Don’t Despise the Latecomers

Eternity is a long time.  Better late than never, but never let it be too late.

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John 20:26 – And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

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The day of Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to His disciples in a room where they had concealed them-selves.  We don’t know how many were there.  Jesus had many more than just twelve disciples; we know He had an additional seventy under specific assignment.  But we DO know of a conspicuous absentee; Thomas.  He was one of the twelve.  So, imagine with me what may have been transpiring in Thomas’ heart.  For eight days, he had been hearing all this talk about Jesus being alive from those who said they had seen Him.  But like so many people today, talk alone is not enough.  Emotion alone is not enough, and I’m sure those who head seen the resurrected Lord were excited.  But Thomas wanted to see for himself.  And my friend, that is not always a bad thing.

So, eight days after the resurrection, as a group of Jesus’ disciples were once again gathered in seclusion, Jesus appeared to them for the second time.  As before, His first words commanded peace in the room.  Allow me a bit of a side-bar here.  My friend, you can be assured that if Jesus comes to you, His words will ALWAYS command peace in the room, even if He has come to make corrections.  Settle your heart on that NOW!

But on this occasion of His appearing, it seem Jesus’ presence was directed at Thomas, who for eight days, had wanted to SEE Jesus, not just hear of the resurrection.  Still, Jesus begins by bringing peace to the occasion.  Then He spoke directly to Thomas.  He called upon Thomas to examine His body, and not be faithless.  Look at it again.  He brought peace first, and then reproof, rebuke, and exhortation.

Of course, from Thomas there was immediate repentance and belief.  But what must we take from this occasion?  Once again, peace always arrives first.  Secondly, we must never be offended if your words are not believed.  As Jesus said, those who hear and believe are blessed indeed, but the truth of our testimony will surely stand under the rigors of any investigation.  You see, Father ALWAYS confirms His Word with signs following.  Never be reluctant to speak the truth of God’s Word.  Have peace about yourself in every situation.  When people hear and believe, confirmation will come TO them.  When people choose not to believe, the Lord knows how to care for His own, and in some way, confirmation will come FOR those who dare to speak the truth.  Regardless of whether one believes your words, or the confirmation of those words, don’t despise the latecomer.  As it has been said, “better late than never.”  Eternity is a long time. 

Manna for Today – John 20:19-31; John 12:12-14; Mark 16:15-20

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