Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” (John 20.27)
Sometimes wounds leave permanent marks, don’t they? Battle scars. Jesus kept his. Often, we keep ours too.
Jesus didn’t have to, but he kept the scars. A deliberate choice. Have you ever pondered why? You could google it and find some interesting answers (Aquinas listed most of the ones you’ll find), but before you do that, take some time to pray and meditate on it yourself. What does his choice to keep the scars tell you about Jesus? About following him?
I think that’s enough to reflect on for a week. Or a lifetime.
“But Jesus, for his part, was not entrusting himself to them, because he knew all people, and because he did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2.24-25
There are some differences between Jesus and the rest of us. He knew the people he was dealing with fully, knew who to trust (fishermen and tax collectors); knew who not to trust (religious people). Not because they were fishermen or religious people, but because of what was in their hearts. We can’t know what’s in people’s hearts much of the time.
Despite this limitation, there are some important lessons for us here, attitudes Jesus had that we should emulate:
1. Cautious of who we entrust ourselves to, the default stance being don’t, then make exceptions as the Spirit leads (who does know all hearts)
2. Not needing the testimony/approval/affirmation of others, Jesus’ testimony of himself was enough, as is HIS testimony of us (not our own)
In short, we take the same approach as Jesus and put our trust in the same place he did. Jesus trusted himself; we trust him too. Spend some time reflecting on what it means to entrust yourself to others, why you need to be careful with this, and the difference it would make in your life and ministry if the only approval you need/want/accept comes from Jesus. I think some of us will find it frees us to do truly great things for the kingdom. I think some of us will find it sours us to the taste of our own Kool-Aid we’ve been too happily chugging down at the encouragement of others. I think some of us will find it does both.