by pastor Brenda El-Talabani
Note: Each of these devotional blogs entries is meant to be read on your own or if you have family or friends you live with, to be read together aloud. A suggestion is to do this after you have dinner around the table together. At the conclusion, please spend time in personal reflection or in sharing with one another your answers to the questions at the end. Be sure to conclude with prayer.
Read John 20:30-31.
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs that his followers saw, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you can believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Then, by believing, you can have life through his name.”
Can you feel the excitement the disciples must have felt? Their Master, their Friend, their Teacher, had risen from the dead! Then, He walked with them in bodily form here on earth. Why? John 20:30-31 is the answer: “Jesus did . . . miraculous signs that His followers saw . . . written so that you can believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.” Not only did God want them (and us) to know that this was Jesus Christ, but also that “by believing, you (we) can have life (eternal life) through His name.”
In Acts 1:1-3, Luke also reminds us so that we will believe that this was Jesus, who had risen from the dead. “The first book I (Luke) wrote was about everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day he was carried up into heaven. Before he went, he talked to the apostles he had chosen. With the help of the Holy Spirit, he told them what they should do. This was after his death, but he showed them that he was alive, proving it to them in many ways. The apostles saw Jesus many times during the 40 days after he was raised from death. He spoke to them about God’s kingdom.”
I often explain to the children in my messages that if you believe the first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . . ” then you must believe everything else in the Bible is true. Jesus wanted to make sure the disciples would believe that He had risen. Jesus wanted to make sure that they understood, as His disciples, so that they would go on telling and teaching others about Him, and His Father in heaven. He also wanted them to know that this was not the end of the help that they would need to be able to believe and continue His message. Acts 1:4-5 told them that there will be a helper: “He said, ‘Wait here until you receive what the Father promised to send. Remember, I told you about it before. John baptized people with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
I believe. I believe in what Jesus did for me on the Cross. I also believe that as a disciple of Jesus, “believing” comes with a responsibility of telling others, so they too can believe!
Prayer the following prayer or use it as a guide for your own:
Thank You, God for sending Jesus to die for me. Thank You, Jesus for making sure that I understand, as Your disciple, that You rose from the dead, and that You are alive. Thank You, for showing me that I need to tell others about You, and my Father in heaven. Help me to remember that You also sent me a Helper, the Holy Spirit. Help me to believe with urgency the importance of making sure that I do what I need to do as Your disciple to help others believe.
Reflect with someone else or on your own:
1. What do I believe about why Jesus proved to His disciples that He was alive?
2. Do I believe this was not the end? Do I believe this was so that Jesus’ disciples would go on telling and teaching others about Him, and His Father in heaven?
3. If I believe that this was not the end, and that the message was for all of Jesus’ disciples, including me, what is God asking me to do as His disciple to continue His message?