April 05, 2021 – Monday
2 Thessalonians 1:7b-10 NIV
7b This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels.
8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might
10 on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
Sunday, yesterday, was Resurrection Day also known as Easter. In the message for Resurrection Day a verse was quoted where Jesus was speaking to His disciple Thomas. The content of the verse really corresponds to the last verse above where Paul wrote, This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
The verse is in the book of John after Jesus’ resurrection after some interaction with His disciples. It begins with Jesus’ first visit to the disciples in John 20:19-20 where we read, On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. However, one of the disciples was not there and in verses 24 and 25 we find out how he reacted to the news of Jesus’ resurrection, Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (emphasis added)
Who could blame Thomas for not believing? Sure, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, but Lazarus had died a death from natural causes. Jesus, though, had been crucified and had a spear thrust into His side to confirm His death. No one had ever come back from the dead after being crucified. No one. But things were about to change for Thomas as verses 26-29 tell us, A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though 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; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” Poor Thomas had just had his view of reality turned upside down. Thus, Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Now Thomas believed. Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed.” Thomas would not deny what his eyes and ears told him. Jesus was alive in the flesh. It was then Jesus added a statement of blessing for the Thessalonians and us, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
This blessing for those who have not seen and yet have believed is what leads Paul to write This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. They (and we) have not seen Jesus, yet we believe. The Thessalonians will not be shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. They and we will be among all those who have believed.
Our knowledge, our faith, our belief that Jesus is indeed Risen will lead us to many blessings in heaven as we spend eternity with Jesus, His Father, the Holy Spirit, and millions (billions?) of brothers and sisters who also believe. We can be thankful to have such powerful testimonies of Jesus Resurrected so that we might believe.
Prayer: Father God, Thank You so much for the miracle of raising Your Son, our Lord and Savior, from the dead on the third day. Thank You for the testimonies of those who saw, met, and talked with Your Risen Son. We are blessed to have such powerful eyewitnesses’ accounts. – In Jesus Name. Amen.