Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all that is going on around you?  Maybe so overwhelmed that you can’t hardly get yourself to do anything.  So overwhelmed that you don’t know what to do or even where to start?  For most people, there are times when they feel overwhelmed.  

For some people those times are far too frequent and sort of paralyze their lives.

At times fear can cause such feelings. At times people get so afraid of what has happened, or may happen, that they are afraid to make a decision, or even afraid to move.  Fear can be a very irrational thing. At times of deep fear we often lose our ability to search out facts and truth, and are only able to try to think of something that will make us feel safer, more secure. It is not unusual for us to feel some or all of those feelings.  The disciples of Jesus did, and so do we.

Jesus traveled around doing his ministry for about three years. The disciples traveled with Jesus for those three years.  During those three years they heard his teachings and saw the miracles that he performed. They did not want things to end up as they did. They certainly did not want Jesus to be arrested, tried, and crucified.  In many ways, their hopes went into the tomb with Jesus. After the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were afraid that they were in danger for their lives, from the same people as those that had sought to have Jesus executed.

In John 20:19-31, we read that on Easter evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors. They were so overwhelmed by all that happened that they just stayed put. They were afraid, so afraid that they stayed in that room where they felt secure. 

Their situation was the same a week later, still scared, still afraid to go out, still meeting behind locked doors.  Each time Jesus came and stood among them, greeting them, “Peace be with you.”

It seems that the disciples had their fears disappear when they saw Jesus. That sounds nice, but we don’t see Jesus like that.  Some people talk of seeing Jesus in a dream, or in the presence of some person or action. That is wonderful, but not the same as seeing Jesus in the flesh.  That is something we do not experience.

Jesus tells the disciples that it is even more blessed to believe in him when we don’t see him. Think about that.  If I told you that there was a moose standing in my front yard, would you believe me?  Probably not. On the other hand, if I showed you a moose standing in my front yard, it would be much easier to believe.  Many things in our lives do not have the possibility of seeing in person.  

Often we need to believe things simply through believing or trusting something someone else says.  And that is the way it is with our Christian faith.  The key becomes that we need to believe and trust in the Gospel that we are told.

And we need to remember the last verse of chapter 20 of John, telling us that all these stories about the life and teaching and miracles of Jesus are told for one reason, that we may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that believing we may have life in his name.  

Check out the stories of Jesus. They are there that you may come to believe and have life in his name.


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