Meeting with Failures

When the risen Jesus came to his disciples, they were full of disappointment, doubt, dread and despair. So he first showed them his nailed pierced hands and then said, Peace be with you (John 20:19). He didn’t say a word about their recent failure. He just wanted to be with them as their peace.

Thomas was not there and he would not believe that Jesus had met with them. A week later, Jesus came to them again while Thomas was present. He didn’t reject Thomas because he refused to believe. He simply approached Thomas directly saying, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Within this personal encounter, worshipful faith emerged in Thomas.

Another time, the risen Jesus met with his disciples while they were fishing on the lake. He prepared breakfast for them and then drew Peter aside. However, he didn’t say a word about Peter denying him. Instead, Jesus aims to draw from Peter a declaration of love. Three times he says, Peter, “do you love me?” When Peter said he did love Jesus he was urged to show it by caring for Jesus’ flock.

The risen Jesus does not withdraw from failures until they get their act together. He meets with failures as their peace drawing from them the faith and love that he desires in them. For, even now, as exalted king, his heart is bound to his failing followers.

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