Happy April, Friends! If I’ve failed to welcome Spring I do apologize. The joy of Easter the build up during Holy Week, Lent, Passover and all the celebrating seem to have allowed Spring to slip in (at least on the calendar if not in the weather). Alright, honestly? Spring sprung during 8+ weeks of constant illnesses, intense calendar commitments, then total take down by sudden injury (but that’s a future “Identity” post).
I’ll slip in here~~~Happy Birthday Wayne White~~Brother, Guitar Wizard, Life Long Learner. 🙂 That, I didn’t forget!
Since I’m apologizing, you’ve discovered and I’ll admit the title of this post is a bit misleading. What started out as a search to learn more about one disciple became a contrast of two and then two more men. But the ‘one label’ aspect fit the title. What are ya gonna do? 🙂
(Please know this was written several weeks ago as part of the ponderings of New Life and New Identity God has called Me to in this New Season. My heart goes out to those families I know personally and aside who bear the recent reminders and weight and burden of loss)~~~Shandra~~~
This man Jesus, (whom I believe On, accepting as my Redeeming Savior), preached, healed, fed, suffered, died, Rose. Now word has it He’s again wandering the earthly realm. Really?
Yes, eight days after “ Easter“ He appears to one of the heroes of this post. Yes, 6 appearance of Jesus to hundreds of witnesses.Two nail marred hands He showed as proof of who He was to the One Doubting Skeptic.
A fresh level of thought has gone into the subject of New + Identity , the short list:
One, Christ was in His new identity, which is why no one recognized Him at first. Two, Each person in His circle He called Disciple, Follower, Friend (except John and Two Women) left Him when He needed them most. Three, the first appearance He made after His resurrection was to the Woman with the worst identity possible (prostitute) and to Mary His Mother. (Aren’t you so glad that The Savior took time to set His mother’s heart at ease?). Four, eight days later He appeared to the Doubter.
Thomas had walked, talked, eaten, slept, prayed and learned at the side of The Master. He had done the same with the disciples. Yet when these Followers, Thomas had known for three years confirmed the claim Christ had made prior to His death, Thomas said “Prove it!”
Oh, Thomas, how alike we
are were in our ‘belief’. The fourth appearance, on the eighth day made especially for Doubting Thomas’s. Learning more about this man, he sounds a bit Eeyore.”Oh well, since He’s going (to people who want) His death we might as well go along’ when told they were going to Bethany (to raise Lazarus from the dead). Cant’ you just hear him? Perhaps that would be you?
In the locked room, embarrassed by his doubt of The Resurrection of Jesus, but believing once he saw. Everything clicked for him. Was he forever ‘labeled Doubting Thomas? Yes. Our culture uses that term even today to define someone who must ‘see to believe’. Did he allow that doubt to define him in a positive way? YES!
“Thomas would speak to doubters today, to those of us who have seen our hopes and dreams destroyed. Doubting Thomas would tell his story of how Jesus’ life had intercepted his own. He would tell us of his fears and his doubts. And then, with a radiant, joyful face, St. Thomas, Apostle to India, would recount his joy at seeing and knowing the risen Jesus himself. “My Lord and my God!” he would say. “My Lord and my God!” from Learning Faith from Doubting Thomas
Thomas, The Disciple became a man of great boldness and Courage preaching and teaching all of his life.
The other man so pitied. Also labeled forever. Judas Iscariot . Who thought he could manipulate Jesus’s popularity into an uprising against the ruling Romans. Who thought when Jesus was truly up against it, He would defend himself and call an uprising. Judas didn’t get it. His heart wasn’t in it. He didn’t get the Heart of Christ.
The heart of Christ which, even after betrayal offered forgiveness. In the Garden he calls Judas “Friend” right up til the end He offers reconciliation. (Even the two thieves.) Judas could not receive it, instead living for a few short miserable hours longer under the unbearable weight of guilt, stress, remorse and Condemnation.
“Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to that yourself!’ And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.” (NASB)- Matthew 27:3-5
Two Disciples each whose labels follow and define their Identity to this day.
We all fall short. We all struggle with allowing the mistake to define us. Where will your identity propel you? To bigger and better for Him? or not?
How will you become all He’s calling you to be?
It’s true that sometimes negatives (mistakes, misunderstandings, conflict) will follow and define the way others see you. Sometimes even to the point of propelling you out into other circles. It’s neither good nor bad. It just is.
What you do with that opportunity is God’s Chance at New Identity.
This Woman prefers to be the previously unknown~doubter~labeled~mistaken~disciple turned humble Boldly Righteous “Rebel”, Courageous for Christ. Rebuilding a Seeing is Believing Life…Developing the ‘Come and See’ (Jn 1:39) Lifestyle.
If anyone would care to share I’d dearly love to hear how you have moved on from “labels” , mistakes and changed out your “old” self for the “New”. What were your greatest challenges, obstacle, joys, success? How have your negative moments become your positive Life statements?
Either here in a public comment or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll never use your name with out permission but your anonymous scenario might just help the next one. Until next time, Blessings and many Thanks. Shandra