12 April 2015
The Goodness of God
Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God;
You are much value to God. He will stop at nothing. To prove His love for you. St. Paul reminds us, “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
The hymn writer puts it this way: The will of God is always best
And shall be done forever.
And they who trust in Him are blest.
He will forsake them never. (LSB 758:1)
Theologians refer to this as “the benevolence of God”. An old concept. With relevant meaning for our day. Peter declares, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” -2 Peter 3:9
Today we consider the goodness of God –
1. Christ reinforces faith. Vv.19-23 The Savior’s appearance. Only Christ Himself could satisfy the deep longing of the disciples. At such a time of confusion and sorrow. Jesus appears to His disciples to assure them that He is indeed risen from the dead.
He confers the Office of the Keys. For the ongoing forgiveness of sins.
He sends His disciples on the primary mission for which He was sent into the world. V.21
He endues His disciples with the power of the Holy Spirit. One as God gives the power of His Spirit, are we able to share the word of forgiveness.
2. Christ rekindles faith. Vv.24-29 Thomas expresses his doubt. Vv.24-25 And why? Tomas was not with them when Jesus came. There is indeed danger involved in absence from corporate worship. The Sacrament of the Altar. With its reassurance of forgiveness. The Office of the Keys. With this declaration of God’s grace. The fellowship of believers. With its sharing of the Gospel promises.
As Jesus came to Thomas He comes to you. Revealing Himself. And He says, “Do not become faithless, but believing! Very often. The process of “becoming faithless” is virtually unnoticeable unrecognizable, almost camouflaged to the person involved. But it is just as devastating.
But upon witnessing Jesus, the doubter is convinced. Thomas makes a bold profound confession of faith – “My Lord, and my God!” Because you have made this same confession. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is God. And for you who wish that you could have lived in the times of the apostles and have seen Christ working miracles, meditate on these words - Jesus speaks to Thomas about you, “because you have seen you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and still believe.”
3. John wises to share this faith. Vv.30-31 Many other signs could have been mentioned. But they were not. Many words of the Savior could have been recorded. But they were not. But the things Jesus said. And the things Jesus did. John places them into his record for a divine purpose. These signs are recorded so that you might believe. The Word is give so that you might be brought to faith. It is the power of the Word that creates faith in the human heart. Luther put it this way, “I believe that I cannot...”
Likewise, through the power of the Word people are able to have the assurance of eternal life through “His Name.” Not one among many. Not any name a specific name. Jesus. Jesus, Name among all names….
Passive Sentences –8%
Reading Level –4.7