3rd April 2018

Faithfulness 

“Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.’”
John 11:16 (NIV)

We have just been remembering the time when Jesus was betrayed, condemned and crucified, and two disciples immediately come to mind: Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him, and Peter, who denied knowing Him. But the account mentions three disciples, the third being Thomas.

He is generally called ‘doubting Thomas’ because he didn’t believe the other ten when they told him that they had seen the Lord after his resurrection. But he played an important part in the events leading up to Christ’s final journey to Jerusalem. What was that?

Jesus had told the twelve that He would be going to Jerusalem to restore life to Lazarus. They realised that the Jews wanted to stone Him to death and they were surprised that He should determine to take such a risk. Jesus however was adamant that He would go there, knowing what would happen. They tried to dissuade Him.

All except one that is. Thomas was willing to stick by his Master even to the death. He also encouraged the others to do the same. Thomas didn’t know whether the disciples would escape with their lives. If Jesus had not interceded with the guards to let them go (John 18:3,8), they could have easily lost their lives. Thomas showed an extreme example of faithfulness. He stuck by the One who had given Him so much in every way.

Faithfulness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. We see it in acts of loyalty and reliability. “You can count on me…” a faithful person would say and mean it. How do we demonstrate it? Both Jesus (in His Sermon on the Mount) and Paul (in his second letter to the Corinthians (1:17-18)) tell us. Let’s see what Jesus said: It’s recorded by Matthew (5:37 NKJV), “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No, No.’”

It is so difficult to be faithful to Christ’s words. Things crop up which give us reasons for changing our minds. Some of these are genuine reasons, others are excuses. Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians (see above) was accused of vacillating; in fact the circumstances were such that he had to change his journey itinerary.

For us it might be either. It depends on the situation. Thomas was loyal to his Master. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can be too.

Prayer
Lord, I want to be faithful, loyal and reliable to You and others. Give me the strength to be so.
Amen
 

Study by Christopher Reeve

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About the Author:
Christopher Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK, where his wife, Hilary accompanies him.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane
Blean
CANTERBURY
CT2 9JA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net

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