I know I have touched on some of the principles, but I wanted to preach this message fully here. I believe that if we are able to hear, and understand this truth from the word of God that we will be more effective in encouraging one another in our faith, growing in our own personal faith, and reaching the lost all around us with the love of Christ.
This morning we are looking at John 20:19-31, turn there in your Bibles if you have one. Most people call this the story of Doubting Thomas. I would like to refer to it as the story of Authentic Jesus. Before we read the text, I want to share a few quotes with you about authenticity.
Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.
– Mother Theresa
No legacy is so rich as honesty. – Shakespeare
The closer you stay to emotional authenticity and people, character authenticity, the less you can go wrong. That’s how I feel now, no matter what you’re doing. – David O. Russell
No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one. – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Everything will line up perfectly when knowing and living the truth becomes more important than looking good. – Alan Cohen
To be nobody but myself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me somebody else-means to fight the hardest battle any human can fight, and never stop fighting. – e.e. Cummings
I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier. – Oprah
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. -Steve Jobs
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Dr. Seuss
Our culture wants authenticity. They want real people. They don’t want fake believers, perfect stepford people, they want real people who have hurts and struggles, and pain like them. Lets look at how Christ was authentic, and how we can learn from Hs example.
Read John 20:19-31
-Christ’s body was healed, but he had scars…
-Thomas wanted proof, the scars, not any miracle.
-Christ showed him his scars.
-Everyone is broken and needs healing.
-Christians have struggles, unbelievers are dead in sin.
-If you are in Christ, you have been made alive.
-The message of Christ is about resurrection, not earthly perfection.
-As Christians, we minister from our scars, not in spite of them. God is all about using weakness to show his power.
Paul did it, 2 Corinthians 11:30, 12:1-10.
Hebrews 4:14-16. Samson’s final day. David killing Goliath, Gideon’s 300 man army, Nehemiah’s wall project. We have got to get it into our heads that coming to Church is not coming to show how good you are, you are coming because you are broken, and needy, and your soul needs to be refreshed, and you need to fellowship of the body to be a balm on your soul.
3 Cautions in closing: 1. Fresh wounds aren’t yet scars. Let them heal. 2. Sharing scars is not a plea for sympathy, or to draw attention to yourself. 3. You don’t show other people’s scars. That is for them to decide to share.