Apr 29, 2019
Join us as we explore God's ancient wisdom and apply it to our modern lives. His word is as current and relevant today as it was when he inspired its authors more than two and a half millennia ago. The websites where you can reach us are alittlewalkwithgod.com, richardagee.com, or saf.church.
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Thanks for joining me today for "A Little Walk with God." I'm your host Richard Agee.
Missouri is sometimes known as the “Show Me” state. I’m not sure when that began or who caused the first citizens of the state to be so disbelieving, but whatever and whenever it happened, folks from outside the state who told Missourans something are often met with the famous words, “Show me.”
Those words don’t apply to just Missourans, though. We have become some of the most skeptical, yet some of the most gullible people on the planet. Polls of high school students show that more believe in the truth of Star Wars than in the truth of a landing on the moon. Somehow we manage to believe the stories of Hollywood writers with all of their technological film effects, but we don’t believe the live feed from the surface of the moon when that grainy black and white signal came from 250,000 miles above us.
It’s really incredible what people will believe and what they will not believe even when faced with the facts. I’m often amazed at the number of people who really act like the figures in that old Gieco commercial which depicts a rather homely man coming to date see a rather pretty young lady. They get into a discourse at the bottom of the stairs to her porch and she comes out with some incredibly stupid statements. He asks where she learned these startling things and the answer is the Internet so they must be true. Then Gieco shares its savings commercial which is probably truer than the Internet statement the girl just blurted out.
But we have a tendency to believe some crazy things because of the source. It’s from the Internet, so it must be true, right? Well, there is a little formula about Internet research I learned well before the Internet invaded every household and classroom across the globe. It’s like this. If the site is a .com site, it is a commercial site and its owners are engaged in making money. Be wary. If it’s a .edu site, it’s written by some professor who wants to make his or her mark on the world and will sometimes tell you things just to make you think. Be wary. If it’s a .org site, that owner is a non profit with a cause and whatever that cause might be, right or wrong, that will be the flavor of the site. Be wary. And if it is a .gov site, well… you know politics. Don’t believe anything you see there without lots of other independent evidence.
When I heard that formula for researching the Internet, those were the only endings available on websites. Now, of course, you can find .me, .food, .church, .whatever you want to make up as an ending for a site if you’re willing to set up the server farm for it. The same rules apply. Usually, normally, most of the time a website and the information on it is there with someone’s purpose and their agenda in mind.
I’ll be honest, my website that carries the blog and podcast you listen to is no different. I have a purpose and an agenda for putting the information there. You are free to agree with or disagree with me and my agenda, but I continue to provide this podcast to share thoughts that I think God would have me share from my study of scripture and how it applies to our lives today. There it is. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t spend the time and energy and money I do in preparing, recording, editing, and all the steps involved in having this ready each week.
I want to share the Gospel. This is a way I have found to do that effectively as it is heard in countries around the world. Thanks to all of you who listen and share “A Little Walk with God,” a couple of thousand people a month including people in Russia, China, Vietnam, Australia, and several other countries download the podcast and listen to it each week. That’s pretty cool. That’s why I continue to do it. I get to share God’s word. I have an agenda. You can believe what I say or not. You’re choice. I hope, though, you research what I say and find it true and meaningful to you.
So, Missourans. Show me. I won’t believe it unless I see it. Sound familiar? I guy who got the nickname Doubting Thomas said those words. John recorded them in the 20th chapter of the Gospel by his name. For those who might not remember the details of the story, it goes like this.
The two Mary’s had found Jesus’ tomb empty. They ran and told Peter and John. Peter and John raced to the tomb and found the tomb empty. The four were told by angels that Jesus had risen from the dead as he said he would. His disciples were still hiding because of their fear of the Romans and religious leaders. They had just killed Jesus and the disciples were his closest companions and shared in proclaiming the message Jesus shared across the country.
This news caused the fearful disciples to get together to talk about this news, though. They locked themselves behind closed doors and that same night, Jesus just appeared to them. He broke bread with them and talked to them. Then he just disappeared. A ghost? Ghosts don’t have flesh and blood. Jesus did. A physical person? Yes, but very different because he just appeared and disappeared. Unbelievable, right? Thomas wasn’t there. And that’s just what he said.
You guys were drunk. You guys are crazy. You guys don’t know what you’re talking about. You guys are just stressed out and wanting to believe what Peter and John told you this morning, but it didn’t happen. Jesus might be gone from the tomb, but to see him in flesh and blood when the doors are locked and then have him just disappear? No way. Show me.
Verse 26. A week later Jesus’ disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.”
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
So, here we are. Jesus gives a special blessing after this to those who believe without seeing him in the flesh the way those disciples did that night. But do you believe? Do you really believe in the resurrection? The truth is most of the world does not. Most of the people in the United States, which not that many years ago was known as a Christian nation, do not believe in the resurrection. In fact, I’m finding there are a lot of Doubting Thomases sitting in Christian churches.
It’s easy to be like the Missourans and cry out, “Show me!” It’s easy to be like Thomas and say, “I won’t believe in the resurrection unless I can see for myself.” But that’s not how faith works. Faith is believing in what you cannot see. Faith is accepting as truth what you may not understand. It’s like flipping the lightswitch expecting the lights to come on even though you don’t know how the electricity is generated from hundreds of miles away, stored, passed safely through the lines to your house, and causes the bulbs to glow when that switch is flipped. We don’t need to understand all there is to know about electricity to believe the lights will come on, we just flipped the switch believing they will. That’s faith.
I don’t need to understand how the medicines I take work, either. But I believe the doctor who gives them to me and because I take them, it makes a difference in my quality of life. But the resurrection? It’s the same. We don’t need to understand how. We don’t need to be like Thomas and see the scars in Jesus’ hands and side. We just need to believe in the testimony of the thousands who have trusted in him through the centuries and place that same trust in the truth of the gospels. Will I ever understand how the resurrection happened from a scientific perspective? Never. Do I need to understand it? Never. I just need to believe it. And talk about the change in my quality of life? The legacy of peace that Jesus promises comes pouring through.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.