Your flesh in the holy sacrament of the altar and in that receiving find our flesh cleansed of the leprosy of our sin. Amen.

 

For Holly Cokinos, who is near her due to date, that she would be kept safe and that she and James would be granted the gift a child

 

For the Texas District Convention of the LCMS, that it would testify to the power of God's grace to grow the church

 

For the shut ins of Memorial Lutheran Church, Reuben Braun, Robert Frerking, Anita Markwardt, and Rita Baker, that the Lord Jesus would watch over them and care for them every day
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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