Bayern, USA, Deutschland

Monday, March 31, 2008

Ordinary People

One of the things I like about the holy Gospels is that the evangelists tell us about ordinary people. We tend to put the first disciples and the Twelve Apostles on golden pedestals: how spiritual and holy they were compared to me, so far removed from Jesus.

In John 20 we see yet again the ordinariness of the disciples and the apostles. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to finish burying Jesus, not to rejoice in His resurrection. Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had risen, unless he got the same visit the other apostles had: they saw Him and could touch Him. Jesus meets us on our level. If Thomas needs to see and touch, then Jesus will give Him that opportunity. If Mary needs to give Jesus a big hug (perhaps to reassure herself that He has a real, physical body and not a ghost or just to express her love and friendship at the good news she just received), then Jesus will give her that opportunity.

Jesus wanted His disciples and apostles to believe He had risen from the tomb, thus He appeared to them, conversed with them, ate with them, etc. The witness of the first disciples and the Twelve Apostles formed the groundwork for all the others who heard their proclamation and believed (even though they hadn't actually seen the risen Jesus).

Each generation in the Church has passed on to the succeeding generation the faith: Christ was crucified, Christ is risen, for you and your eternal salvation. This faith is about justification: we are freely forgiven because of Christ alone. We have so many opportunities to proclaim the crucified and risen Christ via conversations with people, email, blogs, radio, TV, and other forms of media. What a blessed opportunity the Holy Spirit has given our generation.

Like Mary and Thomas, we have the joyous privilege to go and tell others what we know and believe: Jesus died and rose again to obtain the forgiveness of all the world's sin; and that means that He died and rose for each one personally. What a wonderful Savior, and what a marvelous gospel!

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