Day 229: August 17, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Mark 16:14
Later, He appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been resurrected.

Luke 24:36-43
36 And as they were saying these things, He Himself stood among them. He said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 “Why are you troubled?” He asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Touch Me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 Having said this, He showed them His hands and feet. 41 But while they still were amazed and unbelieving because of their joy, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish,[a] 43 and He took it and ate in their presence.

John 20:19-25
19 In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 20 Having said this, He showed them His hands and His side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 After saying this, He breathed on them and said,[a] “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 But one of the Twelve, Thomas (called “Twin”), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe!”

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

“Why are you troubled?” He asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts?” … Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.
—Luke 24:38; John 20:21

The Beauty of Being Sent
by Denise Hildreth Jones, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

They knew him well. They’d watched him closely. They’d encountered his beauty, power, and righteous anger—all first hand. They’d seen lives and hearts transformed by just his touch or one word spoken from his mouth. They’d witnessed things that we’re only privileged to read about.

And yet these words came out of Jesus' mouth to their ears: "Why are you frightened? Why are your hearts filled with doubt?”

Make you feel better about yours? Those doubts that creep in after a financial crisis, marital crisis, health crisis, or child crisis. Ours creep in without the first-hand accounts of Jesus.

We didn't get to watch him open blinded eyes or heal lepers. We weren't there when Lazarus came walking out of his tomb without a stench or a scar. So, there’s this deep comfort in knowing this: if his disciples encountered all these beautiful pieces of Jesus' virtues and they doubted, then maybe our humanness has an even greater deal of acceptance and understanding.

He countered their doubts by showing them his scars—the holes in his hands, the holes in his feet, the piercing in his side. They were all made more visual to us after Mark Burnett's interpretation of The Bible.

I find this deeply tender side of Jesus—that patient Father portion. He referred to his death and resurrection many times, yet they still seemed unprepared. But he offers them this: "It's ok, kids. Let me show you one more time all I've done for you, just like I told you I would."

And with the power of His tangible revelation, we're told they were "filled with joy." Yet he speaks to their fears again: “Peace be with you.”

He speaks the same to us today—the same word of peace to our crisis, our doubt, our disappointment. He comes bearing the same scars, the same power of the resurrection, to our scarred, buried, and dead places. And He comes with such power and such proven authority on the subject at hand because He needs us.

As much as He needed the early disciples to begin the message of the gospel, He needs us today in a world just as desperate for the gospel. His words of peace were followed by this: "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."

Doubts and fears leave us stagnant, motionless, and infective—powerful playgrounds for the enemy's side show. They’re some of his most strategic weapons. And they’re for one purpose: to cause us to miss our “sending” moment.

After they’d seen His face and touched His scars, had they refused to banish the fear and doubt, we might possibly not hold the truth of this word in our hands.

What doubt do you need to banish? What fear have you held on to for far too long? What might be missed if we cling to them still? This is our "sending" moment. God desires to use us mightily in this generation for this kairos moment of our destiny.

Reflection Questions

  1. What are my doubts? What are my fears?
  2. What are those doubts and fears trying to keep me from pursuing? Or where might they keep me from being "sent."
  3. Using your concordance, look up five scriptures on peace. Use these passages as points of meditation this week.
  4. What are some specific ways you can see God has tried to speak peace to your own heart?
  5. What steps of faith should you take now in light of God's desire to "send" you?

About the Author

Denise Hildreth Jones
» Blog/Website

Denise Hildreth Jones has been a member at Brentwood Baptist since 2012. She’s married to Philly Jones and is the bonus-mom to their five active children. Author of ten books, she leads a ministry called Reclaiming Hearts and blogs in her Monday Musings column at www.reclaiminghearts.com. Her best days are accompanied by a cold Coca-Cola, a good book, SEC football, and backyard soccer games with her five kiddos.